961 Beer: Launching a Lebanese Brewing Company
(8 pages of text)
961 Beer was founded in 2006 under political and economic adverse conditions in Lebanon. One of the first craft beer companies in the Middle East, it has developed from a home brewer into a hip Lebanese brand. To attract its target set of customers — highly educated, middle-class city-dwellers — the company has opened a pub in a popular entertainment area of Beirut where it offers free samples of its beers and encourages customers to taste and ask questions about the brewery process. It also addresses the needs of consumers with a strong interest in locally produced goods and caters to the local palate. However, the company faces competition from a long-entrenched brewery that has been bought by a major international beer conglomerate. Now, in February 2009, 961 Beer is selling beyond its capacity limits. The founder is confident about the business but has to decide on a strategy for the future. Should he consolidate or should he grow? What kind of strategy will allow the company to expand and to increase its customer base without compromising on quality and the values that make 961 Beer what it is?
This is an appropriate case to be used in entrepreneurship, managerial strategy and business courses. It provides a practical example for students
- To understand how small companies can enter a monopolized market under adverse political and economic conditions.
- To study market entry, competitive strategies, product differentiation and the importance of a branding strategy.
- To use five forces, SWOT and PEST analyses to examine the unique challenges of starting and building a company and addressing business and market development.
Lebanon, Small, 2009
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