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Brewery industry in Europe - Roay Unibrew Analysis

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This paper consists of seven chapters:

  • Chapter 1 explains the aim of the given topic, describes the brewery industry in Europe, and focuses the development of the brewery industry and polish economy after the fall of a communism in 1989
  • In chapter 2 I decided to present a theoretical background of the strategy and macro-environment theory
  • Chapter 3 focuses the research methodology and approach that was taken in order to analyse it
  • Chapter 4 describes the market analysis, and shortly considers the competition
  • Chapter 5 is about the internal analysis of Royal Unibrew Poland. It presents strategy of the company, its mission and vision of the development. Marketing mix was taken into consideration as well.
  • Chapter 6 was devoted to the analysis of the gathered data
  • And in chapter 7 there are presented conclusions and recommendations for the future

Topic and purpose of thesis

Strategy is an incremental part of every company, and its success depends mainly on the way it is developed and implemented. Expansion to the foreign markets requires long-term planning and thus good preparation. These factors influence the company's current and future position on the chosen market. The aim of my thesis is to prove that well-developed strategy is the main key to success in expansion to the foreign markets, and it will be based on the case of the polish branch of the Dutch brewery company, Royal Unibrew.

Royal Unibrew entered the polish market in 1995, and since this year it has become one of the leading beer producers in Poland. This country has become an opportunity for the foreign investors after the fall of the communism in 1989. Royal Unibrew decided to wait a few years until the polish economy stabilizes, then entered the brewery market and invested in its significant brands. Its further successes were supported by the well-derived strategy, acquaintance with the polish culture, potential customers needs, and rules of the new market. Strategies vary along with the cultures and Case of Royal Unibrew investing in Poland is a great example of the successful foreign investment, which required a clear vision of the company's long-term future, supported by a lot of effort, budget, and experience of the management. Strategy plays here a very important role, and therefore it is considered in the topic of this thesis.

Strategy is a part of the vision. is a part of the strategy. Therefore implementation of the strategy Why is the strategy so important for the company?

Why is the strategy so important? There is no victory without a good plan of campaign. Strategy is a long-term plan, connected with the current and future position in the environment, and consistent action plan, which helps achieve the goal that has been set earlier. It differentiates one company from another, and separates winners and losers. However, the company cannot focus too much or too less on its vision, because the result may be tragic, for example it influences board problems in personnel, quality, or poor productivity. If we ask any manager about vision of the strategy, he or she is going to give a broad range of different solutions, in order to make person understand difference between corporate strategy and operational planning. Companies Strategy as a determinant of business success in the expansion to the foreign markets :

The brewery industry market in Europe and CEE

Main players on the market

Brewery industry is one the most developing branches in the world. Constantly increasing beer consumption, changing habits of the consumers often looking for the low percentage beers and the developing technology have a strong influence on the further development of the beer industry.

European market is rich in different brewery brands, and it is the region, where beer is mostly consumed in the world (http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/163751154.html ). However, their position on the market depends on the sales, and therefore some of them stick only to the domestic market and become local leaders ( for example Föroya Bjór, the only producer of beer and soft drinks in the Faroe Islands, close to Denmark ). Thus, basing on the data from the year 2007, there are ten main players on this market in Europe: Heineken, Interbrew/Ambev, Carlsberg, S& N, SABMiller, Radeberger Gruppe, Coors, Anadolou Group, Mahou S.A. and Bitburger. These brewery groups compete very aggressively with each other and promote themselves on each possible occasion ( f. ex. Oktoberfest in Germany - Heineken, or World Cups - Carlsberg ). They have an advantage over the rest of the brewery companies, because they possibly often use all marketing tools channels, in order to attract people's attention: TV commercials, internet pop-ups, radio commercials, billboards, posters on bus or train stations. Their strategies are professionally reconsidered and promotion campaigns easily remembered.

The meaning of the brewery industry for the economy

Economy is strongly influenced by the brewery industry. Brewery market sales in Poland in 2008 made almost 35,6 million hectolitres, what - in financial term - gave almost 45 billions PLN. This amount was equal to the governments spending for defence which was provided in 2009. There was a double increase between 1993 and 2002 in the beer production, and in 2006 - by 7%, where the average Pole has drank about 87 litres. If we compare this achievement to year 1996, we can observe a big difference - there were consumed only 29 litres of beer. Polish beer amateurs have caught Europeans, and drink nowadays almost 95-100 litres per year. When it comes to the beer consumption, Poland holds the fifth position in Europe.

