Changing a customer’s worldview is hard, expensive, and may even be impossible. When looking at the problem there are other solutions you should consider. In 2007 Lion Nation managed to turn a negative worldview issue into a positive for their brand Steinlager Pure.

A little bit on worldview:

Seth Godin defines a worldview as “the rules, values, beliefs, and biases that an individual brings to a situation”

He believes: “People don’t want to change their worldview. They like it, they embrace it and they want it to be reinforced.”

As a result, if you align the story you can confidently tell with the worldview the buyer tells herself, you win with the customer.



Prior to the introduction of Steinlager Pure in 2007 Lion had a couple of issues with the market and its premium product Steinlager Classic. For some time Lion’s main competitor had been moving the market to a premium product range, the hero being Heineken (which the competitor had a license to brew locally). Lion responded with Stella Artois, however this wasn’t producing the desired results. Likewise their locally brewed premium product Steinlager Classic had an image problem – it was believed the chemicals in Classic caused hangovers.

Steinlager Classic was first introduced into the market in 1957. Over the following 40 years the chemical hangover myth had built. Like most beers Steinlager Classic was brewed from all natural ingredients and didn’t contain any added chemicals. The most probable reason for the hangovers was that Classic was a premium beer, with 5% alcohol vs. the standard NZ beer, which was 4%. That is 20% more alcohol per serve.

To compete Lion had two choices:

  1. Change customers’ worldview by convincing the customer that there weren’t chemicals
  2. Tell customers a story that matched their worldview.

They launched Steinlager Pure. The worldview they played on was “Steinlager Classic is stronger” whereas Pure is ‘as it says on the tin’. The respective brand messages became:

Steinlager Classic: A crisp clean bite

Steinlager Pure:

  • No Additives, no preservatives
  • Capturing the purity of New Zealand (”Keep it Pure” was embossed on the label)
  • A green bottle – signalling purity and premium
  • Pure advertising played up a key NZ worldview, with NZ as the world’s underdog, punching above her weight as per this William Defoe example.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Your products and services must always have a view of your customers’ worldview
  2. If they aren’t aligned you need to assess the cost of changing your customers’ worldview vs. moving your product towards it, enhancing the stories your consumers tell themselves.


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