Miller Genuine Draft shows it has ‘nothing-to-hide’ with brand refresh

Dive Brief:

  • Molson Coors Beverage has refreshed its Miller Genuine Draft brand to emphasize the beer’s “genuineness” and to improve visibility after losing popularity since the 1990s. The brewer worked with creative agency BrandOpus to redesign the beer’s logo and packaging, which this month will be introduced in North America, per an announcement emailed to Marketing Dive.
  • The new logo for MGD has the same gold, black and red color scheme, except that it is “used in a much bolder way,” according to BrandOpus. The bald eagle that was perched at the top of the logo is more central to the design with its placement in front of a red sun that “now acts as a beacon for the brand,” the agency said.
  • MGD’s refreshed look comes as the brewing industry has become more dependent on store sales while many bars and restaurants operate at limited capacity during the pandemic. The beer’s updated logo and packaging can help MGD to stand out as consumers browse the selection in stores and online.

Dive Insight:

Molson Coors aims to reinvigorate Miller Genuine Draft with its redesigned logo and packaging, after MGD had been one of the biggest U.S. beer brands in the 1990s, per the announcement. Consumer tastes in the past 20 years have shifted to lighter beers and the newer category of hard seltzers, but the pandemic has given brewers a chance to reinvigorate their brands in off-premise retail settings. It’s still hard to predict when consumers will feel comfortable going to bars and restaurants, but MGD has an opportunity to make its brand more distinct at stores and rebuild off-premise sales.

“The MGD brand lacked an emotive meaning that was compelling at the point of purchase,” according to BrandOpus. “The team’s analysis also identified that the brand’s assets were lacking in visibility and distinctiveness which was stopping them from being easily identified and remembered.”

In redesigning the logo and packaging, BrandOpus sought to focus on themes of genuineness and authenticity with a “nothing-to-hide” aesthetic. Instead of making the bald eagle and red sun secondary parts of the logo that had been buried in ornamentation, the refresh reveals “a rawer, more honest version” of the brand, per the agency. MGD’s new identity underscores a sense American confidence with the more prominent placement of the eagle.

Molson Coors CMO Michelle St. Jacques last year laid out an “in-depth survival guide to chaos” for the marketer that centers on staying active rather than sitting still in the face of new challenges, and the MGD brand refresh appears to be in line with that playbook.

Amid the pandemic’s disruptions, Miller Coors has seen stronger growth for MGD’s sister brands including Miller Lite and Coors Light. The company reported 8.6% growth from a year earlier in off-premise sales for Miller Lite, and a 6.1% gain for Coors Light, per its Q4 earnings presentation, which didn’t mention MGD. The rise in off-premise sales partly offset declines at bars and restaurants, while total revenue slipped 7.7% to $2.29 billion during the period, according to the quarterly report. Miller Coors forecast revenue growth in the mid-single digits for 2021 with its reinstated guidance.

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