Monthly Archives: May 2012

Who is the King of Beers Today?


Budweiser might retain the slogan of “King of Beers” but the Bud brand is slipping in the every changing marketplace. In the age when people are looking for something fresh and new (not referring to the ad campaign of born-on-date) Bud is on the decline.

So who is gaining the most market share year to year in the United States? Would it be an upstart brand that is a flash in the pan success? No, how about the oldest brewing company in the U.S.: Yuengling Traditional Lager, made in the U.S. since 1829.

Yuengling (YING-ling) has increased sales revenue by more than 36% over last year. It is one of the cheaper priced beers in the marketplace; however, the brand loyalty comes from word of mouth about the taste of the beer.

Word of mouth marketing indicates Yuengling has found the right combination of taste and price to be considered the best buy in the American beer market.

Annually they are shipping close to 9.5 million cases a year for a sales volume of over $206 million. In fact, Yuengling is the largest American-owned brewer. (Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors are both foreign-owned.

Congratulations to Yuengling for finding the Agile Advantage. How are they doing this? By growing steadily with smart brewery purchases, working with employees instead of against employees (to the point employees were convinced they no longer needed union representation to be heard by executives,) and by expanding their brand in a calculated effort to be recognized for what they do best — make a good tasting quality product.

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Yum Brands Takes an Agile Advantage Leap

Yum Brands, Inc. (YUM), the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut is selling hundreds of its restaurants back to franchisees in order to be more nimble for market development overseas.

With each of their restaurant chains, they are reducing the number of stores they own to facilitate their new strategy of increasing equity stakes in emerging markets such as China, which offer greater returns.

Are they sending out a statement they are abandoning the U.S. market? Not at all, they say they are purely more interested in having the locations operated by those who are the best at it: their most successful franchisees, who will no doubt jump at this opportunity.

The Agile Advantage to Yum Brands is in how they are shifting their equity stake, giving them greater opportunity to establish a presence in the fast growing markets globally. In the last year, their U.S. operations have shown a slight loss of sales, indicating this is not their greatest growth market.

Agile companies are quick to recognize how to find the fertile ground for growth and restructure in order to be a leader in the new markets. Obviously, this is a significant change many organizations would be fearful to make, and this is why this bold step will give Yum Brands an Agile Advantage.

  • What shifts should your business be making in order to facilitate better growth?
  • Where is the fear of change holding your organization back from taking agile steps to gain market share?
  • Where does your organization need to re-focus resources in order to capitalize on forthcoming opportunities?

The Agile Advantage comes with an accurate vision, the comfort in taking necessary risks, and a willingness to make change swiftly. Some may think a company based in Louisville, KY is foolish to redirect efforts half-way around the world. As long as executives of their competitors are thinking this way, Yum can continue to enjoy their Agile Advantage in the new economy.





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