America is great at a great number of things they should not be. Putting things (and people into boxes), memes, reality shows. [Insert your own list here.]
But we, with the help of social media, have truly mastered the art of the backlash and the reverse backlash. Nowhere is that on display more than when SABInBev makes either a purchase or dunderheaded marketing miscue.
It doesn’t take Karnack the Great to guess what will transpire:
1. Announcement of Sale
2. Cut and paste, “We are not going to change” defense from brewery / blog or business.
3. Heat of 1,000 suns hatred from all corners.
4. But we’re still craft comeback from the purchased.
5. The “No you aren’t” response
6. A rational look at the problem (hopefully, this is where I am)
This is where the reverse backlash starts. Bloggers and social media types attack the people who are attacking SABInBev for bringing an Us or Them mentality to the table.
Which is true. The spectrum has been lost. The color grey is no longer in the Crayola box. The Pros and Cons of Heineken buying a craft brewery vs. MillerCoors cannot even be discussed. Certainly not on Twitter or Facebook. And I am not the only one who thinks that is a loss. Read THIS.
Instead of adopting a political stance, how about listening first and processing the information and then, the next day, responding. How about explaining where you stand instead of just asking for people to be “nice” and not talk about it. Or worse deciding that you are right and that anyone who disagrees is wrong.
Let’s discuss the topic. I’ll start. I prefer local and #independent beer. I am concerned when a company not in the beer or alcoholic beverages sector buys a majority stake in a brewery but a minority stake doesn’t trouble me as much. Big doesn’t mean bad to me and small doesn’t equate with great. I firmly believe that SABInBev would like craft beer to disappear from the face of the earth but cannot fathom the whole concept of a small brewery and thus cannot combat it. I believe there is so much good craft beer out there that you can boycott a brewery based on your personal code and not the quality of the beer and not have either the quantity or quality of beer consumed fall.
The goal should be to IMprove not just prove that you are right.