Finessing Miller Genuine Draft's global brand position to suit Australian sensibilities.

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Coca Cola Amatil took over distribution of Miller Genuine Draft as part of a realignment of brands following the Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV merger. So CCA needed to position Miller Genuine Draft appropriately for the Australian market but still align the brand with the global brand values.

Australians have a deep love affair with beer. We spend more per person per year on beer than any other beer loving country (Source: It's a highly salient category, not only do we have a plethora of choice, but a developed understanding and a proliferation of brands, advertising and positionings.

This presented just part of the challenge for Coca Cola Amatil. Beer is also a highly dynamic market in Australia, a market that had seen two major recent shifts; an explosion of craft beers populating the market as well as the development of a clear-bottle 'summer-time' sector. A further challenge: the strong meanings and roles beer has for Australian drinkers. Coca Cola Amatil had their work cut out for them.

So CCA asked us to help them make Miller Genuine Draft relevant to Australian consumers and the changing competitive climate. We needed to understand how consumers perceive the brand in Australia, to explore brand stretch, ascertain the brand‘s competitive advantage and figure out how the global positioning could work here. We needed to look at all aspects of the brand's identity and perceived values. We needed to look at packaging and product imagery as well as explore the global positioning and various potential expressions.

To do this we conducted extended focus groups of two and a half hours each. With our participants all on board we rolled up our sleeves and got creative. We did floor mapping of brands to identify where Miller Genuine Draft sat, we imagined the world of Miller Genuine Draft, and using picture sort we designed the ideal Miller Genuine Draft drinking occasion and venue.

In the end we were able to provide Coca Cola Amatil with an updated understanding of the broader relevant competitive set including premium international beer in the Australian market. We were able to identify how the global positioning might be adjusted to suit the Australian context and inform future strategy and brand direction for Miller Genuine Draft.

We identified the optimal expression of the positioning which CCA then used to brief their agency Hunter and Co. Hunter and Co used our recommendations on how best to create local occasion adaptations to develop Miller sponsored events reflecting this positioning. 

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