Brewbound Podcast Episode 008: Bill Hackett on Brand Building and Beer Industry Challenges

Constellation Brands chairman of beer Bill Hackett has spent more than three decades growing sales of imported Mexican beer in the United States.

When he began building the Corona brand in 1984, the market for imported beer in the U.S. was just 8 million barrels. Last year, about 34 million barrels of imported beer was sold in the U.S., and 23 million of those barrels were imported from Mexico.

Much of that growth can be attributed to Hackett, and others who have worked on the Corona brand over the years.

So what’s his secret to scaling a brand that, in many cases, consumers didn’t even know they wanted?

“I went into market and I just started asking questions,” he said.

After surveying retailers and drinkers about Corona, Hackett identified a target demographic and built a marketing plan around what consumers believed were the brand’s key differences.

“Very simply stated, what we did was developed the marketing, positioning and the advertising, basically reading back to consumers what they were telling us about the beer,” he said.

In episode eight of the Brewbound Podcast, Hackett discusses the strategies that have allowed the Corona brand to flourish in the U.S. over the last three decades, and how he sees the beer market evolving in the years to come.

Hackett also talks about the taproom phenomenon, the importance of brand building at a time when 7,000 craft breweries are fighting for mindshare, and what he drinks when he’s not tipping back a pint of beer.

Also in this episode: Brewbound editors Chris Furnari and Justin Kendall share the latest news and run down segments.

Listen to episode eight of the Brewbound Podcast above, as well as on iTunes. The episode is also available on Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and Soundcloud. New episodes of the Brewbound Podcast, which is co-hosted by Furnari and Kendall, are published every Thursday.

Episode eight, featuring Victory Brewing co-founder Bill Covaleski, will be released on Thursday, November 8.

For questions, comments or suggestions, please email podcast@brewbound.com.

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Brewbound Podcast

The Brewbound Podcast features interviews with beer industry executives and entrepreneurs, along with highlights and commentary from the weekly news. New episodes every Thursday.