Mountain Man Case Study

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Mountain Man Brewing Company was established as a family concern in 1925 in West Virginia by Guntar Prangle. The company brewed single-product beer, Mountain Man Lager, which won “best beer in West Virginia” and was elected as “America’s Championship Lager”. Mountain Man Lager featured quality, bitter favor and slightly higher-than-average alcohol content that uniquely contributed to the company’s brand equity. Mountain Man was a local market leader and distributed its lager in several states outside West Virginia. By 2005 Mountain Man was generating over $50 million in revenue with over 520,000 barrels of Mountain Man Lager sold. However, Mountain Man had been facing serious challenges. Its revenue was encountering a 2% yearly decrease in…show more content…
As one participant in the recent focus group had spoken, “My dad drank Mountain Man just like my granddad did.” It would surprise no one that alienating the customer base would be disastrous for Mountain Man. Thus, Mountain Man should have to be careful of marketing its new products to keep the association with the Mountain Man Lager. Chris Prangel was convinced that the light beer market was the solution to sustain the company’s market share, but embarking on this opportunity would be at a risk without further market research. Clearly a light beer alternative would need to find a distinct message of its own. In marketing its light beer, Mountain Man needed to build a distinct identity for its light beer product and its light beer brand. To do so, Mountain Man needed to know who would be the target customers. First of all, the key factor to achieve success in the light beer market is to attract younger drinkers to buy its beverages in the light beer category. These younger drinkers have not established loyalty to any specific brand of beer. Beer is an acquired taste for most people. Once beer drinkers get used to the taste, they are going to have that taste cemented in their mind perpetually. Plus, consumers were considering more health concerns about alcohol consumption. Taken together, Mountain Man should produce a light beer with a special taste, which can draw younger drinkers’ interest, and with less
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