Thursday, May 07, 2015

Pabst Blue Ribbon

The latest podcast from the Social Media Examiner is an interview with word of mouth marketing consultant (Founder of Fizz) and author Ted Wright.  He shared a really interesting story about his work for Pabst Blue Ribbon that got me thinking.  Here are some of them.

Anyone familiar with the beer industry knows that PBR was popular decades ago, disappeared for ages, and then all of a sudden become a popular brand again.  It seems to me that it is be too associated with the “hipster” mentality, so I am going to take a little liberty with the story.  Listen to the podcast for the 100% accurate account.

PBR wasn’t the best tasting.  It wasn’t luxurious.  It wasn’t cool (at least not before the relaunch). It wasn’t anything.  It didn’t even have a very engaging origin story.  It was created by a bunch of regular guys who liked making beer. That was about it.

So that became the marketing pitch.  To tell the truth, that describes a lot of us.  Perhaps we are not the coolest person among our friends. We are not the richest.  We are not the best at work.  We don’t get picked first when playing pickup basketball.  But that is OK. Because we really like what we do.

Take my situation for example.  My blogs are read by thousands of people, but it will never be the tens of thousands or millions that some of the really popular blogs get.  I publish every year, but not in the most prestigious journals.  My friends seem to like me, but I am not sure I am anyone’s BFF.  I founded User Experience Day at HFES and it has been pretty successful, but it will never be Social Media Marketing World (the conference by the folks that created the podcast I am talking about).  But that is OK.  Because I love what I do.

So can I be enticed to drink PBR because those guys are just like me?  Does it give me some affinity with the brand?

I am generally one of those people who resist brands.  As soon as something is popular, I give it up.  If it is luxurious, I stay away.  I am not a hipster, cool, high end, trendy, or any of those things.  I pride myself on being just a regular person. So maybe I should drink PBR . . .