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PBR’s model for rebranding a website

PBR’s model for rebranding a website

Strategy for rebranding a website should be modeled after the folks convincing Asians to pay $45 for a PBR – fresh design and clever content sells.

At some point most website managers realize a website is dying. Remiss to update content, designs, features or pictures – it’s the rebranding that revives a languishing website. One of the cleverest of rebranding ploys comes from Pabst Blue Ribbon company who rebranded their infamous swill four years ago. Since then, they’ve proved it is about marketing the old name, it is about writing fresh copy explaining why it’s better than the predecessor, and it is about creating a “must-have” for customers.

Consider this new and improved Pabst Blue Ribbon brand, better than the proverbial hipster beer sold at dive bars or wherever America tries to be urban, built on the quality of the beer that in 1893 won a single blue-ribbon in Chicago. It’s the beer we’d buy for our mechanic or for a cousin changing the oil on his Dodge Charger. It’s  working class simplicity. PBR is that sincere American lager for blue collar men everywhere.

That paradigm has been flipped in Asia where Pabst Blue Ribbon sells for $45.00 per bottle. If you think your website is old fashioned or passé, it’s time for a rebranding. Rebranding a website that’s languished in years gone can be easily done if you follow PBR’s model. Google rewards domain names registered long ago, after all. Nostalgia in marketing should never be underestimated – nor should fresh new perceptions such as the way PBR has fused their graphics and verbiage using basic strategy that only Big Beer could pull off:

  • Intramedia WebsiteTell them how long you’ve had the website
    “Built in 1999” means that you’re legit. Websites are trying to build confidence in users by listing their founding date. Similarly, PBR is built on American Grit – by putting a blue-ribbon on their cans (reminiscent of 19th Century greatness), Pabst has assured 20th and 21st century Americans and Asians of its legitimacy.
  • Tell them you’ve had it tough
    What might have passed as great beer in hardscrabble nineteenth century America doesn’t compare to the fine crafted beers we know today. But customers appreciate a long and hard history leading to success. Think Levi’s blue jeans birthed from California’s 1849 gold rush; think Steve Jobs building computers in his garage; and don’t forget the New Coke failure of 1985 that led to the biggest rebranding in consumer history. All great businesses have a hardship story that consumers appreciate when communicated appropriately. Rebranding a website should include those tales of hardship.
  • Introduce your website to new markets
    Consider translation services to put your website on the cutting edge in a new country. The makers of Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844 introduced their ale in the booming Asian market by marketing a sleek design in a high end box. They also created content campaigns celebrating the “German caramel malt (no-rice, all malt) and American cascade hops. Aged in new American oak barrels.” Selling America as a brand can be quite a boon. Consider rebranding a website based on patriotism and origin.
  • Your website can be great again
    Traffic to websites can change as quickly as Google effects changes to its algorithms, so rebranding a website as “Great Again” will keep people talking about how great the tradition is. For PBR, the simplicity of it’s working-class branding peaked in 1977 with production topping 18 million barrels. By 2001 the brand’s sales fell below a million barrels and the company was eventually bought by C. Dean Metropoulos. After falling on hard times, the website has become one of the most sought after brands in beer. In fact, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission forced two advertising executives in June 2011 to cease efforts to raise $300 million to buy the Pabst Brewing Company. The two had raised over $200 million by crowdsourcing, collecting pledges via their website, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Charge a premium for your services
    If your cheap website wasn’t enough to attract clients, try going high-end!  Priced at 280.27 China Yuan Renminbi (US$45), the New Yorker‘s Evan Osnos recently remarked about how upscale PBR has become: “Somewhere over the Pacific, Pabst Blue Ribbon began putting on airs.”


Remember, rebranding a website is a bold move meant to revive or defend your customer segment from going elsewhere. So, grab a cold six-pack of PBR and begin rebranding a website – just remember to put it in a nice box and call it sentimental.

Used software CDs are golden on eBay

Used software CDs are golden on eBay

Consumers are paying hundreds for used software CDs to avoid new cloud subscription fees and crippling cloud outages. Used software CDs are golden on eBay despite Big Tech’s effort to market the convenience of cloud subscription services. It turns out used software CDs are helping users maintain higher productivity while saving thousands in unnecessary upgrade fees.

That’s why you should save your used software CDs, or sell them on eBay.

