MILWAUKEE – Pabst, that icon of Milwaukee, is returning to its former home. The company will open a microbrewery and testing center at the old Pabst brewery in Milwaukee.
Pictured here is a part of the Pabst revival in the city including the famous Pabst sign and the Brewhouse Suites hotel.
The move, which is the cause of great civic celebration, should be a wake up to other brands that have disconnected from their historic community roots. The reality is that while pricing is an important part of a product, to base every business decision on pure cost is a recipe for turning your brand into a commodity. Thus, the disaster PR move of having to buy Oreos made in Mexico, or frustration with the move of Johnnie Walker Scotch from Kilmarnock.
These brands need to take a hint from fashion brands. You keep your boutique in Paris and New York, where rents are high, and sell a couture line. Then the cheaper mass versions can be made elsewhere, and people don’t get worked up.
- Pabst is the perfect brand to have brought back. See my post from March 2011 on what makes a suitable brand revival candidate entitled What makes a brand suitable for revival?
Below, a video from WTVJ on the announcement. It includes images of the place and interview with Eugene Kashper, Pabst’s energetic and visionary CEO.