For a hard earned thirst the best cold beer is Vic, Victoria Bitter.” Or is it?



Kelly West – 500122265

Light beer, draught beer, full strength beer, specialty beer, low calorie beer… Carlton Draught, Fosters, Victoria Bitter, Pure Blonde…the list is endless!

In an industry where consumers are spoiled for choice (like the Australian Beer market) how do companies fight for and maintain competitive edge and market share? Well, marketing strategies go a long way and any good marketing strategy should have a focus on segmentation, targeting and positioning.

The Australasian Beer Market had total revenues of $10.3 billion in 2014 (Beer Industry Profile), who wouldn’t want a piece of that pie! Competitors in this market must understand the industries segmentation which will enable them to target and position their marketing strategy. Now, let’s explore how the Australian Beer Industry has done just that.


Segmentation as defined by Iacobucci as “A group of customers who share similar inclinations towards a brand.”   (Iacobucci, p27, 2013). Segmentation enables organisations to understand customers in terms of demographic, geographic, psychological and behaviours.  Why is this important and how does segmentation help the beer industry market?

Companies in the beer industry must understand consumer behaviour and demographics, the main customers in this market is predominantly male between 18-45 who enjoy consuming beer when being social and watching sport (Pettigrew, 2002).

Supporting the idea that beer is predominantly a male drink, the 1989-1990 National Health Survey found 65 per cent of males consumed beer during the week prior to the survey and only 14.3 per cent of females had consumed beer during the same time frame (Pettigrew, 2002).

Studies into the Australian Beer Industry Profile also indicates that as at 2014 standard lager is the most popular category of beer, see figure 1 and figure 2 below.

Fig 1Figure 1 – Australian Beer Market Category Segmentation: $ million, 2014 – Source Marketline

 Fig 2.jpgFigure 2 – Australia Beer Market Category Segmentation: % share, by value 2014 – Source Marketline



Once the segmentation of the beer industry is understood those companies with a desire to hold market share should ‘target’ their desired consumers by ‘positioning’ their marketing material, via the appropriate channel, based on the information provided by understanding the beer segment.

Targeting in its simplest form is ‘selecting’ the ideal customer segment(s) to target (Iacobucci, 2013).  Others have defined targeting as “the development of the marketing mix for one or more segments of suppliers identified following the segmentation…” (Claudiu, S. p791, 2008)

There are different strategies organisations can adopt to target segments in a market place, these include targeting multiple segments (breadth strategy), choosing to serve one segment well (depth strategy) or choosing to deliver different products/services for different segments (tailored strategy)  (Iacobucci, 2013). The strategy each organisation chooses forms part of their overall positioning strategy.


So now that the giants of the Australian beer market have understood the markets segmentation and chosen the ideal segment(s) to target along with the right segmentation strategy, what is next? Now it is time to bring it all together and define your position (position statement). Positioning is determined by the marketing mix and is communicated via a number of elements including price, distribution, product offered and message communicated (Iacobucci, 2013).

Let’s take a look at how a few of the players within the Australian beer industry have positioned themselves.

Pure Blonde have focused on the low calorie conscious consumer with the tag line “Ultra Low Carb. Full Flavour. No Compromise.” (© 2015 Pure Blonde). The most recent Pure Blonde advertising (click here to see the ad) campaign clearly delivers the messages to males and females that there is a choice for an alcoholic beverage that won’t weigh you down.

Pure Blonde

Carlton Draught have chosen to focus on the dominant market segment of ‘standard beer’ with the tag line “A traditional, full strength Lager.” (©Carlton & United Breweries, n.d.) Carlton Draught have strategically chosen to premiere new ad campaigns during peak sporting periods, uploading their 2012 Big Ad campaign to YouTube in late August, just before sporting codes final series,  receiving over 2 million views in 6 days. The premiere of the ads to TV coincided with the AFL & NFL finals of 2012 proving hugely successful for Carlton & United Breweries (click here to see the ad).

Big Ad


The continuing success of Carlton Draught and growing success of Pure Blonde demonstrate the critical need for a clear marketing strategy encompassing segmentation, targeting and positioning.

Now it is time for a beer!  


Claudiu, S, (2008). Segmentation, Target and Positioning: Basis Element in Strategic Planning On Business to Business Marketing, Annals of the University of Oradea, Economic Science Series. 2008, Vol. 17 Issue 4, p790-795. 6p.

Iacobucci, D., 2014, Marketing Management (MM4): Student Edition, South-Western: Cengage Learning, Mason. [Accessed 7 August 2016]

Pettigrew, S. (2002). A Grounded Theory of Beer Consumption in Australia. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 5(2), 112-122.

2014 Beer Industry Profile: Australia. 4/1/2015, p1-34. 34p. Database: Business Source Complete








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