B. SWOT Analysis: STRENGTHS: 1. The advantage of existing production line with nearly 30 years experience in producing high quality light lager. Amstel® is one of the two principal international brands of the world leading brewer Heineken. The company was the first importer to introduce light beer since 1980, leading American light beer revolution with delicious Amstel Light® which has only 3. 5% alcohol content and 95 calories – 35% fewer calories than regular lagers. Hence, the company has ample of experience and technique in producing and improving quality of light beer.
This above condition strongly enhances the company in providing a new product line that is specially designed for ladies, meets the requirements for a beautiful and trendy, low alcohol content and low calories lager. 2. The strong partnership between Heineken International and Asia Pacific Breweries Limited- the leading brewer in the Asia- Pacific region. Heineken International currently is one of the two main shareholders of Asia Pacific Breweries Limited (APB), who strategically located at the heart of a rising Asia, where beer consumption growth is twice the global rate.
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APB currently undertakes the brewing of the company’s international leading premium brand – Heineken, and distributing product in six key markets in the Asia Pacific: Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam and China. The Amstel Light for Ladies will be first introduced in the target market of Vietnam, then ambitiously expanding to Asia- Pacific region in the long term. Hence, APB will continuously be our strategic important partner, in producing and distribution Amstel Lights for Ladies under our supervision.
The APB’s extensive distribution network will robustly support the company in approaching the target markets and fast moving our brand. 3. Amstel Light for Ladies is positioned in the mid-priced mainstream segment, which is appropriate with the budget of most target customers in Vietnam. Amstel® is the company’s number-two flagship brand, which is positioned in the mid-priced mainstream segment, the largest segment of the market. The new product Amstel Light for Ladies will loyal with this positioning by setting the price at a suitable level.
This strength enables the company to providing the new lager that fitting with the medium level of average income of its target customers. WEAKNESSES: 1. This is the first time introducing Amstel® into Vietnam market, there will be some early difficulties such as building customers’ trust in the quality of brand and requirement for a strong financial resource to invest in marketing the new light lager aim at females. Amstel® was the traditional brewery in Amsterdam since 1870 and currently presences in over 90 countries all over the world.
Nevertheless, Amstel® is still a brand- new beer which strangely sounds in Asia Pacific region. Hence the Amstel Light for Ladies brand has the inherent disadvantages of a new product. Since it often takes time and effort to a new brand becomes familiar with customers, the company will have to face with the doubt or uncertainty of customer in the quality of newly introduced product. This is the first launching of a special low alcohol drink aim at a special market segment: outgoing, active and successful young women who have age above 21.
The company has to strongly invest in advertising and promoting activities to build an image of beautiful, trendy and tasty Amstel Light for Ladies in targeted customers’ mind, which then becomes an appealing lager brand name to women. It requires a large amount of financial and human resources in performing market researches, deciding first approaching methods and making appropriate advertise campaigns. By understanding this weakness, the company may proactively prepare financial plan and strong advertising and promotion campaigns at the early stage of introducing the light lager to Singapore market.
The targeted customers have as much as possible chances to try access and consider to our product. Accordingly, the uncertain feeling of customers will be fast fade away and customer gradually become familiar and even loyal to our brand name. 2. The salient “low alcohol content” and “fruit favor tasty” features of a light lager for ladies may appear unfavorable to a number of women who enjoy the original taste of regular alcohol drinks. With the purpose of providing a beer that appeal to ladies, Amstel Light for Ladies emphasis in the unique points of “low alcohol content”, “low calories” and “fruit favor tasty”.
However, this may be appear in the mind of some women that this kind of light beer can not satisfy their thirst for a delicious original taste of regular alcohol content drinks. Therefore, the company has to produce a wide range of choice to maximize the customization to different customers in the targeted segment. The product line is ranging from non-alcoholic beer with various juicy flavors to low alcohol content beer with pure original taste. OPPORTUNITIES: 1. The size of target market segment has increased significantly recently and will become even bigger in the future.