Brewery industry is one of the main revenues sources for the Treasury. According to the data from year 2007 provided by the Brewing Industry Employers Association of Polish Breweries, it has conducted almost 1,48 billion zloty ( PLN ) for duty. Comparing to the analogue year 2006, there was a 3% increase observed. Moreover, CEOs of the leading breweries were satisfied about the sales. Kompania Piwowarska has sold 18% of the beer more than in 2006 ( 2,2 millions hectolitres have been consumed), and Royal Unibrew Poland boasted with the 5% increase in sales, and 13% in revenues.

Target group description

Target group of the beer companies varies, because there are different brands of beer with the different tastes. Brewery companies usually focus mature people, men and women, at the age of 18 + ( in some countries 16 + ), and with different needs. Some of them want to relax in silence with a bottle of a good beer at home, some need more excitement with a group of friends at the disco or pub ( they are as well very active, full of energy and optimism ). In order to describe the target group correctly, company has to consider more factors, such as: education, occupation, income, place of living, style of living, way of spending free time, needs of the customer.

There is a high potential in the brewery market. Companies focus different target groups. For example Cooler is a great tasty lemon or apple refreshing beverage of the Royal Unibrew company. This product has been designed specially for women looking forward to refreshment during a hot days and nights. According to the data provided by the Royal Unibrew Poland, tasty beers become very popular among women, because there is not such a strong bitterness as it appears in the traditional beers, have a very delicate flavour, and low percentage of alcohol. ( wlasne badania - my own contribution to the market research )

Another good example is Tyskie beer, beverage well known in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, and Lithuania. (http://www.noltychy.pl/news,1355,beerfest-najwiekszy-festiwal-piwa-w-polsce-chorzow-28-30-08-2009r.html ). Its target group are traditional beer fans - mainly working men, with the families, whose priority is their family. Work and other values are subordinated to it. They are loyal customers. As it is said, beer is just for their enjoyment, a form of relaxation, and kind of reward. They do not want to escape from the reality, like many other beer consumers. (http://www.ddb.pl/index.php?dzial=strona&sID=350 )

General view of the polish economy

After the transformation in 1989

Basic problem Poland had to deal with after the fall of the communism were its internal economic problems. Any kind of investment was impossible because the former system contributed huge foreign debt, and 500% hyperinflation ( until 1990 ). Prof. Grzegorz Kolodko mentions, that " because of the increasing financial, economic, social, and political imbalance former socialist economies had lost their tempo, and then ability capacity to grow ". Moreover, he explains this situation as follows: " Huge deficiencies, caused by the inflation pressure, which source lays in the structure and wrong macro-economic management, intensified micro-economic inefficiency and prevented fulfilment of the social needs". The first non-communist government, led by Tadeusz Mazowiecki , decided to implement a so called Balcerowicz's plan ( first minister of finance after 1989 ). The idea of this plan was to liberalise internal prices, increase import, tighten the financial policy and wages control towards enterprises, implement the interest rates which are higher than inflation, stabilize the dollar and implement possibility of its exchange. Polish economy was stabilized and was opened to the world. Banking system and monetary and credit policy have been reformed. New government created capital market, labour market, and implemented privatisation law in 1990.

Transformation of the ownership, independence of the companies, and stimulation of the internal competition were very important in the reformation systems. Policy of the state assets privatization, free-market principles implementation, and decrease of the budget deficit were very fruitful:

  • Inflation decreased to 43%, and during the next years it was just a one-number value
  • Government was so successful, that the creditors decided to lower debt up to 50%, and foreign companies were eager to invest in Poland
  • Year 1991 - Warsaw Stock Exchange has been launched. Gross Domestic Product was increasing year by year - 4% in 1993, and 7% in 1995. Polish Zloty has been denominated, and dollar stabilized the success of the polish reforms

Poland is nowadays a country with the stabilized political system and still developing economy. What's more, it is an active member of the World Trade Organisation ( WTO ), Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development ( OECD ), and Central European Free-Trade Agreement ( CEFTA ).

Transformation processes had a strong influence on the re-valuation of all of the economic areas. Free-market rules, which are based on the dominating and still growing private entrepreneurship position, have been effectively implemented after 1989. Private sector was the main engine of the economic growth. What's interesting, private sector has led to 75% of increase in the Gross Domestic Product, and employed 70% of the professionally active polish society.

