In our previous blog post, we looked at how Dos Equis has been continually improving its sales in the US while Heineken has been losing its. Similarly, over the last couple of years, Corona has continued to see its sales decline. Are Corona’s numbers declining for the same reason Heineken’s are?
There might be some similarities between their two situations, but there is also a fundamental difference – while Heineken has been relatively quiet in the US, Corona has been consistently advertising. So Corona’s problems are not related to its lack of advertising.
That leaves a few other possibilities – the effectiveness of the ads and the product itself being two prominent ones. Focusing on advertising, we already discussed how effective Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World” ads are, but how about Corona’s “beach” ads? From a product positioning perspective, Corona positioned themselves to own the “cold beer at the beach” imagery in consumers’ minds, and for a while also mostly owned the “Mexican beer” position in the US. However, given that Dos Equis has been advertising strongly for several years now, the “Mexican beer” brand position is more evenly split between the two. Moreover, for the ten months out of the year when most people don’t think of the ideal beer to drink on a hot summer’s day, they’re not thinking Corona. So, although Corona might have been successful in owning the beach imagery, that also pigeon-holed them into a smaller place in consumers’ minds. Dos Equis, on the other hand, remains prominent in any season. Moreover, because of the “Most Interesting Man” ads, Dos Equis holds a more premium image, which is the segment of the beer market that is climbing.
Interestingly, in Mexico, Femsa (make of Dos Equis) has not aggressively run its “Most Interesting Man in the World” ads. Coincidentally – or not – Dos Equis’ market share has fallen significantly compared to Corona.
We’ll have to see what happens next, given that Heineken is now in the process of buying Femsa. Will they be smart enough to expand the successful Dos Equis campaign to Mexico or will they pull back on it in the US?
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