The exploding market in used software CDs comes following news from companies like Adobe that are killing hardware installs via CD or download, all while launching scare campaigns telling loyal customers about the dangers of using older software. Adobe claims that buying a perpetual license on used software CDs could result in huge problems for users, but Blogger Michelle Marie called Adobe’s end to perpetual licenses a public relations disaster: “The reaction of Adobe users was immediate and furious. On articles and blogs announcing this change, user comments ran at least ten to one against the move, with many comments harsh and even brutal criticisms of the decision.”

Here’s why used software CDs are golden on eBay:

  • Cloud outages are a disaster to your business
    Adobe experienced an extended outage on May 15, 2014, which means millions of customers who use Adobe Creative Cloud couldn’t access the software services. A hard install on your own system would have saved a day of productivity – at least. Frequent bandwidth issues and connectivity problems, whether your problem or there’s, results in lost productivity.
Adobe admits outage

Adobe’s two-day outage prevented millions of customers from accessing Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and a host of other software applications.

  • Cloud price gouging
    Everyone knows that a car lease is a bad deal for individual consumers. Software works the same way. For example, an old version of Adobe’s Dreamweaver CS5 is listed for $359.00 on, but that price is paid once. Savvy website managers have realized one hard install will pay for itself after 12 months instead of getting fleeced by Adobe’s  subscription service every month. Adobe’s leasing program means the new cloud-hosted version will cost $29.99/month in perpetuity!
  • Production software is different than desktop utilities
    Adobe’s argument against using old versions is a bad one for a production tool like Dreamweaver, Photoshop or Illustrator. While desktop utilities rely on security patches and compatibility liability upgrades, production software for building graphics, coding and managing files still relies on the same technology that was invented nearly a decade ago. Ask any HTML or PHP developer which coding tools he or she prefers and you’re likely to hear about the virtues of Notepad over the overcomplicated new coding management software. (For those who don’t already know it, Notepad is nearly the same free software come standard on PCs since Windows introduced it in 1985.)
  • Cloud subscription services can be rife with security flaws
    Two years ago both Apple and Amazon experienced breeches in their security when hackers accessed cloud accounts, deleting files and stealing information. On October 3, 2013 Adobe reported that hackers stole 3 million customer credit card records used for their subscription services, including all the passwords. The fact of the matter is that cloud services are dependent on password-based mechanisms and third-party security protocols that often fall into criminal’s hands or break due to the negligence of employees. Perpetual licenses are much less likely to expose a software owner to these type problems.
  • Software upgrades don’t always improve useability and can waste time
    There are countless examples of users complaining about disasters following forced upgrades. The Microsoft Community forum has thousands of posts from customers recalling their frustration with upgrades. Angry blogging occurs after nearly every Adobe Photoshop software upgrade, with users complaining about lost files and features, then the countless hours spent restoring their software to familiar order. Multitudes of Adobe plug-ins and presets are deprecated after each release of Photoshop while missing features in Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 software required re-installation of 25 plug-ins following that release. For their newest version, Adobe lists these improvements for Dreamweaver CS6: Fluid grid layout for cross-platform design, CSS3 transitions, HTML5 code rendering with Live View and Multiscreen Preview, enhanced jQuery Mobile and PhoneGap Build framework support, optimized FTP performance. The Adobe “feature creep” isn’t worth the trouble.

Finally, many of us have collected used software CDs over the years, used once and dutifilly filed back on the shelf with the serial numbers and activation codes dutifully guarded. But now might be the time to sell them on eBay for extra cash. After all, used software CDs are something website managers everywhere need to maintain productivity.

Why having a website is not enough

The formula for building a successful digital presence has changed. No matter how much money is spent on a website, having a website is not enough. A failed marketer is one who builds a website to separate the company from the crowd rather than to unite it with the common market. By allocating too much time and too many resources on branding and usability, many website managers continue to fail in delivering new customers and in servicing existing ones because they've built little more than a static digital magazine peddling a service the website does little to support. When nobody bothers to visit, website managers can have a hard time explaining why.
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Why big tech allows bullying in the workplace

The tech world is full of bullying in the workplace. Strategists revere Oracle’s Larry Ellison for alienating workers and customers to the tune of billions in annual revenues. Thanks to Hollywood, we’ve seen how Mark Zuckerberg acted during the early days of Facebook. Mark Pincus, CEO of Zynga, even boasted about the horrible things he did to get ahead and how fabulous his business became because of it. Despite all the politically correct rhetoric, it would appear big tech doesn’t really want to get rid of their bullies – they’re too profitable. That’s why those who work for them need to take a more measured approach: If you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t – better to go somewhere else. A few years ago my co-worker told me there were two paths to...

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