1606 words 7 pages
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
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Kirin USA decided that the best way to achieve their growth goals without risk of losing their current customer base was to launch a new beer in the U.S. This had to be accomplished without cannibalizing Kirin’s other existing products. Their goal was to determine which import beer segments would be most applicable in the U.S. market, specifically related to image. They also wanted data on customer demographics, lifestyles, needs, media usage habits, and attitudes. Kirin USA used a consulting firm to conduct a market survey. Kirin began with a series of focus groups to determine the major attributes of import beer drinkers in the U.S. This data was used to develop a comprehensive questionnaire. The questionnaire was delivered in two phases which collected the majority of segmentation analysis data and evaluated product feature tradeoffs within segments. A random sample of roughly 400 drinkers was surveyed by telephone and the study showed that Kirin lacked brand awareness which was expected. Criteria that some customers might use to choose an import beer were compiled into twenty-one attributes from the focus group which are displayed below:


A 0-9 scale was also used to rate the importance of each attribute and to determine which market segments to use in cluster analysis. Descriptor variables were used to classify consumers within each segment. Selected variables are


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