Boston Beer Company: Case Analysis Of The Boston Beer Company

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Problem Definition

Boston Beer Company (BBC) has enjoyed much success with their craft beers with Samuel Adams as their main focus. Being the leader of this segment, overtopping five of their competitors combined (Exhibit 1), the company now must decide how to take advantage of the light beer market. Boston Lightship, their current light beer, had been a small contributor in BBC’s product line. Currently, it is facing dwindling sales with product volumes down from 12 000 cases per month to 3000 cases per month.

Conclusively, BBC needs to make a decision on whether they should continue with their current light beer, Lightship or introduce a new brew. If they continue with Lightship, would more marketing be needed or a reposition in consumer
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Introduce new beer and eliminate Lightship
By eliminating Lightship and introducing a new beer, it will signal to consumers that a real change has occurred with BBC’s product offering. It will show consumers that the new beer is a “fresh and improved” version that is the best in the light beer market. Additionally, it will be able to escape any of the negative connotations Lightship had while on the market. However, this alternative includes high risks, as BBC will be introducing a new product onto the market.

3. Introduce new beer and leave Lightship on the market
This alternative allows BBC to not put all their eggs into one basket as they can explore both options. However, this will mean more financial strain on the company as they need to sustain one product while launching another. As Lightship was not successful in the marketplace, leaving it on the market poses an area of high potential losses. Additionally, by introducing a new beer and leaving Lightship on the market will send contradicting messages to consumers: Lightship is the number one beer on the market… but so is our new beer. This would immediately drive consumers to competitors.

Critical Issues

1. Beer labels: Boston Lightship did not have Samuel Adams

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