View Full Version : Boak and Bailey's Beer Blog - Why Do People Care About the Marston’s Rebrand?

Blog Tracker
02-11-2016, 11:34
Visit the Boak and Bailey's Beer Blog site (http://boakandbailey.com/2016/11/people-care-marstons-rebrand/)

http://i1.wp.com/boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/marstons_rebrand.jpg?resize=649%2C365SOURCE: Marston’s, via the Morning Advertiser. Yes, we’re sick of this image too.Marston’s announced a major rebrand yesterday (http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Drinks/Beer/Marston-s-1m-beer-modernisation-to-attract-new-drinkers) and it seems to have made lots of people, on both sides in the culture war we’re apparently having these days, a bit irritated.Traditionalists like the Pub Curmudgeon are annoyed at the apparent pandering to the youth market (http://pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/dad-dancing.html) — what’s wrong with appealing to middle-aged and older people? Isn’t their money good enough any more?
Others are dismayed by the lack of respect for history and heritage: Pedigree, a brand invented in the 1950s, is a classic in its own way, so why pretend it was conceived in*the 21st Century? (Note: they tried the retro look in 2012 (http://www.insidebeer.com/articles/20120403_2).) Why give Oyster Stout, one of the Marston’s beers that is better-loved among beer geeks, a would-be trendy name when the old one was quirky and interesting enough? And what’s with calling Pedigree ‘amber ale’ all of a sudden — is ‘bitter’ a dirty word now?
On a somewhat related note, colonial booze historian Dr Sam Goodman quietly rolled his eyes at the laziness of the new design for Old Empire IPA:

@BoakandBailey (https://twitter.com/BoakandBailey) *notes use of elephant as shorthand for all things empire for future paper*
— Sam Goodman (@drsamgoodman) November 1, 2016 (https://twitter.com/drsamgoodman/status/793416411171393536)

For our part, we*instinctively felt it a misstep and, after a bit of chat over the porridge, decided that the problem was the potential confusion and disappointment for consumers. Someone who isn’t an expert but is vaguely interested in trying a beer similar to BrewDog’s might casually pick these up at the supermarket only to be let down by the contents. You might trick a consumer into buying once with misleading packaging (what we’ve previously called craftsploitation) but it doesn’t win repeat custom.(Note: we haven’t tried the new pale ale and maybe it really is a super-hoppy and bitter session IPA.) Meanwhile, those who prefer old-school beer are likely to give these a miss, or (see above) feel that their custom is not wanted.
Among those more soundly in*the ‘craft’*camp*the reaction was sharp. For starters, the design just isn’t as cool as its creators think it is, as*Charlie*‘The Crafty Beeress’ Worthington*confirmed when she*asked a graphic designer pal what they made of the new branding (http://www.craftybeeress.com/2016/11/marstons-rebrand.html):*‘I think the boat has sailed on all that distressed looking type stuff that BrewDog were doing 7 years ago.’ In desperately seeking relevance they’ve somehow made themselves less relevant.
Others were insulted by the suggestion that people who make a point of buying and drinking craft beer are actually just idiots buying labels who*can be duped with a wave of the brand manager’s wand (https://twitter.com/pezholio/status/793358970610151424). For what it’s worth, we don’t think they’re actually after craft beer drinkers, though — just people who might be vaguely aware of the idea and don’t like*‘old man’ beers. Which, of course, leads to*a sense that this is just a crass attempt at co-opting a thriving culture by an organisation that, as Richard Coldwell observes (https://ouhouse.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/deja-vu-or-just-a-new-enemy/), is a modern equivalent of Whitbread or Watney’s in their 1970s pomp.
So, that’s everyone annoyed, for different reasons. Probably not the intended result.
The funny thing is, beneath all the hoo-ha about the clumsy re-brand, there is actually something interesting going on: Pedigree is now bottle-conditioned. That’s a material change that might — let’s even say will probably — improve the quality of the product. It’s certainly not something they*had to do and, we suspect, is a deep-level gesture to beer geeks, and especially to CAMRA members. We’ll give it a go when we get the chance and report back.
Why Do People Care About the Marston’s Rebrand? (http://boakandbailey.com/2016/11/people-care-marstons-rebrand/) originally posted at Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog (http://boakandbailey.com)

More... (http://boakandbailey.com/2016/11/people-care-marstons-rebrand/)