Utica Club was the first beer sold after prohibition. Stationed in Utica, New York at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, Utica Club beer is owned by F.X. Matt Brewing Company known for the Saranac beer brand. It is the second oldest familyowned brewery in the United States, as it has been brewing beer since 1853. Schultz & Dooley were the mascots for West End Brewing Companyâ€™s brand and were first introdced on TV in 1959 and ran until 1964.
Original commercial with Shultz and Dooley beer steins
Original sales promotion
SWOT ANALYSIS Strengths: • Rising in popularity due to trend of drinking ‘retro’ beers. • Has the distinction of being the first beer legally sold after prohibition. • Devoted fan base, interested in bringing Utica Club outside of the NY region, and taking photos, etc. Weaknesses: • Minor brand in comparison to other Saranac beers – doesn’t get as much promotions • Only sold in the NY region • Has a bad reputation for unappealing taste • No promotions or advertisements in recent years Opportunities: • Not very well known, so with proper promotions we can gain a lot of new drinkers • Greater geographic expansion in more regions • ‘Retro’ beer is becoming more common Threats: • Product image is either neutral or negative, so it will be difficult to overcome • Low distribution means smaller market than competitors • Similar low cost competitors rising in popularity
Keystone Light This cheap beer is one of the quintessential college beers, due to its large availability and cheap price. Owned by Coors Brewing Company, this beer is specifically targeting college men through their use of videos on sites like Funny or Die, the ‘Canhole’ game built into every box, and their spokesperson ‘Keith Stone’. Keystone Light is very mainstream, which will work to our advantage, as our target would much rather drink something that many other people are not. Pabst Blue Ribbon This beer, owned by Pabst Brewing Company, has been experiencing a revival since the early 2000s. Due to the resurgence of the ‘urban hipster’, Pabst Blue Ribbon has been pulled out of a two decade-long slump. While they have done some promotions to target this specific market, Pabst had decided to not fully embrace this market, as they feel that it might go against their ‘authentic’ brand image. By not tapping into this market, Pabst has left an opening for Utica Club to succeed. Genny Light Genny Light is another more localized beer, primarily being sold in the New England region and brewed in Rochester by the Genesee Brewing Company. Genny Light is another cheap beer, making it perfect for the collegiate market. In addition, the Genesee Brewing Company has recently been bought by another brewery, and distribution has begun to expand. Genny Light does not have quite as rich of a history as Utica Club, and by focusing on this, Utica Club can succeed as the number one ‘local’ beer of choice.
REPOSITIONING Our research shows that young adult males whom others identify as ‘hipsters’ have taken a liking to Utica Club beers. As younger male ‘hipsters’ are a largely untapped market, we will position Utica Club beer as the beer of choice to them. Instead of completely rebranding Utica Club to appeal to a more modern, higher income, beer conscious market in New York, we chose to capitalize on the existing strengths of the current image. Utica Club is a beer with a strong history and legacy that defines the brand. In general, younger males who are looking to distinguish themselves and their buying habits from their peers tend to appreciate smaller, local brands as opposed to mainstream goods. Our research also found the demographic of male hipsters enjoy independent music, shopping at local shops and thrift stores. The bring past trends back into modern culture whether it be through their clothing or their belongings. By pushing Utica Club as a classic and authentic beer with a strong and unique history, we will appeal to the larger hipster community. In addition, our research depicted ‘hipsters’ as a demographic that avoided most mainstream media. They don’t respond positively to advertisements because of the strong aspect of persuasion that accompanies it. To avoid positioning this product like most in the status quo, we will avoid promoting Utica Club through traditional advertising media. We predict our nontraditional tactics used to reach our target audience will be better received by the ‘hipster’ audience.
Males 21-25, low income, prefer smaller gatherings than large raging parties, prefers local beers to large companies, strives to support unique, underrepresented brands as part of their identity JD age 25 Utica, NY
JD’s favorite artist is Jack White. His favorite bar in Ithaca is Bandwagon. His hobbies include playing his mandolin and making his own wood artisan furniture. Kristopher age 25 Schenectady, NY Kris’ favorite artist is Grizzly Bear His favorite bar in Ithaca is Silky Jones He enjoys beer tasting, has tried brewing his own beer at home. He loves recording electronic music with his girlfriend Eve. Jon age 21 Ithaca, NY Jon’s favorite musical artist is the Talking Heads. His favorite bar in Ithaca is Pete’s. Jon enjoys cooking, yoga, and playing his guitar and singing.
SALES FORCE PROMOTIONS Sales Meeting All of the Utica Club sales representatives from around New York state will come together for a sales meeting in Utica, NY. At the meeting, all of the reps will have the opportunity to tour the brewery to get a deeper understanding of the local flavor of the brand. Discussions of the repositioning of the brand will be the center of the meeting. The sales reps will learn about the specific target market, the revived use of the vintage beer steins, and the new trade tactics they will be using to sell UC to retailers. The meeting will be one weekend long, and provide travel, lodging, and food to all sales reps in attendance. Bonuses Ten select sales representatives will get a $5,000 bonus for attaining measurable results. These bonuses will be given out to the sales reps with the greatest percentage increase in sales in their specific regions.