Thanks to the women liberation, women nowadays get higher education and play more and more important roles in society. The female employment worldwide, especially in Asia Pacific region not excluding Vietnam, becomes dramatically as large as the male and numerous of women did successfully in their careers. Therefore, many entertainment channels have not been the privilege of men anymore, including beer. Moreover, most of barriers to women in society have been totally cleared and women are encouraged to participate in most of social activities.
Enjoying a light lager has become a part of the everyday fun, friendship and socializing those young- adult females share together. This brings about an opportunity for Heineken International to expanding Amstel brand in order to grab a large number potential but inadequately attended customers. 2. Amstel Light for Ladies enjoys many advantages as the first light lager specially aims at young female adults in the targeted markets. The emerging need for a special alcohol beverage for women has not been satisfied yet.
Currently there is not any special ready- to- drink beer for women in Vietnam market in particular and Asia Pacific in general. Hence the innovation product almost does not have any directly competitor. The company can make the best of this opportunity to become the market leader, maximize the sales volume and generate huge profit. 3. The upcoming big events in Vietnam are a golden opportunity to launching Amstel Light for Ladies. Vietnam is going to celebrating the 1000- year- old city Thang Long- Hanoi capital in October 2010 and hosting Miss World 2010, those are very big socio-cultural series of events.
Such upcoming occasions those forecast a huge demand for celebrating alcohol drinks for the young female adults in the targeted markets. It also a chance for the company to be one the official sponsorships to broadcast and popularize our brand name and image. This is the best time to launch Amstel Light for Ladies to the target markets. THREATS: 1. The bad impacts over drinking on health and society of lead to critical view of alcohol drink. Current issues are that alcohol has harmful impacts to human’s health and may cause some misbehaviour if over dinking.
Hence, a beer for ladies also suffers from critical views of society. What action the company must take to prevent this threat is highlighting the unique features of Amstel Light for Ladies which is low alcohol content and even free alcoholic beer, meaning healthier for drinker. Also, the company has to promote “responsible drinking” message. This can be done by working with the authorities and trade partners on regular campaigns against drink- driving and binge drinking. 2. Threat of competition of close substitute products and new entrants due to low entry barriers.
Although there is almost no direct competitor, the company still has to face with competition with other types of low alcoholic beverages such as sparkling wine and some light beer not specialized for women such as Corona. Moreover, the low entry barriers enable some other brewers to compete in the target market. Therefore, Amstel Light for Ladies must be well positioned as a pioneer in the segment of young females. C. MATCHING STRENGTHS TO OPPORTUNITIES/ CONVERTING WEAKNESSES AND THREATS 1.
Matching strengths to opportunities The company can take many advantages from the opportunity of incredible increasing demand which resulting from the social trend of women’s drinking behaviour and upcoming big events in the targeted markets, by matching this with strengths of experience in producing light beer and extensive distribution network thanks to the firm partnership with Asia Pacific Breweries Limited. The company will have high economies of scale by product extension and producing at large size.
This also enables the company offer Amstel Light for Ladies at a lower price. Moreover, the strength of medium pricing firmly matches with the opportunity that Vietnam is currently emerging developing in world economic stage, which promises a potential market for our product. Although there is an apparent improvement of standard of living, the average income of the region is still at moderate level. Therefore a medium pricing is suitable in this target market. 2. Converting weaknesses and threats
The weakness of a low alcohol and juicy flavor beer may lead to a doubt in perception of some beer lovers can be converted to the product’s strength message “a healthier but pure original tasty light lager for ladies”. Alcohol in general or specifically beers for many years has been indispensable beverages in Vietnamese people’s interaction activities such as parties, celebration or special events in life. Consequently, the threat of critical views on bad impacts of alcohol drink will be eased by the opportunity of many coming important events when many people will cheer and celebrate together.
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