Beer was perceived to be old fashioned and did not fit the modern life style of young people in Germany, until Beck’s Gold was created. The Beck’s brewery showed the industry how a new beer can be launched successfully – against the general negative development trends in the German beer market. Beck’s Gold instantly succeeded to become one of the hip drinks via unearthing the true desires of younger target groups coupled with an innovative marketing mix.
It may be appropriate to point out that Beck’s (in the green bottle) enjoys a somewhat different image in Germany compared to a lot of other countries, partly due to a different advertising his-tory. Beck’s is perceived in Germany as a rather strong, slightly bitter beer which initially re-stricted the available growth potential. After all, the size of the slightly bitter beer segment is only around 10%. - 90% of all German beer drinkers prefer a somewhat milder beer. To make matters worse, there is also a general trend towards milder beers, mostly amongst younger consumers who grew up with sweet soft drinks.
Having taken heed of this knowledge, Beck’s planned to develop a Beck’s branded new product (by no means a replacement for the existing Beck’s!) for people who find the Beck's brand world appealing, but who up until now have felt excluded on product level.
Consumer attitudes and perceptions played a key role throughout the total product development and research process. In each phase various tests and analysis were carried out. The research techniques used in this case (nowadays called $ales Effect test system methods) yielded unusual good fit between forecasted and real market values. The deviation of predicted sales and real sales volume, which exceeded 310.000 hl in the first year, was only 1,719 hl (=0.1%). In addition the low cannibalisation rate was reliably forecasted. The surveys also provided sound advice in other marketing decisions. Beck’s Gold delivers the proof that superior qualitative market insights and reliable quantitative market research methods can pave the way to even greater success of new brands and products.
In 2008 Beck’s Gold enjoyed a market share of more than 85 percent in its segment in spite of numerous me too products launched in recent years. Beck’s Gold is considered to be the most successful new product launch in the last 50 years in the German beer market.
Methods used: qualitative analysis, Concept Effect Test, Packaging Effect Test, Brand Name Effect Test, Advertising Effect Test, Market Simulation
This case study has originally been published by Shaw, D. J.; Schipke, A. (both inbev Beck’s brewery); Mayer de Groot, R.: Beck´s Gold segelt auf Erfolgskurs [Beck’s Gold sails on to success] , in: planung & analyse 2/2004, pp. 20