I am always a little embarrassed to admit my favorite beer. Because I lived in Beer Country (Missoula) I feel like people get really angry about my preference but I can’t lie. My favorite beer is Blue Moon.
I know, I know, I know. This shame just doesn’t derive from the fact that I lived several years in a place that has eight breweries, an endless calendar of beerfests, and a public tap system that almost replaces water with a hoppy IPA. The embarrassment also comes from the notion of many beer drinkers that Blue Moon is too corporate, too fruity, too common.
I started drinking Blue Moon eight years ago as a junior in college. One of Missoula’s famous bars, the Bodega, sold pints for $1 on Thursday nights. That is me on the right and my friend Nick on the left.
But I can’t help it. To me, most of the time at least, no beer tastes better to me than Blue Moon. However, the taste isn’t the only reason why I enjoy this Belgian White beer so much. Because of my profession, it might come as no surprise that I also love the drink because of its marketing.
When I think of the people behind the marketing for Blue Moon, I think of a small team of folks around my age who like to have fun. I think of seven or eight laid back men and women who “get it” when it comes to what it takes to get people to drink a brew. While Coors does in fact own Blue Moon, you can bet that there is a specific marketing team solely responsible for the this uniquely named brew I like so much.
Ah yes, the name of the beer! The whole reason why I am writing this blog post is because of the education I received on the “Blue Moon” name just this past weekend. Sidney and I went inside a bar for a drink right before we went and picked up our takeout food at a nearby restaurant. I ordered a Blue Moon and the glass they served it in (see below) brought a huge smile to my face.
I enjoyed this Blue Moon this past weekend. I loved the glass it was served in.
I loved the fact that the Blue Moon name is based off of a short, fun, and marketbale story. Who knows whether the tale is actually true or not but it totally works (and it also happens to easily fit on a glass). Genuis.
My brother and I enjoying Blue Moons.
But the naming story is just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to superb Blue Moon marketing. Nothing beats what was done to catapult Blue Moon into the mainstream beer scene. It is basically a marketing legend by now, but the Blue Moon people wanted to do something that differentiated their beer from all the other Belgian Whites and hefeweizens out there. A common denominator for both types of beer just mentioned was to garnish each glass with a lemon slice. Blue Moon decided to introduce a much more popular fruit to pair with its beer…the orange!
To say it caught on is an understatement. The orange captured the attention of drinkers. People liked the way it looked on the glass, they enjoyed squeezing it into their beer, and most importantly they loved the way it complimented the taste. By simply changing out the fruit, Blue Moon went leaps and bounds above its competitiors.
I love the Blue Moon logo. I talk more about it below.
Another part of the Blue Moon marketing presentation I appreciate is the logo and other company marks! Attractive, warm, and easy to look at, the Blue Moon brand is represented by a perfect logo. The light blue dominant color of the moon combined with a dark blue background on packaging makes it inviting. The snow capped trees on the bottles of labels and cans never fails to give a “homey” type of feel. For me, I equate Blue Moon packaging with being as impactful as the Coca-Cola Christmas season packaging.
The Blue Moon aesthetics go beyond just the logo. The packaging is also very well-done and inviting.
Looking back above, it looks like I have outlined three main marketing staples: a story (the name), a distinguishing characterisic (the orange), and an identity (the logo). When you have this dynamite trio under command, as long as your product doesn’t suck, you are going to be successful.
Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the other marketing components that Blue Moon excels in. The brand has a great social media presence, they are always introducing seasonal products, and the commercials aren’t all that bad either. It is no mystery why Coors shelled out big money to bring Blue Moon under its umbrella.
So please don’t make fun of me too much for liking Blue Moon. I promise you, my preference for the beer goes beyond its fruity and refreshing taste. Don’t Blink.