Development of the polish economy throughout the years 1995-2005

After the transformation in 1989, polish economy observed a strong economic growth throughout the years 1995-2005, and recession in 2001-2003 in the meantime.

Next years are characterised by the constantly changing growth rate with an emphasis on the expected relatively high rate of growth in the subsequent years.

Poland is a country with the big economic dynamics. In concentrates mainly the Gross Domestic Product generation in some Poland's areas. Years 1995-2005 belonged to Wielkopolskie, Slaskie, Dolnoslaskie, Mazowieckie, and Malopolskie Voivodeships ( provinces ).

Since 1996 it has been a member of the OECD, which unites the richest countries in the world. Economic growth in this year was very slow, however still high. GDP increased by 6,6%, and was one of the highest in Europe.

Situation of the polish economy today

Polish economy has developed very much after the transformation in 1989, and has become one of the biggest economies in the world ( 6th economy in the European Union, and 21st economy in the world ). According to the OECD IX report from 2006, polish economy is in a good condition, since it joined European Union in May, 2004. Social-economic policy has been positively assessed by OECD, and the country has potential to grow and quickly develop. But the main problem Poland has to get through is high rate of unemployment, GDP is below 45% of the EU average, university education doesn't prepare young people for their potential jobs, too high social transfers, and entrepreneurs still have to face the administrative barriers. OECD report mentions areas which have to be changed in order to make polish economy grow faster. First of all these barriers, such as in the supervision or administrative area have to be lifted for the entrepreneurs, simplifying the taxation system, reducing the parafiscal burden and elimination of the corruption. Next thing to consider is improvement of the economic flexibility, and reducing the start-up costs.

However, the latest data, presented by Eurel Hermes analysts, shows that the global crisis from 2009 had a strong impact on the global, and polish as well, economy. External financing gap has deepened, and thus government decided to cover it by liquidating the foreign exchange reserves, which melted by 28% from 2008 until the first quarter of 2009. Polish economic structure corresponds to the economic structure of the well developed countries. 64% of the Gross Domestic Product is generated by the services, 32% by the industry, and 4% - by the agriculture. Ratio of exports to GDP is 40%, and thus polish economy is not open enough as the foreign economies of the region. What's more, it has not been influenced negatively by the global recession, which spread over the trade links.

Polish economy has been one of the well developing and healthiest in the emerging Europe for the first half a year of 2009. However, as a country which is dependent on the rest of the world it had felt results of the global financial crisis, especially in the . Value of the Polish Zloty has decreased in relation to the major world currencies.

However, according to the statistics, GDP has increased in 2009 by 1,7%. What's more, Central Statistical Office informs, that the industry labour productivity has increased by 2,4%, with the 5,5% smaller employment growth and increase of the average monthly gross payment by 4,9%.

Development of the brewery industry

Brewery industry revolution started in the 19th century, when the craftsmen decided to change their profession for the well developing business. Thanks to the improvements in the technological development, focusing mainly the methods of bottom-fermentation development of the beer, which required cooling fermenters. Owners of the smaller businesses decided to give up, and gave place to the technologically stronger plants. These were the times, when Okocim brewery from Brzesk began to take its first steps in this business. Most important for the brewery industry were its first ten years of the 20th century. Polish market was seized by almost 500 breweries. Formulas of the beers have been enhanced, and thus new tastes were implemented. Development of the brewery industry had a significant impact on the beers consumption - every beer lover drank almost 35 litres of this beverage.

Progress of the beer industry development was stopped by the First World War. It bloomed at the end of the gap between First and Second World War, and gained the similar results that it had in year 1915. During the World War II there were thirty six breweries on the lands that belonged to the General Government ( administrative-territorial entity, created under the decree of Adolf Hitler in year 1939 ).

After the war first government, the communist party, decided to take over all of the breweries. There were new enterprises coming into existence, like for instance "Kasztelan " brewery from Sierpc ( small polish town ), but the political situation of the country was very adverse for this industry. However the state enterprises were doing their best to follow the western standards with the different degrees of success. After the transformation in 1989 polish breweries had to adapt to the new market economy, and therefore were able to show their real potential.

Beer has a very long historical background, and it still finds new amateurs all over the world. Technological development, production improvements, and increasing demand for this beverage make its sales increase every year. Moreover, thanks to the innovation in the polish brewery industry and its potential, foreign investors feel more encouraged than before 1989.

