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Differentiating the British Public House

Tim Knowles (Department of Tourism and Leisure, Luton Business School, University of Luton)
Michael J. Howley (School of Management Studies, University of Surrey)

International Journal of Wine Marketing

ISSN: 0954-7541

Article publication date: 1 March 1998



Whilst the traditional English public house still represents the largest part of the market, its share is falling with the introduction of themed branded establishments. The UK's pub retailers have over the past five years reacted to a developing society whereby attitudes towards leisure time, drinking, eating out, health and entertainment have changed. Through diversification, they have moved away from the traditional British public house towards branded outlets that are able to appeal to diverse consumer demands. The reasons for this diversification will be explored along with the brewers' response. Within this process of diversification is the matter of promotion and branding. The emphasis seems to be slowly moving away from the beer product of a particular brewer to a focus on the service providers' corporate image, name and reputation. In cases such as Whitbread and Bass, companies are introducing a hierarchy of brands that revolve around five issues: physical evidence, service delivery, process, people and quality. It is the customer's perception of these five attributes that will determine establishments' success. This paper critically analyses the reasons for success of pub branding with a link made between the nature of the “product” and customers' perception.



Knowles, T. and Howley, M.J. (1998), "Differentiating the British Public House", International Journal of Wine Marketing, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 33-46.




Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited