Boston Beer is one of the most important beer companies in the United States of America. Its products are sold under three brand names: Samuel Adams, Twisted Tea and HardCore Cider. It is worth mentioning that the company is the largest specialty brewer in the country and has an important market quota.
The business goal of the company is to become the leader in the Better Beer category through the creation of high quality full-flavored beers. The decision is supported on the one hand by the organization of the sales techniques and, on the other hand, by advertising, point of sale and promotional programs meant to increase the brand awareness amongst customers.
The beer industry is characterized by intense competition. This aspect reflects upon the pricing strategies that the companies are compelled to adopt. Boston Beer has managed to maintain a successful position on the market through various marketing techniques, including its positioning as the company which makes “the best beer.” From this point-of-view, it is worth mentioning that the company’s main strategy is to offer products of top quality for prices that the customers consider equitable.
Boston Beer sells numerous types of beer alcoholic beverages. However, its main purpose is to sell as much as possible of the products in the Samuel Adams line. The products which the company focuses upon the most are represented by Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Light and Samuel Adams Seasonal Beers. The company wants to satisfy the needs of the traditional beer consumers.
At the same time, it tries to respond to future market trends, through investments in the development in the promotion and sale of light beer. The latest life style tendencies come with a strong accent upon health. In an era where fast food has become an integrated part of almost everybody’s life, with obesity becoming an increasing problem, where stress is present on a daily basis, people have started to care about their health condition and their appearance more than before.
Light beers have fewer calories. This makes them attractive for people who do not want to gain weight, women included. Responding to possible future market changes means thinking and acting proactively, which is one of the strong points of the Boston Beer company.
As far as the positioning strategy is concerned, it must be underlined that the company has chosen to set itself as a manufacturer of products of top quality. This means that its target customers are willing to pay a higher price for the products that they receive. Nevertheless, the image of the brand has been maintained attractive and through various marketing strategies, the company has managed successfully to keep its products highly attractive.
Packaging is another important aspect that can be taken into consideration when analyzing the marketing endeavors of Boston Beer. The majority of the Boston Beers used to be sold in glass recipients. The company decided that it was time to start selling its products in kegs as well. This has proven to be an efficient decision, because the costs for this type of packaging are far smaller. The consequence of this aspect are represented by an increase of profits.
One of the factors which contributes to the creation of a competitive advantage for the Boston Beer company is represented by its strong focus upon innovation. Many of the products offered by the company are part of the Better Beer category. It is in this category that the company wishes to maintain its position of leading innovator. Its purpose from this point-of-view is to develop new products which will allow the people who are devoted to the Samuel Adams brand to enjoy new styles of malt beverages.
The introduction of Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock and Samuel Adams Hefeweizen represented an important step in the company’s strategy because the new products had new tastes (chocolate and fruity). Despite the attractive character of all the products who come under the label of “new” it is not always certain that the customers will receive the products with open arms, especially in an industry that deals with taste. Fortunately for the Boston Beer company, the new products were well received on the market.
It must be underlined that not only were the newly introduced items well received, but they benefited from great publicity from the media. In this way, the company managed to attract a lot of attention upon itself, increasing both brand awareness and popularity.
One of the key elements which the Boston Beer company uses in order to maintain its position in the industry is represented by the strategic choices regarding distribution. The company products are available in the United States, Canada, the Pacific Rim and also in the Caribbean. The members of the sales team have reached a number of one hundred and seventy five, one of the largest numbers in the industry. In a segment where the competition is harsh, the efficacy of the distribution become essential.
The company has made increased efforts to create and maintain good and long lasting relationships with its distributors. The truth is that, should some of the distributors decide to interrupt the collaboration with the company, its sales would be greatly affected. In addition, the distributors are the ones who can help increase the consumption of the products through various techniques such as the position on the shelves or the recommendations made to the customers.
Taking all these elements into consideration, it is safe to say that all the initiatives that Boston Beer has regarding its distribution channels contribute to its successful functioning and represent a wise marketing endeavor.
The techniques employed for the creation of efficient relationships with the distributors include an educational dimension.
The sales representatives typically carry hops, barley and other samples to educate wholesale and retail buyers about the quality and the taste of the Company’s beers.” Furthermore, the company offers its distributors extremely good prices through the use of a premium pricing strategies, becoming thus a highly attractive collaborator.
Another element used by the company in order to maintain its successful functioning and to gain market quota is represented by the promotion techniques. Boston Beer understood the importance of advertising and Public Relations for the success of a brand and has used them consequently. It is worth mentioning that the company has engaged in numerous media campaigns. The communication channels which have been and are used are represented by print, television, radio and billboards. The channel which was used the most is television.
It can be easily noticed that the company uses its resources in a manner which allows it to reach its clients and potential clients from a multitude of directions.
The company considers brand awareness to be highly important. It is this the reason for which it employees aggressive advertising to promote its products. However, the efforts of Boston Beer do not cease here. In constructing an attractive brand identity, the company gets involved in the life of the communities through the sponsorship of “cultural and community events, local beer festivals, industry-related trade shows, as well as promotional events at local establishments, to the extent permitted under local laws and regulations.” Therefore, the strategy that the company uses includes national promotion as well as techniques which allows it to work locally, creating a closer relationship with the customer. From this point-of-view, it is safe to say that the marketing decisions have been taken in a wise manner.
One of the most important resources in nowadays business environment is represented by the human resources. Boston Beer seems to be aware of this aspect and has good relationships with its employees. The employees are represented by three unions and it is with all of them that the company maintains good relationships. There have been no conflicts and the analyses made so far predict no future conflicts either between the company and its employees. In order to make sure that the employees do their job efficiently, the company uses various motivational techniques such as allowing employees who have been with the company for at least a year to buy class a shares at smaller costs. Thus, the profits of the company become a source of profit for its own employees.
As far as the brewing strategies that the company uses, it must be mentioned that they are two. On the one hand, Boston Beer relies upon brewery ownership. On the other hand, it makes use of contract brewing, using the excess capacity of other breweries. This provides the company with several advantages. First and foremost, it offers it flexibility. This allows it to respond better to the market changes as well as to avoid situations that might cause crisis situations. In addition, the mix of the two strategies mentioned above provides the company with cost advantages. It is highly important to mention the fact that the company chooses its collaborators on strict criteria which reflect the very beliefs that lay at the basis of the company’s functioning. These criteria refer to the technical capacities (of producing beer through traditional brewing methods) and to the “first rate quality control capabilities.” Taking into account the fact that Boston Beer sells a variety of products and not just one type of beer, it is safe to state that the flexibility of production provided by the contracts signed with various breweries represents an efficacious marketing choice.
The competition in the industry is harsh. In order to keep its position on the market Boston Beer uses various techniques. One of them is represented by the aggressive promotion. Another one refers to the construction of the brand identity, with a strong focus on the top quality of the provided products as well as on the active involvement in the life of the communities. A third strategy which the company appeals to is represented by the choice to use independent distributors who distribute the products of other competitors, and to stimulate them in a manner that will allow them to have better visibility among the clients and the potential clients.
The financial information needed in order to develop a marketing plan is extremely complex. Its complexity derives from the variety of elements that need to be taken in consideration when conceiving a marketing plan. First and foremost, one ought to know which is the financial amount available for investments in marketing strategies especially when they refer to the efficacious and efficient internal and external functioning of a company. The necessary financial information refers to the costs implied by the management Human Resources and their motivation, by the relations with the distributors and the contracts with other breweries, as well as by the costs implied by advertising and social involvement. In addition, the numbers reflecting the past evolution of the company, as well as the present position of its main competitors are also of great importance for the conception of an efficient marketing plan.
Samuel Adams, America’s world class beer, Annual Report, 2003, the Boston Beer Company, 16 June, 2007, http://ccbn.mobular.net/ccbn/7/570/619/
Samuel Adams, America’s world class beer, Annual Report, 2003, the Boston Beer Company, 16 June, 2007, http://ccbn.mobular.net/ccbn/7/570/619/,4
P6 Samuel Adams, America’s world class beer, Annual Report, 2003, the Boston Beer Company, 16 June, 2007, http://ccbn.mobular.net/ccbn/7/570/619/,5
Samuel Adams, America’s world class beer, Annual Report, 2003, the Boston Beer Company, 16 June, 2007, http://ccbn.mobular.net/ccbn/7/570/619/,4
Samuel Adams, America’s world class beer, Annual Report, 2003, the Boston Beer Company, 16 June, 2007, http://ccbn.mobular.net/ccbn/7/570/619/,1
Samuel Adams, America’s world class beer, Annual Report, 2003, the Boston Beer Company, 16 June, 2007, http://ccbn.mobular.net/ccbn/7/570/619/,7
Samuel Adams, America’s world class beer, Annual Report, 2003, the Boston Beer Company, 16 June, 2007, http://ccbn.mobular.net/ccbn/7/570/619/,8
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