_ Background Info _: The Boston Beer Company, which was established in 1984, had a very diversified flourishing product line which involved about twenty various sort of beers. Their item was offered in over nineteen various countries and utilized a network of around 4 hundred distributors. Incomes grew from 21 million dollars to 210 million dollars from inception to 1997.
_ Issue and Chance Identification _: As an outcome of the business’s item line and its variety, the company encountered issues sustaining and maintaining of their products such as Lightship – which has actually been withering in the last few years and which doesn’t have the volume like other products to sustain circulation.
Because the light beer company that Lightship belonged to was one that was quickly growing, the Boston Beer Company felt the requirement to investigate its products frustration. The research to do so happened in different types such as competitors, market, and monetary analyses, customer surveys, and lastly deep psychological analysis using the ZMET technique.
_ Alternatives _: One option the research group is thinking about is introducing a brand-new light beer into their line of product.
It is easy to understand that since the costly light beer market is one of the biggest and rapidly growing field in the beer market, the Boston Beer Business wants to inhabit and take advantage of this field to further improve its name and preserve its market share and its standing. However, there are concerns in terms of placing and marketing of this item. The item needs to be communicated as a light, abundant, fun beer and targeted at a various audience that entails women.
In addition to the truth that this choice may cause conflict in regards to the brand image being a macho rough beer brewer, using it does not fix the problem for Lightship if Lightship is going to be kept in the market offerings.
Another option the research team considered was repositioning Lightship and throwing in more effort and investment into the marketing of the product. It was obvious that, compared to one of their biggest competitors Heineken, the Boston Beer Company has had trouble and sort-of failed to build a unique brand identity for this product. The product was not successfully differentiated and positioned in the market in order for it to build market share and improve standings. This failure could make it difficult for the company to reposition itself and change consumer perceptions to gain their interests and so it might be a waste of time and efforts.
Finally, the last option is the dreaded one of not competing in this realm of the industry. This is a very extreme option since this realm is a huge and growing segment of the market and they would be missing out on a lot if they decide to pull out it. The failure to fit into this field, however, might have proved that the Boston Beer Company is not competent enough and ready to compete in this segment.
_Critical Issues_: There are two main critical issues that the company should consider when making the decision about their situation in the light beer industry. One critical issue concerns the brand image – the company has an umbrella brand image of being a premium masculine macho craft beer brewer and shaking that could be seen to influence consumer perceptions. The second critical issue relates to the field study and the results it yielded – do they answer our questions about how to position the light beer product or on whether we should even introduce/keep products in this segment of the market.
_Conclusion and Recommendation_: After reviewing the results of the various research techniques, the recommended option would be to introduce a new high-end light beer into the market (while probably retiring Lightship). Making use of the ZMET research results, this new product should be positioned in a manner that represents an active, refreshing, and healthy lifestyle. Having a new product instead of improving Lightship is best in order to avoid the difficult efforts of having to change stubborn consumer perceptions. Also, in terms of the umbrella brand image of BBC being a macho tough image, having a separate offering targeted at other audiences will probably add to the image of having two instead of eroding the existing image.