Strong trademark, strong brand: How Latin American beers rank

By Chris Chiavatti & Jose Seba

Drinking a beer by the lake during summer is as Canadian as maple syrup and ice hockey in the winter.  While Canadians famously enjoy Molson Canadian® and Moosehead® beer (not to mention our countless fine craft beers), many of us also enjoy beers from around the world.  As summer begins, Brion Raffoul takes a look at some of the biggest beer brands in Latin America and the value of their trademarks.

Beer brands have an outsized value in Latin America relative to brands of other products.  Four (4) of the ten (10) most valuable brands of any kind in Latin America are beer brands.  Additionally, 12 of the top 50 brands of any kind in Latin America are beer brands.  Corona® is the most valuable beer brand in Latin America, being worth over USD $7.5 billion.  Such a high valuation will not surprise Canadians, who are used to enjoying a Corona® beer on a hot summer day.

Numerous Latin American beers are also the most valuable brands in their home countries.  Corona®, Aguila™, and Cristal™ beers are the most valuable brands of any type in their home countries of Mexico, Colombia, and Peru, respectively.  Colombia’s second-most valuable brand overall, Poker™, is also a brand of beer, ahead of the country’s major banks and airlines.  Clearly, these beer brands have a place in the hearts (and stomachs) of their countries.

A few of these beers are readily found in Canada, but the majority are difficult, if not impossible, to purchase in most provinces.  Despite a brand value of over USD$7.2 billion, SKOL® beer is not sold in Ontario, Canada’s largest province.  This lack of sales, however, presents an opportunity to brewers in Latin America.  Expanding their brand recognition in a beer-loving country like Canada can add significant value. 

Having strong brand recognition requires a strong trademark.  Protecting that trademark is key to a successful commercialization strategy.  A trademark helps consumers identify the producer of goods so that consumers can associate a brand with the quality of its products.  Much like Canadians associate beer with a warm, relaxing summer at their cabins, a well-renowned trademark can be associated with excellent products.

For more information about protecting your trademark, please contact our experts at Brion Raffoul.

NB: For the record, the author is partial to Negra Modelo® beer.