Thursday, March 26, 2015

Examining The Beer Industry Through Philip Van Munching's 'Beer Blast': The Risks Of Growth

There is a running theme in my articles about Beer Blast, Philip Van Munching’s history of the beer industry in the late 20th Century. That theme is that change is often bad for companies.

In my first article about the book, I described how companies’ introduction of new products often only damaged their brands. In my second, I showed how trying to change a beer brand’s qualities to save money or to make it more modern also damaged their brands. In both of these articles, change was bad for beer companies even when it was desired.

Growth is probably the type of change that companies desire most. Growth, after all, is what drives stock prices up. When a company is growing, it can hire new employees and promote old ones. And, of course, leading a growing company brings benefits for management. Managers, like most people, enjoy seeing their areas of responsibility expand. Such expansion comes with bigger salaries and higher status in their industries. No wonder corporate executives are always trying to grow their companies.

However, Beer Blast shows that even growth, the most desirable form of change, can be more problematic than anyone can imagine. (Read More)

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