The Marketing Lessons That Corona and Limes Taught Us

What’s going on with the Beer Industry?

There has been a shift in the consumption of beer over the last few years that has been a growing concern for manufacturers across the United States.

In 2017, there was a decline in both dollar and volume sales for domestic premium beer. According to IRI Worldwide’s market research, “Domestic premium brands (Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light, etc.) saw dollar sales decline 2.9 percent, more than $398 million, to about $13 billion. Volume sales declined 3.8 percent” (Hop Take, Wolinski).

This change in course is more than likely caused by a number of factors. One threat to the industry is the shift in health consciousness with both Generation Y and Generation Z. People are aware of the negative impact alcohol can have on your overall health, and these generations have demonstrated their willingness to modify their behaviors.  

That is not to say that alcohol consumption is, by any means, coming to an end. However, people may be changing what type of alcohol they are consuming. Beverages with a lower caloric intake (wine, vodka, gin, etc.) are more attractive to the younger generations. Additionally, microbreweries and brewpubs have grown a faithful following, as people are now seeking out  ‘locally made’ flavors that invoke preferences for freshness, aroma, and bitterness level.

That being said, craft beer, domestic super premiums, and import beer dollar sales have increased, despite the overall volume consumed being on the decline. Ultimately, this movement reflects that the U.S. is spending more on beer, but drinking less of it.

How Corona Takes the Crown

While the beer business has been facing adverse times, shipments of Corona have inexplicably continued to increase. It’s undeniable that beer’s share in the U.S. alcohol market is shrinking, making Corona’s success a bit puzzling.

In addition to being the number-one-selling beer in Mexico, Corona is also among the most popular brands in the US. So one might guess that the quality of this summery beer must be superior to other brands. However, its taste ratings are decidedly on the lower end of the spectrum. So quality can’t be the reason it’s so eagerly embraced. 

What other factor could explain Corona’s standout sale volume?

The answer is marketing! 

Rather than simply selling an alcoholic beverage, Corona’s advertising sells an experience. When you watch a commercial with someone sitting on a beach beside a Corona and lime, it taps into something deeper than a desire for a drink. You don’t just want a beer—you want a Corona.

Here are some methods used by advertisers to connect to a viewer in this way: 

·      Use of pathos. Appealing to a viewer’s emotions is one the most effective ways to connect with an audience. From a psychological standpoint, utilizing emotional appeal is one of the most impactful ways to relay a message.

How Corona uses pathos: Corona is able to use pathos by targeting people who are busy, stressed, or overwhelmed. It draws them to the feeling of relaxation that appears to be affiliated with this particular beverage.

·      Make it personal. In order to really resonate with consumers, a company’s marketing needs to make people believe that the message applies to their life. This keeps advertisements from being skipped or overlooked. Pairing relevant content with the right personal interests is a very promising method to increase purchasing decisions.

How Corona makes it personal: Corona makes their advertising feel personal because it connects a popular set of interests with an available product. The interest is feeling relaxed and having a good time, and the product is a bottle of Corona. If a viewer’s goal is to unwind and be stress-free, Corona’s advertising makes this seem like a realistic outcome.

·     Be memorable. While the number of people you reach and the amount of impressions your ad receives are valuable, attention does not necessarily imply retention. Lasting results are less likely if the message wasn’t impactful or memorable. Consumers’ attention is trained to turn toward compelling content and topics that are personally relevant. Incorporating messages in an attention-grabbing way makes marketing campaigns much more powerful.

How Corona is memorable: Here is a compilation of Corona commercials.

While you may not remember what happened in every Corona ad over the years, you’ve probably caught on to a common theme—the beach! Corona has effectively marketed in a way that when you think of having a beer at the beach, you think Corona. This is a perfect example of incorporating a message (to relax responsibly) and making it impact viewers in a lasting way. 

How Influencers Are Boosting Marketing Efforts

When it comes to growing a business, successfully reaching and influencing your target market can be tricky. Not only do you have to know the people who make up your audience, but you also have to figure out the language your audience responds to, what platform(s) work best, and which targeting strategies are most effective.

When reaching large numbers of people, it’s difficult to personalize your message in away that connect to your whole audience. Ads through Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc., use pictures and videos that resemble organic content, which initially proved effective when connecting businesses with social media users. However, as more and more ads and sponsored content showed up on newsfeeds, users started to become desensitized to these types of postings.

So how did businesses deal with ad apathy? By switching gears.

Enter influencer marketing.

What is influencer marketing?

Businesses know organic content is king when it comes to social media marketing. So instead of marketing to the masses, businesses are now paying “influencers” to promote their products/services for them. Rather than B2C marketing (business to consumer), this trend presents an exciting opportunity to encourage C2C (consumer to consumer) marketing.

Why is this important?

Why has influencer marketing created such a big wave in 2018 (especially with millennials)?

One word: Authenticity.

People trust people more than advertisements. When someone posts about how a “diet tea” changed their life, for example, their followers know that this is a real person, not a model or actor in a commercial. They believe their testimony to be true and therefore have greater confidence in the product.

