This tag is associated with 2 posts

Can mass collaboration save our beloved Pabst Blue Ribbon?

At the beginning of November, news sources reported that Pabst (maker of Pabst Blue Ribbon, the official beer of our little honky-tonk band) was up for sale. Apparently, Pabst is owned by a non-profit foundation and the IRS has been trying to get the foundation to sell it for years.

Problem is, last time Pabst was on the market in 2005 there were no buyers, and the IRS gave them a reprieve until 2010 before they had to try again.

The selling price? $300 million. Which doesn’t sound too bad until you hear that Pabst doesn’t even have any breweries– the last one closed in 2001. They are now essentially a marketing vehicle for a bunch of beer brands, including PBR, but also Old Milwaukee, Schlitz, Stroh’s and about 25-30 others (check out the full list here).

Well now two enterprising advertising agencies have banded together to see if they can create a mass collaboration movement to buy Pabst. They’ve created a website called Buy A Beer Company where you can actually pitch in to purchase a piece of Pabst for yourself. Once they get to $300 million in crowd-sourced funds, they make a formal offer to buy the company.

Sound like a marketing stunt? It is… but it has only been going on for two weeks, and they have already raised almost $10 million!

That’s pretty impressive for a stunt.

Who knows were this will lead? Perhaps a rival crowd-sourced movement will appear and make an aggressive counter-offer? Or maybe some rich investor will swoop in and buy Pabst, the two ad agencies, and their list of donors all at one time. One way or another, it’ll be interesting to watch what happens next. If you want to stay tuned in, you can follow the Buy a Beer Company Twitter feed here.

Brand positioning tip #5: the brand audit

Oh no! An audit? That can’t be good, right?

Actually, if you are a brand manager, a brand audit is an incredibly useful tool (I’m sure the IRS feels the same way about their audits).

What is a brand audit?

There are plenty of people out there who’d be happy to tell you about brand audits (here are a few interesting links). But as you found out in previous brand positioning tips, I’ve learned a lot about brand positioning from Dr. Kevin Keller, author of Strategic Brand Management and professor at Dartmouth (plug: buy the book, great section on brand audits). When we did our most recent brand audit at Red Hat, we used Dr. Keller’s approach.

A brand audit is a deep introspective look at your brand from inside and out. Done the Kevin Keller way, the audit is made up of two pieces: 1) the brand inventory and 2) the brand exploratory.

I think of them this way:

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