June 7, 2017

How Budweiser can best differentiate itself from Bud Light

Budweiser and Bud Light are AB InBev’s two-headed Hydra, working together to collectively gobble up beverage market share. In this partnership striving for domination, AB InBev doesn’t want to waste any time on redundant efforts. In other words, the two major beer brands are forever keen to target differentiated groups of potential customers. 

Today, Budweiser and Bud Light are both going after Millennials – but how can they best break out and optimize their targeting?

One place to start is beer’s perennial symbiotic partner: sports.

This scatterplot shows that Budweiser most over indexes relative to Bud Light for golf. The 1.31 index score means that Budweiser customers are 31% more likely to care about golf than Bud Light customers are.

Sports that over-index for Budweiser relative to Bud Light.

The next step is to look into golf itself to determine the best endorsement opportunities for Budweiser.  

Note the Sergio Garcia bubble in the bottom right corner of the chart below. According to the index score, Budweiser drinkers are 1.71 times more likely to be Garcia fans than Bud Light drinkers are. This is a highly differentiated audience, primed for targeting by Budweiser.

Golfers than Budweiser customers care about more than Bud Light customers do.

Interestingly, Garcia fans aren’t the biggest golf interest group in this chart; that distinction belongs to Jordan Spieth fans. So while it might be enticing to target the Spieth group which makes up almost 5% of all Budweiser fans online, it is clearly not the most differentiated with an Index Score of only 1.46. That means Budweiser could expend great resources trying to lure members of this large group only to find them less responsive to the messaging relative to Bud Light’s.

This data is reinforced by Signum Analysis’s Voice feature. If we juxtapose the top terms used by Budweiser customers with mere organic mentions of Budweiser over the same 2-year period, we see that buyers use the term “golf” much more frequently.

Buyers' Voice data showing that Budweiser buyers care about golf 8x more than bud's not buyers.

Inside the bucket of buyer conversations that mention Budweiser and sports, an incredible 16% of them mention golf. That number drops to only 2% for the organic audience.

This is a clear takeaway for Budweiser: while its organic audience of sports fans is only lukewarm toward golf, Budweiser’s customers are 8x more interested in the sport. A coordinated campaign to attract those golf fans (especially Sergio Garcia fans) might barely move the needle on soft social metrics, but will certainly have a significant impact on sales and revenue.