'Downscale Chic' works with younger customers

Pabst Blue Ribbon beer's success in a recession proves two important points. One, Consumers are willing to pay more. Two, they pay more because of enhanced value perceptions driven by factors that aren't functional.

PBR costs $1.50 more than MillerCoors' Keystone, $1 more than Anheuser-Busch's Busch and Natural brands, and 50 cents more than Miller High Life. Yet its had the highest growth recorded in its category. This despite lower media spends.

Pabst through its word of mouth campaign was able to position the brand as 'downscale chic'. That is, lower priced than premium, higher priced than budget, with a hip non-conformist image. Worked will the younger drinkers trying to wear the 'anti-establishment' badge. Never mind the higher prices.


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