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Kirin USA, Inc.: Ichiban Shibori BADM 7100 – Marketing Dr. Jianan Wu April 8, 2011 Kirin Brewery Limited founded over 100 years ago in Yokohama, Japan is the largest beer in Japan today. It is also the fourth largest beer firm in the world; however, almost half of its’ market share in 1990 was in Japan. Competitor Asahi entered the market with a super dry beer in 1987 unsettling the field. This new concept of a sharper, less sweet beer with a higher alcohol content appealed to heavy beer drinkers and was very successful in the Japanese market. Asahi overcame Sapporo rising to the title of number three brewer in Japan. Kirin’s answer to Asahi’s super dry beer was a new full bodied beer with no aftertaste called Ichiban…show more content…
Kirin was unable to compete with their advertising campaigns. Heineken’s advertising campaign alone cost almost half of Kirin USA’s net income. Several demographics became evident regarding import drinkers. These consumers on average were identified as earning more than $50,000 per year, attended or graduated from college, were employed full time as managers or professionals, and were under 45 years of age. Significance of the “baby boomers” and their large family sizes after World War II enhanced educational opportunities and increased disposable income. Furthermore, television communication gave them all considerable purchasing power. Beer purchasing behavior is thought to be motivated by a number of factors such as socialization, taste, food complement, or recreation. However, industry analysts believe that brand image and price are more significant. Some consumers thought that taste was most important, but perception of taste is what is really significant since taste is among the least discriminatory of the physical senses. Therefore, physical characteristics are thought to be less important than brand imagery. Small imports could not afford a large marketing campaign so they relied mainly on chanced upon fads or rumor for market presence in the U.S. Some preferred to remain in the elite niche market and keep a low profile. Most

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