Brand Portfolio Management in the Norwegian Brewing Industry - An assessment of external and internal factors influencing the brand portfolio management of large established breweries in Norway.
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Brand portfolios of established Norwegian breweries have become increasingly paramountfor firms to manage successfully. Due to an extensive history of consolidations and acquisitions, a large amount of brands are currently present under firms corporate umbrellas, fighting each other for resources and market share. The study of this thesis is twofold and contributes to the salient topic of brand portfolio management in breweries. Firstly, we set out to elaborate on the factors affecting firms brand portfolio management and how brands in turn should be assessed to enhance firm performance and achieve a strongcompetitive position in the marketplace. Secondly, due to legal restrictions in the Norwegianbrewing industry, firms are not able to achieve market growth and increased financialperformance through advertising. Breweries are therefore dependent on strong positioningin the market to reach out to the customer base. The second feature of investigationis therefore how established firms within the Norwegian brewing industry should utilizeconsumer data to identify buying patterns and consumer demand in order to successfullymanage their brand portfolios. Quantitative and deductive research methods were applied to address the second researchquestion of this study. We developed and administered a survey resulting in a data sampleof 674 responses. The thesis attempts to empirically identify the consumer behavior anddemand of Norwegian beer consumers through analyses utilizing descriptive statistics,correlation and non-parametric methods. The findings were further applied to aid thebrand portfolio strategy of firms. The study finds four factors which should be evaluated when assessing the brand portfoliostrategy of breweries in the attempt to increase financial performance and growth; thebrands, market conditions, business objectives and consumer demand. These factors laythe foundation for a brand restructuring process where brands are deleted, retained,expanded or created depending on explicit criteria presented in the thesis. The resultsof the empirical analyses of Norwegian beer consumers also reveal multiple measures forbrand portfolio management in terms of geographical presence, product differentiationand product positioning in distribution channels. The study provides significant implications at the firm level for managers of Norwegianbreweries and contributes to a greater knowledge of internal and external factors affectingthe performance of brand portfolios in a highly regulated industry. Finally, theresearch illuminates the significance of firm-specific data to successfully adapt the framework presented in this thesis to the respective breweries in the industry and suggestsdirections for future research of brand portfolio management in the Norwegian brewingindustry