Case Study – The pure, refreshing taste of Schlitz Beer

Back in the 1920s, Schlitz Beer was the number five brand in the American beer market. The company hired now-legendary copywriter Claude Hopkins to do something about that unenviable position.

The first thing Claude did was tour the facility where the beer was brewed. They showed him how the beer was cooled in a fashion that eliminated impurities. He saw the expensive white-wood pulp filters.

His hosts told him that every pump and pipe was cleaned twice for purity, and each bottle sterilized four times before being trusted to hold Schlitz beer. He saw the 4,000 foot well that supplied the water, despite the fact that nearby. Lake Michigan would have provided an otherwise acceptable source.

When Hopkins asked why Schlitz didn’t tell their customers about all of this rigorous attention to purity and quality, the response was “Every beer company does this.”

“But others have never told this story,” Hopkins replied.

Within months of the “new” story, Schlitz went from 5th place to a tie for first in the market.