Jason Bolton, Aaron Boothroyd, Margaret Killinger, Rusty Stough
The state of Maine ranks third for most breweries per capita in the United States. With the industry booming and new breweries entering the market consistently, branding presents itself as an opportunity for differentiation and competitive advantage. The intangible value that results from effective branding is what is commonly referred to as brand equity. Presently, there is limited research on how brand equity applies to the craft beer industry. In this study, David Aaker’s 1996 model for brand equity is used as a guide to learn how breweries and consumers understand and influence brand equity. Further, brewery and consumer perspectives are compared to discover whether or not misalignment exists. Six Maine breweries participated in this research over three months via semi-structured interviews, and a population of Maine craft beer consumers (N=100; 21-74 years of age) participated in an online survey. Preliminary results show that perceived quality and brand awareness are the most important components of brand equity and that brewery and consumer perspectives are only significantly misaligned regarding the issue of market saturation.
Anderson, Gustav, "Brand Equity in the Maine Craft Beer Industry" (2021). Honors College. 642.