When U2 recorded an album so unusual that their fans would likely reject it, they changed their name and released the album was the band “Passengers“. They were smart enough to know that the U2 brand stands for something, and if the music was going to violate those expectations… it simply couldn’t have the U2 name on it.
Let’s apply that thinking to real life business.
What does Coors Light stand for in the mind of the consumer?
Of course not. Coors Light stands for beer, and nothing else.
But this spring Coors Light is rolling out a line of alcohol infused iced tea in Canada. Michelob is following with a product called ”19th Hole” tea and lemonade.
Why? Because beer consumption is down, and the beer companies want to repatriate beer drinkers who have moved on to wine and other flavored drinks like hard lemonade and coolers.
That’s a great and noble mission. But the answer isn’t to change what Coors Light stands for!
In my opinion, the alcohol infused iced tea concept is a good one. I will definitely try it! But the idea to call it Coors Light Iced Tea is a bad one. Coors Light Iced Tea waters down the very strong Coors Light beer brand.
Coors Light should take a page from the U2 playbook. Release the new alcoholic iced tea under an entirely new brand name. Make a major splash in the market with a new product that benefits from the infrastructure of the Coors Brewing Company, but doesn’t interfere with the ability of Coors Light to stand for something meaningful in the eyes of the consumer.
You’d think that Coors Light, of all brands, would have learned this with their failed foray into bottled water, a mistake that Time magazine called one of the “top 10 bad beverage ideas of all time“.
PS – If you’d like to have me speak at an upcoming event or conference, contact me directly at steve (at)brandlikearockstar.com and we can make it happen. My fall scheduling is starting to fill up.