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I'm not sure if Moa's problems are down to an inept distributor, as CEO Geoff Ross maintains; marketing; or its plan to sell 195,000 cases this year simply being too ambitious from the get-go, what wiht our shelves groaning under more and more craft and foreign beers.
Personally I don't think it's a quality issue. Several of Moa's labels have made their way to NBR's boardroom fridge, and staff happily quaffed them all. But then again, craft beer drinkers are a sniffy lot - not to mention hypersensitve to any signs a "craft" beer label is in fact produced by yet another corporate bandwagon-jumper (and leaving the sexism argument aside, the flash imagery and ads in Moa's prospectus probably didn't help on that front. And while no branding expert, I don't think the trendy/modern names for some of Moa's brews, such as "Blanc Evolution", sit well with the earthier "Moa").
But anyhow, the reason for this brief post is to highlight on-the-ground marketing - or at least the peril of leaving any element of a promotion up to the locals.
I snapped this Moa sign outside a Mt Eden cafe (it stirs unhappy memories of when I was with a publisher that launched a rival to NetGuide - and at the same pocket size. Our distributor recommended we stump up for A5-sized baskets that hung off newsstands, which we did. Newsagents and supermarket shelf stuffers duly filled them with copies of NetGuide.)
Anyway, Moa CEO Geoff Ross is not one to sit on his behind, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts to the sales setback. Stung investors will surely want to see more than tweaking with distribution.
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