Global brewery industry

Global brewery industry is a business which consists of a few dominating multinational companies and hundreds of other smaller beer producers, such as " home made " or regional breweries. According to the statistics, there are almost 134 billion litres of beer sold per year, what enriched the global treasury by $294,5 billion in 2006. Such a high revenues global brewery industry owes to the Asian, Eastern European, and African beer fans (http://wyborcza.pl/1,75248,1882229.html). Consumption of the beer increases every year. Canadean firm's report shows, that in year 2002 there was almost 1,4 billions hectolitres drank all over the world. This number was said by analysts to increase by 7% in 2005. According to the statistics, predictions have come true and it reached 1,5 billions of hectolitres.

This table shows, that Czech Republic is the leader in the beer consumption. Each beer fan from this country drinks yearly almost 157 litres of this golden drink . Republic of Ireland takes the second place with 131,1 litres drank, and Germany third place with 115,8 litres. Poland is said to be one of the most drinking countries in the world. According to these data, its position is not that high, because it takes 18th place with 69,1 litres per each beer drinking Pole annually.

Modern brewery market wide opened for the other types of beer selling. Microbrewery is responsible for producing a limited amount of beer, which depends on the region and on the authority. It has permission for making 18,000 hectolitres per year, in order to adjust the production to the predetermined standards required for the regional breweries.

Nowadays, the global brewery market leader is Belgian Anheuser-Busch InBev with 25% of the market share. It was taking the third position after SABMiller, the first leader, and InBev which holded the second place. In 1987 its first equivalent, Anheuser-Busch decided to merge with InBev, and this operation has led it to the top in the brewery industry. Its fourteen brands, out of 300, generate almost $ 1 billion annually in revenue (http://www.ab-inbev.com/ )

Overview of the brewery industry in Poland after 1989

Transformation in 1989 has led to intensive changes in the polish brewery industry. They are connected with the increase in the beer consumption, and production concentration in the newest great breweries. Looking back at the changes that were implemented in the polish economy after 1989, and comparing them to what the former government has achieved between years 1945-1989, we can observe a positive influence of the new political system and thus potential and opportunities to increase growth in every area. Brewery industry in Poland had experienced a violent sales growth between 1994-2000, and then the consumers slowed down their beer consumption. But this situation did not have any negative impact on its further development. On the contrary brewery market is still developing and growing, and high operation profits have been observed in this branch.

There are four main and few local brewery companies operating on the polish market ( and their market shares in %; data for year 2009):

  • Kompania Piwowarska ( Brewing Company; brands: Tyskie, Lech, Zubr ) - 45%
  • Zywiec Group ( brands: Zywiec, Warka, Tatra ) - 35%
  • Carlsberg Poland ( Carlsberg, Okocim, Harnas ) - 13%
  • Royal Unibrew Poland ( Lomza, Strzelec ) - 4%
  • Other 50 breweries; with "below than 10% of the market shares, are "Belgia" from Kielce, "Perla" from Browary Lubelskie, and "Brok" from Koszalin." ( there are 50 small breweries in Poland ) (http://www.ejpau.media.pl/volume7/issue2/economics/art-10.html)

Comparing the situation on the market from the last year to year 2008, we can observe a diametrical changes that occurred in the meantime. There were three main players on this market two years ago: Kompania Piwowarska ( 41% ), Zywiec Group ( 34%) , and Carlsberg Poland ( 12%). Royal Unibrew joined them in 2009. As we see, market shares of each of them have increased at least by 1% ( Carslberg Poland and Zywiec Group ), and by 4% ( Kompania Piwowarska ) after one year.

Situation on the brewery industry today

There are two fields which characterise the todays brewing industry:

  • Global aspect, where most of the large breweries groups decide to merge
  • Regional aspect

In this case small and medium-sized brewery companies start to actively operate on their market and therefore develop a wide range of products which have their roots in the territory they come from

Nowadays the global brewery market offers its consumers almost 1,5 billions of hectolitres. In year 2003 the leader and the best beer producers market on the global brewery market and was Anhauser Busch, with the almost 130 millions of beer hectolitres sold all over the world. SABMiller took the second place with 125 millions of hectolitres sold, and third place belonged to Heineken with 99 millions of hectolitres sold.

In 2010 two breweries decided to merge: Belgian InterBrev and Brasilian Ambev. According to the analysts predictions, effect of this merge will lead to the annual sale of 190 millions hectolitres in the future.

