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    Sunday, 13 January 2008

    Brand Loyalty Or Just Crazy Kids?

    I bought a bottle of Coors Light yesterday. I know, I know, I'm a crazy fool, but it was knocked down to 50pence and the ticker in me made me do it as I've never drank it before.

    Being curious, I then looked at the reviews at RateBeer to see how bad people whose opinion I trust think of the beer. I noticed that a fair few people have signed up for the site and rated Coors Light 5 out of 5 yet then gave Bud Light 0.5 out of 5; which is the lowest possible score.

    Now I've not had Bud Light either, but I'm pretty sure these beers are not chalk and cheese, yet people clearly feel such a loyalty toward the one brand that they have a hatred of the other, and score them accordingly.

    Having a ticker mentality I have never been bitten by the loyalty bug, but if I did, would I really hate a different beer which is to all intents and purposes the same thing (i.e. a bog standard flavourless lager)? I'm quite sure I wouldn't and I sure you, dear reader wouldn't either, so what makes these whippersnappers do so?

    I would like to hear your thoughts. Saying that they should be sectioned is acceptable!


    The Beer Nut said...

    I'm an avid reader of a message board frequented by less discerning drinkers (and a lot of very knowledgeable types too), and I think if one has a very limited range of experience, beerwise, one becomes highly attuned to taste differences which tickers like you and me would regard as extremely trivial. I think it's only possible to love Coors Light and hate Bud Light if one drinks virtually no other kind of beer.

    Interesting point, though.

    Bailey said...

    Don't suppose there's any chance that the entire marketing team at Coors would have registered and rated their own product 5 and the rivals 0.5...?

    brendan said...

    I, being a logical person, cannot imagine that the love and hate those reviewers had for those beers can at all be based on taste, since both products are nearly devoid of taste. I put forth an argument that the biggest quantifiable difference between the two is the level of carbonation. Bud light is much gassier than Coors light. Not liking the belch necessitating bubbles of the other is perhaps the reason for the scorn. Other than that, regional loyalty could play a role. Coors was for a long time only available in the western US while Bud was ubiquitous. So maybe some regional pride for the rocky mountain west played a role.

    Stonch said...

    I wasn't aware that either Coors Light or Bud Light were available in Britain.

    Stonch said...

    " becomes highly attuned to taste differences which tickers like you and me would regard as extremely trivial..."

    What, you mean tickers who simply try as many different beers as they can don't really appreciate all of their nuances? Who would have thought it! ;-)

    maeib said...

    Bailey. I don't think they are Coors staff, more so kids with their favourites.

    Brendan. The regional thing is a good point. I fin that quite often with rubbish lager ratings on RB and elsewhere.

    Stonch. Coors Light is in Sainsburys. Don't think I will get to try Bud Light in a side by side though. (Shame). And I hope you realise that some tickers do appreciate the nuances of different beers. Those you met at Pigs Ear would describe themselves as tickers and do pay a lot of attention to what they drink.

    Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

    Its marketing success, pure and simple. Brand loyalty.
    The same thing happens with the cheese I sell, a certain producer will sell a white mould cheese as a camembert and in a slightly different format as a brie, yet you will get punters who claim to love one and dispise the other, swap the label and they still dispise the one with the label they dislike.

    maeib said...

    Kieran, I've never understood the difference between Brie and Camembert. Is there one or is it a geographical thing? I like them both , and have no brand loyalty. I treat cheese like beer. I like to try as many different brands/styles as I can.

    I envy you your job, that's for sure.

    Anonymous said...

    I am fairly sure that the version of Coors Light available in Britain is not the same as the version nicknamed "the silver bullet" in America.