Miller Lite: "Holding True" and Ahead of its Time

June 3, 2019
Nationally, Miller Lite has posted 19 straight quarters of share growth. America’s original light beer has always had great taste, only 3.2 carbs & 96 calories. And with an ABV of 4.2%, it fits the modern definition of a session beer. If session is the new extreme, then Miller Lite American lager is the session beer most consumers are looking for… even if they don’t know it yet.
It’s been a few years now since Miller Lite’s glacial white can with bold blue, red and gold accents distinguished itself visually from a sea of blue & silver. The powerful design makes a big statement, but eye-catching design doesn’t guarantee increased sales, let alone repeat purchases and sustained growth. Having grown share for 19 straight quarters, Miller Lite’s liquid must be delivering something consumers want.
Authenticity, Great Taste & Only 96 Calories
Growth is driven by consumer demands. A big marketing push is less successful with today’s well-informed drinkers who can see right through a sales pitch. A product must deliver something tangible or be a solution to something that is vexing. But that’s not all. It has to be authentic, with a value proposition that says this purchase is money well-spent.
“We hear our customers say that they want a beer that’s light, but not devoid of flavor,” a bar owner confided to Heady Times. “IPAs are still rocking, but some of the same people, who couldn’t wait to try the newest, booziest hop bomb, stop by after going to the gym and ask for something that’s compatible with a healthy lifestyle. I point to the Miller Lite tap handle and tell them to give it a try. It’s only one more calorie than Mich Ultra, which – in my opinion – is a reasonable trade-off, if you want more flavor. When I tell them it has fewer calories and carbs than a glass of white wine, that seals the deal.”
The bartender confirms it. Miller Lite delivers on the promises made in its media campaigns. Brewed in the U.S. since 1975, it’s the original American 96-calorie light beer that still tastes like beer. And in this “post-extreme beer” era, it’s what people, even those who identify themselves as craft beer drinkers, are looking for – a beer that lets a drinker “Show Your 6-Pack”.
Pride in Our Beer Confidence in Our Brand
This American-brewed light lager has always been “Everything You Always Wanted in a Beer. And Less.”
“We’re gaining share in premium lights,” says Anup Shah, vice president of the Miller family of brands. “This isn’t just a blip.” Shah attributes Lite’s growth in part to consistent messaging which has evolved over time. “Both our advertising and the Know Your Beer program have helped us,” says Shah. “The Americana graphics have taken on a life of its own and we continue to deploy it in different ways that cut through the clutter to reach a wider, more diverse audience. For example, it’s resonating with Latinos.”
Sometimes consumers – and retailers, too – need to be reminded that most beer-drinking Americans enjoy an uncomplicated light lager in the summertime. After all, the segment does account for the lion’s share of all the beer sold in the country. Miller Lite’s programs drive home the ways that this beer “Holds True” to itself as a sessionable light lager whose time has come… again.
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Through brand design and consistent messaging, Lite sales outpace the industry.
Accounts participating in “Know Your Beer” experience a 6.7% lift in Miller Lite sales. Aluminum pints alone increase sales by 5.1%.
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