Introduction to the Royal Unibrew Poland

History of the company

Royal Unibrew was the local leader in the brewery market, but during its 150 year old existence it has become"the second largest brewery group in Denmark". It has been operating on the European brewery market since 1856, however the name of the company is of recent date. Two companies, "Faxe Bryggeri A/S and Jyske Bryggerier A/S (Ceres Bryggerierne and Thor Bryggerierne)", operating on the Dutch market in the 80s wanted to grow stronger and thus become leaders in the brewery industry in Denmark. They decided to merge in 1989, and changed the name for Bryggerierne Faxe Jyske A/S, but the final decision was Bryggerigruppen A/S in 1992. The company is listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange since 1998, and one forth of its shareholders ( 14,000 of all ) are foreigners.

Now, Faxe, Ceres and Thos complemented each other perfectly:

  • "Faxe was strong in the retail trade and on soft drinks and lager beer with nation-wide status. On the export side, Faxe was traditionally strong in the German, UK and Swedish markets"
  • "Ceres and Thor manifested themselves with strong beer and special products in Jutland and in restaurants and bars. Ceres' strongest export strongholds were Italy and the Caribbean."

In the beginning of its foreign expansion Royal Unibrew focused Italy, Germany, and the Carribean as its first export markets. Strong brands of Ceres have made it a leader among the imported brands in the Italian market. Its product "Der Grosse Dane" has won the hearts of the German society.

There are three markets Royal Unibrew takes into consideration:

  • The Western Europe Market - consisted of the beer and juice markets in Denmark, Italy, Germany, and Cross-Border Trade
  • The Eastern Europe Market - consisted of the beer, juice and soft drinks markets in Lithuania, Latvia and Poland
  • Malt and Overseas Markets - international markets for malt drinks, beer and soft drinks exports to markets where there are no company's representatives

Royal Unibrew decided to invest in Poland in the early 90s, and then started exporting Faxe beer from Denmark to Poland. It expanded the business in Poland in 1994, created a trade-distribution company and named it Faxe Poland LLC. Next step it made was purchasing its first breweries in Jedrzejów and Koszalin in Poland in 2005.

Royal Unibrew is the second alcohol producer in the Baltic states, and the largest Scandinavian alcohol exporter. There are four breweries on Denmark, three in Poland ( Strzelec in Jedrzejów, Strzelec/Brok, Lomza Brewery, Sagittarius/Brok, and half of the shares in Perle ) and one non-alcohol plant in Latvia.

Company's position on the market

Royal Unibrew Poland is the fourth biggest brewery company on the polish market ( after Kompania Piwowarska, Carlsberg Poland, Grupa Zywiec S.A. ) with the 3% of market shares.. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-gb%3AIE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7ADSA_en&q=rynek+piwowarski+w+POlsce&aq=f&aqi=&oq= Royal Unibrew has been operating on the global market for 150 years already, and it focuses mainly the regional brands. There are thirteen breweries and one plant for the non-alcoholic drinks production. Polish branch of Royal Unibrew implements the strategy that involves the development of the strong regional brands. Company has been searching for many years for brands which are heavily related with their regions and liked by their consumers. Therefore the main Royal Unibrew Poland's regional brands are Lomza, Brok, and Strzelec.

Company invested in year 2009 in the development of Lomza brand. Lomza has joined the Royal Unibrew's strategic brands portfolio, as one of its strongest brands in the polish market. With almost 40 years old tradition, it has the biggest potential among Royal Unibrew's brands. Lomza has many loyal consumers, and it is very popular in the north-east part of Poland.

Thanks to Lomza brand Royal Unibrew Poland has a gained a strong position in the north-east region, Baltic Coast in the area of Central POmerania, and in the south: Malopolska and in Silesia, close to Rybnik town. Company has observed the Lomza brand's increasing presence in the Warsaw area, and in the commercial networks in whole Poland.


The Research Background

The aim of my research was to find out how the strategy makes company successful during its expansion to the foreign market. Royal Unibrew is a Dutch global company, and I decided to focus its polish branch. The reason for this approach is that the management board from Warsaw and people living and working in this city are more accessible for me in order to get an appropriate data for my research. I had a possibility to have a closer look on the different types of data that I was provided with, and thus describe them in my MA thesis, and answer the stated primary and secondary questions:

    • Primary

How does the strategy influence the Royal Unibrew international success?