Who can be an influencer?

While celebrities and public figures do an excellent job reaching vast numbers through their endorsements, social promoters don’t necessarily have to be famous.

In fact, influencer marketing is most effective when promoted by an individual who has a community of followers with shared interests and curiosities. The ultimate goal is to give brands a human voice that will connect to audiences in a more sincere way.

How can I make influencer marketing effective for my business?

The best influencers are social media users who have:

·      Taken the time to build their own brand and audience

·      Patiently grown their popularity by collecting one organic follower at a time

·      Cultivated a community that looks to their tastes and preferences as benchmarks to make personal choices about products and brands

While you want to find a social promoter with a respectable audience size, a loyal and engaged following is much more likely to have a real impact on marketing efforts. Someone with a bunch of paid-for followers will not yield the same outcomes! In other words, quality is greater than quantity when it comes to an influencer’s followers. The results are much more favorable if you take the time to find the right person with the right fans to vouch for your brand.

What about video?

Another way to make influencer marketing more effective is through the use of video marketing. Video, by nature, is an engaging and dynamic way to influence audiences and drive sales. “Vloggers” (video bloggers) are likely to have a faithful following made up of people who are looking for advice on what products they should invest in. Utilizing Snapchat, Facebook Live, YouTube, Instagram Stories and IGTV creates opportunities to advocate for a brand with a genuine voice.  

Make sure everyone wins!

Influencers and businesses should have a relationship that is mutually beneficial. Considering they have very different motivations for their social media use, making incentives for each party to reach the same goals is imperative.

Research is an important element in making this affiliation work. Be organized, form a strategy, and develop a schedule. Working together to generate the best results helps everyone gain from this arrangement.

So go ahead and experiment with influencer marketing, build your credibility, and track your ROI. Embrace this trend and connect with audiences in a new and different way!



The Impact of the Facebook Data Breach

There were 2.2 billion active Facebook users at the end of the first quarter of 2018.

This means 2.2 billion people trusted Facebook to store a substantial cache of their private information.

This definitely makes the Facebook data breach quite the wake-up call for Facebook and all of its users. In case you aren’t familiar with what happened, here’s a quick recap-

A data mining company, Cambridge Analytica, collected profile data from tens of millions of users to build psychological profiles and ultimately influence elections. This was done with the help of Aleksandr Kogan, a Russian-American psychology professor at Cambridge University. The data was collected through an app called thisisyourdigitallife, built by Kogan separately from his work at the university. Hundreds of thousands of users agreed to have their data collected for academic use.

What wasn’t foreseen was that this app would also collect information from the test-takers’ online friends. Facebook’s platform allowed for the collection of friends’ data to improve user experience and prevented it from being sold or used for advertising. In the end, 87 million people were likely affected by this breach. Facebook even believes most users have, at the very least, had their public profile information dug into by scam artists and/or experienced cyber security threats at some point. 

So what does this mean?

Your privacy has been violated. Facebook—your favorite way to relax at the end of the day, your collection of irreplaceable photos and memories, your outlet for self-expression, the way you connect with family and friends—feels less safe.

In the last few years, Facebook has become an extremely effective marketing and advertising tool. From a business perspective, this platform acts as a direct route to audiences and holds an absolute wealth of information on target markets. This is all great stuff—except that Facebook users never got a chance to opt out of being targeted or having their private information collected.

So what’s best for the business isn’t always best for customers. This means we’re running into an issue with ethics in marketing.

How will Facebook deal with this ethical crossroads?

Facebook has come to the realization that being a social media giant means they have huge social responsibilities—with global consequences.

Facebook has already gone to great lengths to remedy this situation. In the months since the data breach, Facebook has been in damage limitation mode, updating security to protect user data and even banishing 200 apps through their site-wide audit.

Nearly all of Facebook’s users have received a message titled, “Protecting your Information,” which informed users what apps they use and what kind of information is being shared. Privacy policies have been updated to restrict access to profile information from third-party apps. They have also eliminated the ability to search users by entering an email address or phone number.

But how does this impact the marketing industry?

It’s not just Facebook who felt the backlash from data misuse—most businesses are feeling it, too. With new privacy controls, less potent targeting, and weaker consumer data, media performance through Facebook is not expected to do quite as well as it has in years past.

What’s the next move for businesses?

While Facebook may not be able to reach audiences to the same degree, the fact of the matter is that Facebook is still by far the most efficient social network platform with the ability to reach the greatest numbers.

So keep using Facebook. Use customer relationship management (CRM) systems and create custom and lookalike audiences. Use your own data to help grow awareness and engagement. 

Additionally, it isn’t a bad idea to expand your horizons. Try out other tools, like Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and YouTube. Diversify your portfolio and continue creating content. This can improve your overall results.

Biggest takeaway: You can still build your brand while Facebook rebuilds trust.

Anderson, M. (2018, April 06). Facebook privacy scandal explained. Retrieved from

Wang, F. (2018, April 02). What the Facebook Data Breach Means for Brands. Retrieved from