COVID-19’S UNINTENDED VICTIM

COVID-19, more popularly known as Corona virus, has infected more than 113,000 people in more than 100 countries around the globe and has claimed the lives of as many as 4,000. It is on the verge of being declared as a pandemic. However, humans are not the only victims of this virus. Constellation’s Corona Brand is an unusual victim of the Coronavirus. Corona is one of the biggest brewers in the world since 1998. News of a growth in online searches for “corona beer virus” and “beer corona virus” clearly depicts that Constellation’s Corona Beer brand has been dented by the Corona Virus. The image of the Brand has taken a negative turn, and the only reason for this brand dilution is due to its similarity to a deadly virus recently discovered.

Corona Beer has been in the market for over two decades and has made a name for itself over the years. It has become a household name and has a huge following of loyal customers which was ever increasing till Corona Virus started taking over the world. Although the Parent company is silent about the negative publicity, the fear and paranoia among the people has clouded their judgement. Although there is never a good time for an epidemic, the timing of this one couldn’t be any worse for Constellation Inc. as it had already invested $40 million in launching its new Corona-brand hard seltzer.

The negative impact on the share prices of Constellation Inc. is increasingly severe in recent days as the death toll due to the virus rises. The share prices dropped 8% last week and their market share in USA is facing a constant downfall. A survey conducted by 5W Public Relations has stated that 38% of Americans refused to buy Corona beer "under any circumstances" due to its misconceived association with Corona Virus, and another 14% said they wouldn't order a Corona beer in public. Another survey by YouGov stated that the sale of Corona beer is currently at its lowest spot in the last two years.

The scientific name of the virus is COVID-19 but Corona Virus is the commonly used term for it. Such usage has garnered bad repute to the Mexican beer brand. Although this is hardly the time to worry about brand reputation & market share of Corona Beer, however, it is interesting to see how utterly false rumors are capable of causing mass hysteria, especially in this age where internet and social media has made dissemination of information so easy.

 

 

Authors:

BRAND DEFENCE CONSULTING

Ojaswini Doshi (IP & Brand Protection Associate)

Prachi Shah (Legal Intern)