  • Secondary
    • What motivated Dutch to invest in brewery business in Poland?
    • What were the main entry barriers, that Royal Unibrew had to deal with?
    • How has the strategy influenced the current position on the market?

Deductive approach has been undertaken in this research.

Qualitative Research Method Approach ( bardziej zglebie temat niz zwykle suche dane, subiektywne poglady ludzi )

This approach has helped me in gaining detailed data about situation of the Royal Unibrews alcohol products on the polish market, and deepen it by considering different different approach methods. Face-to-face interview with Mrs Beata Pawlowska ( CEO of the Royal Unibrew Poland ) and survey among beer consumers of a different age and gender were required to make this analysis better understood. They were asked about the motivations behind choosing the given beer brand. Customers choice is driven by the prepared strategy, which is implemented by the company and thus the good advertisement. I took a closer look at the information covered in the magazines and newspapers articles about the brewery market in Poland, subjective opinions of people, and internet different latest data sources were taken into consideration as well. They will help me support the data I gather for my thesis research.

Poland is an attractive country for different types of investments. Dutch branch of Royal Unibrew found an opportunity for extra revenues after fall of communism in Poland in 1989 and thus open up for the developed western side. It had to adapt to the brand new culture and

A larger group of respondents was helpful and thus I could have a more clear view on the beer demand from the practical side. However, with the respect to the scheduled time of Mrs Beata Pawlowska and beer consumers, in accordance with Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill ( 2000 ) all ethical issues had to be considered during the interview.

When it comes to the consumers opinions, they were relatively similar. They appreciate Lomza beer, because it tastes more bitter than Zywiec, Warka, or Zubr. They said that the more bitter is the chosen beer, the more masculine is the person that drinks it. I asked also a seller working in the local area shop ( " Jago " in Warsaw, Bielany district ) about the beer which is more appreciated by the customers. According to their opinions price of the product is very attractive ( Lomza - 3 zl, Zywiec - 3,50 zl, Warka - 3,70 zl ), and thus they are more eager to buy it. Lower price actually does not result in the clients suspicion towards the beer, because they don't really care about its quality.

Zywiec and Warka are considered often by both genders in the age between 20 and 45, however there appeared a strong increase in the Lomza's sales. This is confirmed by Mrs Beata Pawlowska: " Within ten months in year 2009 we have increased our sales by 4%, and I can say that we have closed the previous year with the 5% increase" (http://www.poranny.pl/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100121/REGION99/794675231). Lomza beer is sold in 500 ml bottles, and interviewed people mentioned that thanks to its shape it is easy to handle and therefore they enjoy it more while drinking. They put an emphasis on the beers association with the summer, when it easily quenches thirst. Taste of bitter beverage makes them feel relaxed.

This means, that the value of the Royal Unibrew Polands products gained importance in the consumers eyes. Moreover, distribution and sales increase of the Lomza beer has been supported by the marketing actions and TV campaigns in the whole Poland. Frequent promotions and low prices catch customer's attention, and So the results are positive for the company.

Data Collection

I collected the data by interviewing CEO of the Royal Unibrew Poland, accidental people, the local shop seller, and searching through the internet database. Sample group was chosen for this approach, and both genders were asked different questions that were strongly connected with the company's strategy.

I focused a non-standardised unstructured interviews, where the data needed for the research could be analysed in-depth. I followed Sauners, Lewis and Thornhill ( 2000 ) where they inform that the sample group should have an opportunity to talk freely about the area of the chosen research. Non-directive approach was taken in this case.

This method is good for the area of my research because it helps me gain all appropriate data that I need in order to start prove that the strategy implemented by Royal Unibrew while expanding to polish market was successful.

Structured and unstructured interviews, Open ended, open closed, answers, questions . dlaczego ta metoda dobra lub zla

Analyzing the data

I chose a sample group consisting of 30 men and 30 women, in the age range between 19 and 60. The group which declared is a loyal beer consumer were people in the age 19-26. Young women ( age 20-29 ) represent majority among young people of both genders, when it comes to drinking an alcohol. 73% said they drink it 3-5 times a week, usually during home visits or partying outside with friends. Most of them, and it is 63%, are still studying, in the private or state universities, 24% drinks occasionally ( for instance birthdays, promotions, or toasting someone ), and 12% is working already ( these are usually part-time jobs, physical jobs, minority studies and works at the same time ( 7%) ) or still looking for a job. Women in the age between 30-47 were considered as well. 45% of them are working already, 23% are looking for a job, and 6% are unemployed or decided for early retirement. All women were asked about their favourite beer brands and what drives them while choosing the given product. There were five brands mentioned during the interviews: Zywiec, Warka, Zubr, Tyskie and Lomza. They typed beers they like the most, and the least. Data I received were surprising:

