Just a Marketing Term

Coronet Pale Ale advertisement, 1950s.

It starts as ‘just a marketing term’, probably describing something that has been around for decades.

Supermarket buyers like the ‘marketing term’, so it becomes a ‘category’.

The ‘category’ begets aisles and articles and awards.

Existing businesses develop ‘strategies’ to get a slice of the ‘category’.

New businesses emerge specialising in it.

Eventually, the ‘category’ is worth £X millions per year and employs X thousand people.

Just a marketing term?

(We’ve been writing about the emergence of ‘premium bottled ales’ in the nineteen-nineties, and reflecting on the comments here.)

8 thoughts on “Just a Marketing Term”

  1. I don’t think this was something that had been around for decades, though. My recollection is that it was the late 80s or even early 90s before you began to see any single 500 ml ale bottles in the supermarkets, and for quite a while after that it was only a small section. It was effectively an entirely new market segment.

    1. Ha ha! We only put that bit in to head off anyone saying ‘Well, it was hardly a new thing!’ like they did when we suggested ‘golden ales’ were a genuine innovation.

      There clearly were posh bottled beers for drinking at home before the nineteen-nineties, though (the ad illustrating the post is from the mid-fifties) but not many, and there weren’t many bottled beers of any kind left by the late eighties. (Here’s Ron on that subject using some figures we sent his way.)

      1. In the mid-60s my dad used to take me in the off-licence in the local shopping parade as part of our regular Saturday morning shop. Bizarrely, I think the purpose of this visit was to buy salted peanuts as he didn’t routinely drink beer at home. I remember there being quite an array of bottled beers, mostly halves, some pints, and I assume all returnable bottles. I particularly recall the Younger’s bottles with a picture of Edinburgh Castle.

        Fast-forward ten years and they would have been pretty much entirely replaced by cans.

        Premium bottled ales of the Pedigree and Double Diamond type were of course an important part of pub drinking in the 1950s.

  2. Love the ad! Men dressed in jackets and ties just to watch a bit of tele! And the women no doubt, dressed to the nines in their poshest of frocks as well.

    It’s easy to mock, but the advertising company clearly wanted to create an image of sophistication around this brand of pale ale, even if it is one which I don’t actually remember.

    Although I was born in the mid nineteen fifties, my earliest recollections are probably from 1960 onward. Whilst my parents may well have dressed up when dining out, I don’t ever recall them, or their friends, doing so when visiting each others’ houses. Perhaps dress standards and behaviour were already changing, even back then?

  3. I’m sure “marketing” comes from industrial revolution (XVIII?)
    “Categories” comes from human brain.
    Learn thinking with time as the 4rd dimension, please.

Comments are closed.