Sunday, 29 June 2014

Indian Pub Marketing

The concept of Indian Bicycle Marketing - where competing suppliers with a very similar product market it in different ways to different people - doesn't just apply to the market segmentation carried out in India decades ago, of course.

I primarily use the term to apply to the LibLabConUKIP-sensus, but the general principle applies to e.g. pubs as well.

After last Friday's YPP meet up, I got chatting to a pub manager who was in London to attend a regular firm conference. After some light hearted banter about Londoners all being basically overgrown babies (from which I shall not exclude myself), he said that the pubco's also engage in Indian Bicycle Marketing.

He explained that Mitchell & Butlers have cottoned on to this and have a pub 'format' to suit every stage of your life cycle:

- When you are young and want to ogle young women in short skirts and be hassled by their frustrated suitors, or indeed a young woman who wants to wear a short skirt and have her pick of the same, you go to an O'Neill's (which is about as Irish as John F Kennedy, Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan),

- When you get a bit older and earn more, you go to an All Bar One, which has waitresses in crisp black uniforms serving reasonably priced food on anything but a plate (bits of wood or slate, with a wooden spike hammered through your burger),

- When you have young kids you take them to a Harvester aka The Castle, who also serve good value food and have bottomless soft drinks to keep the kids happy,

- When you want to go somewhere with the in-laws with the kids in tow, you go to a Toby Carvery.

- I'm not sure which niches the Sizzling Pub Co's and Vintage Inns cater for - more aspirational young parents and the rural Baby Boomer downsizers, perhaps?

So it would appear that I am just as gullible as yer average punter, I have visited each of the first four 'formats' and would warmly recommend each of them, I just never realised that these people and their marketing departments can predict the changes in my behaviour that accurately.

But it's all just beer, drinks and food, isn't it?


The Stigler said...

They're different offerings though, aren't they? Fake Oirish food in O'Neill's, fancy olives and bits in All Bar One.

According to a friend, some cosmetics are the same. But you have to create different product lines to market differently to younger women than to older women.

Graeme said...

don't the descrptions of the "food" - such as "beer-battered" prawns, or pan-fried pork (as distinct from dustbin-fried pork) - put you off? The "food" is all microwaved stuff served on pieces of wood. Why not just microwave the stuff at home? The sh1t we get served as food in the UK is astonishing, when you compare the prices with our near neighbours.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, they APPEAR to be different offerings, but the differences are as subtle as getting your ketchup in a sachet in one pub and getting a stupid little bowl full in another.

G, I do not like the poncey names, no, or the slates-for-plates, but I've found the food at all the chains mentioned to be very agreeable, served promptly and by English standards, not overpriced.