35% of the respondents said they prefer Zywiec, because of its refreshing taste and delicate smell. Tyskie was considered by 31% of interviewers, however they are more driven by the attractive promotions and TV campaigns rather than taste. Warka and Lomza have almost similar number of consumers among women - one after another 27% and 26%. Both have strong bitter tastes, however Lomza is seen as a stronger. It is said that such taste is usually recommended for men, because it makes them feel more masculine. But as it can be observed, women drink it as well. Zubr is the least favourable among the other beers. Following quota explains the reason for a low interest in this beverage: " taste is very vague, not sweet nor bitter, it is just a typical beer implemented without any special nuances of flavour".

Interview considered a group of young and old men in the age between 21-56. They were asked the same questions about the beer they favour and the force that drives them while choosing the given brand. 61% of the interviewed said that they drink beer 3-4 times a week, at home, usually with a group of friends, and the rest of respondents prefers to drink outside at the parties, or pubs and clubs 2-3 times a week. 83% of respondents is still studying ( 41% studies at the state universities, 25% at the private ones, and the rest is working already ). Older men are presented as follows: 27% are working, 7% of them are unemployed or retired. These are mainly men over 50, however two interviewers were 43 and 46. The following chart shows their beer preferences out of the list of five given brands:

This picture shows that Zywiec is still a leader among the preferred by young and old men beer brands. 33% of respondents pointed it as their most favourable, because of its refreshing properties and delicate smell. 31% pointed Tyskie, however strong TV campaigns, and good marketing have influenced this choice ( everyone who chose this beer mentioned that ). Warka ( 28% of respondents ) is ahead Lomza and Zubr because its taste is similar to Zywiec. Therefore its position is so high.

Lomza was chosen by 25% of the interviewed, because they identify themselves with this brand. They like beers with a strong and distinct taste, and large amount of foam. Moreover, they declared that one of the major reasons they chose Lomza was aggressive, visible, eye-catching advertisement in TV, poster hanged in the subway, and billboards hanged in the strategic points of Warsaw. Thus Lomza fullfills their needs for a moment of indulgence.

Interviewees said that while choosing a beer they are driven firstly by its brand, taste, and then the prestige among their friends. But there are many other factors which influence the consumers choice of product: its positioning, beers quality, price, and packaging. Moreover, while choosing canned beer they are driven mainly by the comfort rather than only by the mentioned factors ( Drummond et al, 2002 ). It is also influenced by the brand image, and hence brewery companies focus the intensive development of marketing communications and many other innovations to attract consumers attention.

Limitation of the Research Methodology

There have occurred a few limitations during collection of the data, and therefore different approaches had to be considered in order to make analysis work. instead of the pre-established ones. The main weakness of this research was that the outcome couldn't be applied to a general population. Data gathered from interviewing the sample group cannot be related to the whole society, because answers given by the interviewees vary. The sample may not be very representative, because it is quite limited. Moreover, their lack of time was another barrier, and therefore interview had to be shortened. This has influenced the quality of the research ( Saunders et al, 2009 ), and thus the results are not as precise as it was granted before.

Another problem that occurred during the research was that CEO of Royal Unibrew Poland refused to provide the researcher with the firms financial data. They could be relevant for the analysis of some areas of the research topic, but according to the company's rules, third parties cannot be given this information. Royal Unibrew Poland is not on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and therefore it is not obliged to share such an important data with the researcher. What's more, there was no opportunity to talk to members of the other departments, so I had to stick only to the information provided by Mrs Beata Pawlowska.


Theoretical traditions

What is strategy?

