- Bud Light partnered with fashion designer Darryl Brown of Midwest Kids to create a limited-edition unisex streetwear line inspired by summer, Midwestern childhoods and American culture, according to details the brand shared with Marketing Dive.
- The collection includes three different crewneck T-shirts with the beer brand integrated into the Midwest Kids style. The $40 T-shirts, which were sourced and printed by a local Ohio business, can be purchased on the Midwest Kids website, as well as on Bud Light's e-commerce shop.
- Both groups are promoting the #MIDWESTBREWED collection on social media. Tyler Busher and Jenny Rivera, founders of marketing and consulting firm The Binary Group, worked on the campaign.
Budweiser has been doubling down on its e-commerce business, and this latest partnership shows how the company is creating appealing limited-edition products in order to attract consumers to its site.
While online beer sales and branded appareal are not big revenue drivers, selling merchandise gives Anheuser-Busch the ability to develop deep data and insights about its loyal customers and then use this data for its marketing purposes, John Faviano, director of demand management and integrated marketing technology, at AB InBev told AdExchanger.
By partnering with an on-trend designer like Brown, whose credits include his time as a stylist for Kanye West, Bud Light has a chance to attract younger audiences interested in streetwear trends. The capsule collection embeds the beer brand into Midwest Kids' signature look so that the product appears as more of a fashionable object than a promotional T-shirt. In a similar move, Bud Light last summer created a capsule collection with best-selling rapper Post Malone, who also serves as a brand spokesperson.
Bud Light's e-commerce push comes as coronavirus-related lockdowns have led some consumers to buy beer online and have it shipped to their home rather than risk going out to grocery stores or liquor stores to make a pickup. However, the uptick in online ordering doesn't make up for the loss of on-premise restaurant and bar sales, and U.S. beer volumes are forecast to slide 3.7% in 2020, the fifth straight yearly drop, per an IWSR Drinks Market Analysis estimate cited by Bloomberg.
Along with Bud Light, QSRs are also looking to boost their e-commerce efforts. Last year, McDonald's launched its first permanent e-commerce shop where customers can buy branded gear. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is also known for setting up digital pop-up shops to sell limited-edition capsule apparel collections. In January, the brand created an apparel line inspired by employee uniforms that were modeled by real Popeyes employees. The apparel was also a nod to Beyoncé's Ivy Park line of athleisure wear created in partnership with Adidas.