There is a lot to be said about the wave of consolidation among the larger American craft breweries right now (and I will say some of it later this week). In the meantime, I offer you a case-in-point for one of the reasons that argues against selling your brand, and particularly your name, to another company. Once it leaves your possession to become a brand in someone else’s portfolio, terrible violence may be done to it. I forthwith offer you Henry’s Hard Orange Soda (in a classic corporate move, where marketing precedes everything else, the website is not yet live). The bold is mine.
Today, MillerCoors proudly unveils Henry’s Hard Soda, a new line of deliciously refreshing hard sodas made with real cane sugar. Crafted for beer and non-beer drinkers alike with 4.2 percent alcohol by volume, Henry’s puts a playful spin on familiar flavors with Henry’s Hard Ginger Ale and Henry’s Hard Orange Soda.
“One of the main reasons why I love this product is because life is busy with work, kids and bills, but there’s always time to sneak in a little fun with friends,” said Bryan Ferschinger, MillerCoors senior director of innovations. “Beer is great, but now we also have Henry’s Hard Soda – an option that gives a little more flavor and excitement.”
The new hard sodas are inspired by the spirit of Henry Weinhard, a brewer known in the Pacific Northwest for making flavorful beers and great soda for over a century. When Portland unveiled a new public fountain in 1887, Henry offered to pump beer through the fountain for everyone to enjoy. Today, Henry’s fun-loving personality lives on in this refreshing hard soda.
MillerCoors will support Henry’s Hard Soda with a national marketing campaign, kicking off at the end of the month with advertising on primetime networks and high-profile cable partners such as ABC, FOX, TBS, Food Network, and Bravo. A custom digital presence in top pop culture sites, traditional print media support, dual-language public relations programming and influencer initiatives complement the rollout.
Henry is now a playful cartoon figure, like the Hamburgler or Twinkie the Kid. All he needs now is a catchphrase. Sad face on behalf of all the good citizens of Portland.