Like any other, the market for beer in the UK makes much more sense if divided up into segments rather than viewed as a monolithic block. Breweries, pubs and bars who know exactly which groups they’re targeting will do much better than those who spare it no thought.
We wish we had the time and money to do this more rigorously, but here’s our off-the-cuff attempt to identify some distinct groups based on our own observations.
1. COST-AWARE ENTHUSIASTS
Passionate about good beer but factor cost into their judgement about what ‘good’ means. For them, expensive beers leave a bad taste, however well made. Tend to believe that there are great beers to be had at a reasonable price and generally stick to drinking them.
Nothing is more important than drinking good beer. The cost of a particular beer is not a factor in their choice, even if that means spending more money than they can really afford to. Like to try new or unusual beers. Struggle to empathise with other groups.
3. TREND FOLLOWERS
Drink beer because there is a buzz around it at the moment. Turned off by the idea of ‘real ale’, but excited about ‘craft beer’. Not especially loyal to beer and may well be drinking more wine or cider in two years time.
4. LOOKING AFTER THE PENNIES
Driven solely by price. Know where to find the cheapest pint in town and pay little attention to its flavour. Not particularly loyal to any one brand or type of beer, but may broadly identify themselves as either lager or bitter drinkers. More interested in the pleasure of being in a pub than in beer itself.
Drink beer as a means to an end. As well as beer, likely to drink spirits, shots and other drinks on a night out. Usually choose beer based on brand recognition but may take beer strength and price into account if information is displayed.
- Some people might belong to more than one group depending on who they’re socialising with or the occasion. Zealots might easily become Boozers on a night out with colleagues, for example, or become Cost Aware Enthusiasts if their financial circumstances change.
- Trend Followers are particularly interesting. Any business based on their custom needs to think about what to do if it disappears.
- Our evidence for this segmentation is… nothing. If you want this done properly, pay someone.
- We’re Zealots with increasing tendencies towards cost awareness.