You may have heard that Budweiser is re-branding its flagship brand as “America” for the summer – 12 oz. cans and bottles will have the same general appearance, but the brand name will be replaced. Opinions are flying, so I’ll add my two cents as well.

Budweiser is attempting to draw a hard line around it’s “territory”, its positioning as the iconic American beer. But re-branding is expensive, both in terms of financial outlay and potential brand-lover alienation, and I would suggest it’s only worth the risk for a real gain in profits, brand-lovers or both. As the incremental packaging and marketing costs will be considerable, incremental sales will need to be equally sizeable.

But my real questions would be around the impact on beer drinkers; will current Budweiser brand lovers buy more of their brand because of the packaging? Perhaps, though it’s doubtful any sales bump will cover the costs. And will beer drinkers who don’t buy it now suddenly switch? With the exception of possible Fourth of July token purchases, it does not seem likely that beer drinkers will switch to the brand just because it has a new name.