NEW YORK: MillerCoors, the brewing giant, has adopted a new approach to innovation and entered a "dramatically different conversation" with retailers like Wal-Mart after the merger of SABMiller and Molson Coors last year, the audience at the ANA's "Brand Building in Tough Times" heard yesterday.

While speaking at the event – WARC's blog from which can be accessed herePatrick Edson, SABMiller's vp of marketing innovation, argued the company, which has a stable of 35 brands, now talks in ways "that we've never been able to talk to consumer."

Alongside further developing its own brands, SABMiller is also looking to "grow the category" as a whole, leveraging its position with retailers like Wal-Mart as a result.

Edson said that "when we innovate in the retail channel, that's good for the consumer," but added that the brewing giant has also formed "insight teams who are focused just on retailers and how we can help grow the entire category."

However, while SABMiller has revolutionised its approach, the corporation's new strategy has been based on the premise that for any "idea to be truly innovative it must create value; it must sell."

As such, Edson argued that "if you do an excellent job on innovation, you will drive the bottom line. The right ideas – focused on big economic levels and profit – equal success."

To read WARC Online's blog from this event, written by US editor Geoffrey Precourt, click here.

Data sourced from WARC Online