How Do Craft Beer Brands Negotiate Authenticity Using Retro Branding?

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: Craft beer brands are booming. However, many craft beer brands employ exceedingly similar retro-evocative techniques to negotiate authenticity with consumers. This article explores how craft beer brands systematically use retro marketing as a tool to negotiate authenticity with customers, through a consumer culture theory (CCT) lens. Moreover, the article seeks to examine potential implications of this largely homogenous use of discursive retro branding and faux heritage practices among craft beer brands, in the context of consumer authenticity and enchantment. The article finds that the current largely homogenous discursive retro branding practices risk eroding authenticity and enchantment. As these branding practices entangle brand connotations in the minds of consumers, this article finds craft beer firms should employ further marketing activities beyond these retro branding initiatives to remain relevant. Furthermore, the findings also suggest that the forced point-of-sale for craft beers in a Swedish setting - Systembolaget - exerts a negative impact on craft brands’ ability to negotiate brand authenticity.

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