ArabAd - - ROUND-UP -

2.2 bil­lion hec­tolitres of beer are con­sumed across the world each year. Whilst the Ger­mans drink more than any­one, 110 litres per per­son each year, it is China that boasts the world’s big­gest sell­ing beer. Snow Beer, cheap and de­cid­edly wa­tery, is pro­duced in a joint ven­ture with SAB Miller, and has 5% of the global mar­ket. This is a mar­ket dom­i­nated by big brew­eries, and big brands … Wrong! The beer mar­ket, like most mar­kets, is frag­ment­ing rapidly. Craft beers made in mi­cro­brew­eries, serv­ing lo­cal or niche au­di­ences, de­liv­er­ing quirky prod­ucts and in new con­texts. This new mar­ket di­ver­sity changes at­ti­tudes - price be­comes pre­mium, prod­ucts be­comes ex­pe­ri­en­tial, from rep­e­ti­tion to ex­plo­ration.

Beer sym­bol­ises the shift from mar­kets of “av­er­age prod­ucts for av­er­age peo­ple”, to mar­kets of dis­cern­ing in­di­vid­u­als, seek­ing

dif­fer­ence and rel­e­vance.

So how do you win in this new world? Last month I was at IMD Busi­ness School, on the banks of Lake Geneva ex­plor­ing how to “change the game” of beer with one of Europe’s lead­ing brew­ers. To spark our cre­ativ­ity, we sought to ap­ply ideas from other sec­tors… to give it away free (then find a new way to make money, like Metro news­pa­pers), or build a sub­scrip­tion model (like Ne­spresso with its cof­fee pods), or con­nect users around a shared pas­sion (like Nike+), or pay as you go (like Psonar sell­ing mu­sic for a penny a track), or build a net­work of branded spa­ces (learn­ing from Tesla’s Su­per­charger net­work).

Us­ing the Gamechanger frame­work from my new book, we ex­plored some re­cent beer in­no­va­tions. Change the who…

Lu­l­ule­mon, the women’s sportwear brand from Canada, has just launched its Yoga

Beer, with 77 calo­ries plus added nu­tri­ents to aid your post work­out re­cov­ery. Change the why… Prob­lem Solver Beer from the Den­mark prom­ises to boost your brain, by help­ing you think big­ger, dif­fer­ent and make new con­nec­tions. Change the what…

Moa Beer, per­haps the world’s best beer, made in the finest New Zealand winer­ies, of­fers ul­tra-pre­mium brews and pack­ag­ing, start­ing at break­fast time. Change the how … Scot­land’s Beer52 of­fers an an­nual sub­scrip­tion for a crate of mixed craft beers de­liv­ered to your door each week, adding sur­prise and ex­plo­ration to my beer.

No­body is av­er­age, and nei­ther should any busi­ness. Con­sider then how you could “change the game” in your mar­ket - the who, why, what and how -reach­ing out to new au­di­ences, with new pur­pose, re­defin­ing your com­pet­i­tive set, get­ting out of a down­wards price spi­ral, and de­liv­er­ing more dis­tinc­tive and rel­e­vant brands and ex­pe­ri­ences. It might just be­come your new com­pass for prof­itable growth!

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