We always knew we weren’t going to be mainstream, but we think we have to take issue with the label “peripheral” that two business school professors applied to a category of beers that includes craft beer stalwart Sierra Nevada. In their post on the HBR blog, the professors measure consumers’ perceptions of beer brands based on distinctiveness (how much it stands out) and centrality (how well-known it is).
Their aim was to demonstrate how much of the beer world AB InBev will dominate if its acquisition of SABMiller goes through. The answer is that it will own most of the beers that are well-known, both in the distinctive and nondistinctive categories. No surprise there.
What also shouldn’t be surprising, but is still striking, is that the only non-lagers in the chart they published are Guinness, Blue Moon, Newcastle, and Sierra Nevada. And Sierra is the only craft beer of the bunch.
So we’re definitely entering a category that’s a niche, and a small one at that. That’s alright. We’re comfortable with being different. But peripheral? Like we’re fringe? On the outer edge (maybe even edgy)? Yeah, we can be that. Don’t worry HBR guys. We’re cool.