A brewer’s bed time story (part I)
Once upon a time, in a place not so far away, there were a great many regional breweries strewn across the land, and each of these breweries made different unique beers with different flavors for each of their local areas. Each of these regional brewers had different beers and different brands and different marketing to offer. The local beers appealed to the people who lived in the area. The beers were fresh and the money made and spent on the beers remained in the community. And these regional breweris were strong in their home markets.
And life was good.
Then one day the Regional brewers looked outside of the local market and saw other regional breweries and even a couple of national brands. And they decided they wanted to be bigger. They expanded their sales beyond their region with the hope of becoming a national brand. But as they did so they had to make their beers more and more standardized so that they would appeal to a broader and broader spectrum of the new markets they were entering.
Then, One day, they found that they were all making the same beer – the same beers as all the other regional breweries, and the same beer as the national brands too. It seemed that many of the regional breweries had the same idea and at the same time – they were all trying to expand their markets and as they all did so they came into competition with each other - and into competition with the national brands as well. All those regional breweries and the national brewer's brands fighting for the same market shelf space and tap handles.
But what separated all these breweries from one another ? What different did they have to offer ? Why should consumers want to buy THIER beer and not the other brands ? (I’ll give you a hint, it was not the beers, because the beers were all the same now) - it was the price.
But - These once unique regional breweries found they could not compete on price, quality or marketing with the bigger national brands and (because they bladed up their own beer to appeal to broader and broader spectrum of the market) they had nothing interesting or unique to offer in the way of their own brands. Now it was obvious - they could never compete with the bigger, more consistant, better financed and better marketed national brands.
Woe were the regional brewers - what had they done ? They were all spread so thin now and they had no way to compete, their home markets were no longer strong (invaded by other regionals and national brands).
And so - they all died.
Some were bought up by foreign investors and bled dry, others collapsed under their own weight, their innards sold off as scrap, their shells converted to apartments for yuppies, and a few (the lucky few ?) were bought out by the bigger national brands who made the once proud regional brands into cut rate “value” brands . There were no more regional brewers left.
And the beer drinkers across the land were sad.