A recent interview by Adage of Bud Light brand Vice President Mike Sundet revealed what Bud Light Marketing folks think they did wrong when it came to their Golden Wheat beer (a product they have since stopped producing).

Ad Age: Bud Light is your biggest and most important brand. How do you make sure you don't overextend it with new versions?

Mr. Sundet: The key is to make sure that it all ties back into the essence of what Bud Light is all about. Bud Light is a fun, social, spontaneous brand. It's all about having fun with your friends. If you look at Bud Light Golden Wheat, I don't know that we executed that exactly the way it was intended. That came off as much more serious and much more of a craft beer, and that wasn't something consumers were looking for from Bud Light.

But Bud Light Platinum is all about fun and sociability in slightly higher-end, more sophisticated occasions. We are far exceeding our sales expectations with that brand because the concept is true to what Bud Light is all about.

I hadn't realized it at the time, but the Golden Wheat commercials were substantially different than the usual Bud Light commercial. Check out a few samples of a "typical" commercial below:

Now watch the Golden Wheat launch commercial:

Sundet is certainly correct when he says Bud Light Golden Wheat wasn't positioned as a "have fun with your friends" beer. While I don't think it was branded as a specialty "craft" beer, it definitely wasn't in alignment with the other products that make up the Bud Light family.

Would Bud Light have been successful at re-launching Bud Light Golden Wheat and branding it as a "have fun with your friends" beer, like the other products in the Bud Light family? I know many people that liked this beer, and am certain I was enjoying time with my friends while drinking it. But the big whigs at Bud Light (who have a practically infinite Marketing budget) seemed to think the damage had been done (and the product would never be thought of as a "have fun with your friends" beer).

The lesson for Marketing people? Make sure your products align with your branding strategy!