TRADE PROMOTIONS Slotting Fees We have decided that it would be most effective to pay for Utica Club beers to be placed on our retailers’ shelves with slotting fees. It would be placed at eye level nearest the entrance of the store. The fees for placement of a newly positioned brand will take risk off our distributors’ bottom line. Utica Club will pay the slotting fees to boutique alcohol shops, locally owned businesses and small supermarkets, rather than larger chains because those are the places our target is most likely to purchase beer. Free Merchandise Utica Club’s classic beer steins have become collector’s items and wellknown symbols of the Utica Club brand. We want to bring the steins back as a promotional tool. They will be given out to local bars and the smaller stores that we will be pushing to sell more Utica Club. The owners will be able to sell the beer steins at full profit, driving customers to purchase Utica Club beer. This will help the brand progressively develop a relationship with its loyal customers.
CONSUMER PROMOTIONS Bonus Packs To reach out to our price-cautious target market, we will be offering a bonus pack for those who buy the 24-pack of Utica Club. When a consumer buys the large package of 24 beers, he will receive a free plastic UC beer stein. These beer steins are the signature UC image, and are unique, quirky, and vintage enough to appeal to our target market. Music Video Product Placement For our digital placement, we choose to pay for Utica Club to be integrated into music videos from indie artists that are popular with our target market. Since hipsters are unlikely to respond well to more typical digital promotions (banner ads, website wraps, etc.), we wanted to integrate the Utica Club brand in a more subtle way. The artists that are chosen will show Utica Club in their music videos, and will follow established guidelines to ensure that Utica Club is not portrayed in any sort of negative light, or used in binge drinking, etc. These music videos will be uploaded on YouTube, and then shared with other popular music sites online that our target frequents, such as Pitchfork. These music videos will also be promoted on the bandsâ€™ social media pages, ensuring that our target has multiple opportunities to be exposed to the Utica Club brand.
CONSUMER PROMOTIONS Lifestyle Marketing Utica Club at the Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance Our target market loves the unconventional lifestyle. They attend music festivals that the typical guy doesn’t. In close proximity to Utica, the Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance in Trumansburg, NY, is the opportune place for UC to be to reach our hipsters. Utica Club will have a booth at the festival where brand ambassadors will give out free UC “swag” such as beaded necklaces, t-shirts, and plastic beer steins. We will also brand a stage named “The UC Stage” as one of the performance locations. Having this strong presence at Grassroots will reach our target directly where they already are, and associate our brand with something they know and love. “UC Presents…” Bar and Band Takeover Keeping with the theme of using music to reach our target, Utica Club will sponsor local indie rock bands to play in bars in various regions in upstate, central, and western NY. The “UC Presents…” concert series will take local bands and give them extra support and endorsement. At the bar the band plays at, UC will have a branded bar takeover, where there will be various promotions and a strong brand presence. Coasters with the Utica Club logo and vintage beer stein image will be placed throughout the bar. All Utica Club beer will be sold in the branded UC beer steins, and will be heavily discounted at 40% off. “UC Presents…” is giving our target a complete brand experience without explicitly advertising.
CONSUMER PROMOTIONS Stealth Marketing Beer Steins The signature Utica Club vintage beer steins will be stealthily placed in thrift shops and vintage stores for our target. Thrift shops and vintage stores are the sure place that our target is shopping in order to make sure they are not wearing and using the conventional items that align with conventional society. Placing the UC beer steins in these stores will give UC a presence and â€œcool factorâ€? that our target will not explicitly realize. Hipster Placement Hipsters will be paid to sit in bars and look slick while drinking Utica Club beer. Their job will be to attract other hipsters, both male and female, and be seen drinking Utica Club. After all, if one hipster is drinking the underdog of beers, it must be cool!
BUDGET Utica Club Budget Promotion
Sales Force Promotions Sales Meeting/Trip to Utica, NY Bonus Incentive
Trade Promotions Free Merchanidise - 6,000 Beer Steins Slotting Fees
Consumer Promotions Bonus Pack - 15,000 Plastic Beer Steins Music Video Product Placement
Other Promotions Grassroots Sponsoring and Merch UC Presentsâ€Ś Thrift Store Beer Steins Stealth Marketing
35,000 10,000 3,000 5,000
MEBZ Quality Consulting is a local firm specializing in sales and sales promotions. Its consultants are Zachary Woelfel, Meredith Sager, Erin Smith, and Benjamin Ratner. The firm started four years ago after the team joined forces in hopes to create a progressive, versatile firm that would change the sales industry to have a more effective reach and success among millennials. The plan provided is the original work of MEBZ Quality Consultingâ€™s firm and is the property of its team and clients unless otherwise requested for permissions.