a) Why those two companies decided to merge?
Answer: It is a defensive move to protect themselves against an aggressively growing competitor (Company C).
b) Are there any specific costs our clients would like us to focus on and do they have any specific number in mind when it comes to reducing them?
Answer: Our clients are interested mainly in production costs, all other areas are of secondary importance. They would like to see them cut by as much as possible, they do not have any specific number in mind.
c) What should be the key goal of the new marketing strategy?
Answer: To increase market share and become the market leader in terms of it.
d) What's the market share of both players and competitors?
Answer: Company A - 20%, Company B - 10%, Company C - 40%.The rest of the market is divided among small regional breweries, none of them has more than 5% of the total market share.
e) What's the timeline?
Answer: Our clients are the most interested in hearing about strategies that could be implemented in around 2 quarters from now. Any strategies that take longer to implement are of secondary importance.
f) What's the budget?
Answer: We don't have an exact number, but we can assume it's sizable and shouldn't be considered a constraint.
g) Do our clients operate outside of their home country?
Answer: No, let's assume they do not.
h) How the overall market has been doing?
Answer: The market has been growing at a steady pace of 2% and is expected to continue that growth pace in the foreseeable future, however, there are important differences between the 3 segments of the market. Premium growth rate: 4%, High Quality: 1%, Traditional: -2%. The decline in Traditional is caused by demographics, many elderly customers prefer this beer and they tend to limit consumption as they age, additionally as the country continues to develop new customers opt for Premium beer.
This is a long case. It is expected to take around 45 minutes for a strong candidate to complete it. The key difficulty lies in the broad scope of this case, as the concepts required are not by themselves very advanced. It is hard to go through all relevant areas in this amount of time. Additionally, there are two distinctive objectives desired by the clients and less experienced candidates may have difficulty figuring out how to effectively go about solving such case.
The case strives to test the candidate's ability to:
This case is leaning more toward the interviewee-led side of the spectrum, however, it potentially could be used in interviewer-led style as well.
If you notice that the interviewee is unable to proceed fast enough you might want to provide certain insights instead of waiting for him/her to get to those points.
To be a good interviewer here you need to commit to memory all case details in order to be able to immediately answer to interviewee's questions.
This case can be broken down into two shorter cases. One dealing with cost-cutting and the other with marketing strategy development.