No "Best" Beer
Dunkin’ Donuts has just filed a
trademark application for the mark
BEST COFFEE IN AMERICA.
It's unlikely their application will be
successful because of what happened
to Boston Beer Company when they
filed to trademark the slogan THE
BEST BEER IN AMERICA. In that case
the Trademark Office refused to
register this mark to the makers of
Samuel Adams because it found the
mark merely descriptive of and
laudatory for the goods at issue.
The Boston Beer Company appealed
this decision, but the appellate court
severely stated that the mark was
“so highly laudatory and descriptive of
the qualities of its product that the
slogan does not and could not
function as a trademark to distinguish
Boston Beer’s goods and serve
as an indication of origin.”
Carlsberg Group CEO Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen says in spite of gimmicky "innovations" in beer
marketed to women, they remain a huge untapped market but catering to them requires a new
approach in management, strategy, and product innovation. Currently their customer base is less
than 20% female; to increase this number Carlsberg is inventing several female-friendly products
and test marketing them in small, highly developed markets like Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark.
If successful there the company believes that the drinks might work in other larger markets.
Carlsberg has tried this before when they launched "Eve", a light, fruity, sparking low alcoholic
drink that was beer-based. Eve was successful in its launch market of Switzerland and Russia.
Another attempt by Carlsberg was a the creation of a light beer called Copenhagen, a name
intended to evoke fashion and design. “Many young people aren’t keen on the bitter aftertaste
of beer,” said Kirsten Ægidius, VP Marketing for Carlsberg. “We have created a highly
drinkable beer with a balanced taste, a real alternative to white wine and champagne.”
The product is currently being tested in various Nordic markets.
Several other companies are also working on products geared to women. Molson-Coors Co. sought to
“remove the gender imbalance that exists around beer consumption” and boost its sales to women,
which amounted to a meager 14% of sales in the past. To do this, the U.K. and Ireland offices
launched the Animée drink last year, which has 4% alcohol and is a lightly sparkling, finely
filtered brewed drink in three flavors: crisp rose, zesty lemon, and clear filtered. The company’s
marketing says it is aimed to “dispel the perception among women that all beers look and taste the
same.” It said 79% of women in the U.K. never or rarely drink beer and, after many surveys, they
hope Animée changes that objection without being patronizing. Animee has shown some promise
but has not been the runaway hit the company had hoped for.
the crossroads of the beer world