While nursing those beers, I couldn't help but notice how infrequently the bar staff approached me to ask if I wanted another. Usually I can't get 3/4 of the way through a beer before the bartender is trying to line up another. Not this time, though.
Could they somehow tell that I was an out-of-towner or, even worse, a New Yorker? Was it because I wasn't wearing a Red Sox jersey? I went through a couple of minutes of this social paranoia before I realized what the real problem was - they had no idea whether or not I was close to finishing my beer.
You see, the Miller Lite bottles they were serving had a cool plastic wrap featuring the Boston Celtics team logo. At first glance, one might think that this is a great local promotion - a fantastic way to show loyalty to a local market and fan base and, thus, drive consumer loyalty in return. At second glance, however, one can see that this bottle is actually a bad financial decision for the bar. Not being able to see when beers are low means longer intervals between beers which means less beers sold per night per patron.
Seems like a great package to be selling retail to consumers through stores - but not such a great idea for on-premise serving situations. As much as I love 'brand,' it is important to not pursue brand at the expense of sales. It is always important to keep in mind the context of the purchase location and the consumption experience and make sure that cool things - like packaging - don't drive brand at the detriment of your customer's and your own bottom lines.