Strategy is a very broad term. There are many books about the theoretical background and examples of the implemented strategies effectiveness ( for example Coca-Cola, Apple, BCG ). However, business magazines ( such as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Manager ), internet articles or newspapers ( Rzeczpospolita or Wyborcza) discuss the practical side of strategy based on the current situation on the international market. Strategy is an incremental part of every company and it is the key to its national and worldwide success. According to the definition " it is a general business program which focuses on the use of the roduction potential and resources to achieve set goals ", but well known economists describe it in details. A.D. Chandler ( 1962 ) says, that " The strategy takes a long-term business objectives, corresponding to the general direction of the action, and presents the allocation of resources that are necessary to achieve these objectives ". W.F. Gluck ( 1980 ) has broadened this definition,and explained it as follows: " it is an overarching and integrating plan, which outlines the benefits of the company in connection with the expectations and challengers of the environment ". In 1996, RW Griffin added: "A well-conceived strategy focuses on four main factors: 1) coverage of the strategy - a team the markets in which the organization will compete, 2) the distribution of resources - the way the organization divides its resources between different uses, 3) a distinctive competence - what the organization is doing particularly well, 4) synergy - the way in which different fields of business are complementary or supportive ". Michael Porter claims that " the essence of strategy is choosing a unique and valuable position rooted in systems of activities that are much more difficult to match " ( Gierszewska et al., 2007 ).

"Strategy is the determination of the basic long term goals and objectives, and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out goals" explains Chandler ( 1969 ) in his book "Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the Industrial Enterprise".

This term was first used in the 60s, when the strategic problems were defined as the " long-term planning ". The father of this term is Igor Ansoff, who formulated theory of Ansoff's Matrix. Phillip Kotler ( 2002 ) says, that the objective of this theory is to formulate strategic variants and choose the optimal solution, by combining the two criteria: product ( existing or new ), and market ( existing or new ).

End of the 60s was a breakthrough from the strategy development. Consultants working for the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey have invented new concepts of the strategic planning. General Motors CEO, Jack Welch, changed its strategy in 1982, and decided to focus on only these operation areas in which the company was a leader, or could achieve such a position. Concepts and instruments which have been created until 80s, had a strong influence on the organisations management team and their further success.

Michael Porter ( 1985 ) put forward three types of strategy: segmentation, differentiation, and cost leadership types. Companies use them in order to achieve the competitive advantage and thus become successful on the market. Robert S. Kaplan adds, that " a sustainable position, in Porter's view, comes from a system of activities, each of which reinforces the others " ( Kaplan et. Al, 2001 ). So, the success of the company comes not only from the proper adaptation of the Porter's strategies, but also from these internal reinforcements.

The concept, origin and development of strategic analysis

Strategic analysis is a process consisting of three stages: analysis, planning and management. We can divide it into two types: connected with function and the one connected with tools. The functional strategic analysis is a set of actions which diagnose both. the organisation and its environment, and thus facilitate strategic plan and its development. When it comes to the tools, strategic analysis is a set of methods which help examine, assess, and predict the future states of selected company's elements and its environment in order to make it survive and develop on the market. Every The object of strategic thinking is to create a long-term plan and vision of the company, by understanding its current position, analyzing the chances, setting the goals and rules. What's more, it requires the use of different methods and tools which help reach the targets and gain all the needed information. Strategic thinking is characterised by the constant need of changing areas and formulas of the company's actions.

Strategic management development had a strong influence on the strategic analysis. Since 50s and 60s the world that surrounds the company has been more and more unstable and complex, and thus forced scientists to create methods which would help the companies adapt to all the changes. Strategic management development began in the 80s. It helps understand the evolution of methods and strategic analysis techniques, changes in the way of its usage in the company's management, and treating the strategic analysis creation as a separate category. Strategic planning, mainly in the global corporation, required more effort and thus analysis of the competitive environment, macro-environment, and measurement of the company's strategic position.

The main factors that forced people to dig deeply into the strategic analysis and strategic planning were tough times of the sudden changes in the global economy and technology advancement. Companies improve their strategic analysis, because they face repeating organisational crises, lack of internal development, lower market share, or change of the target market. What is interesting, these changes are very often influenced by the management board changes, or new strategy development and its implementation.

According to Richard Koch (1998) there are two consulting companies, which implemented the strategy analysis into their businesses and thus became successful in the early 50s: Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey.

Until the end of 70s, seven school of the strategic thinking were created. They were connected with the two important management paradigms: strategic rationality ( Harvard School, Strategic Planning School, Matrix Positioning School, and Quantitative school ) and strategic behaviours ( Behavioural school, System School, Incrementalists school ) .

First paradigm describes "strategy's technical-economical dimension, normative approach, which create rational patterns of behaviours, assessments and way of acting" ( Gierszewska et al, 2007). The first group of schools is described below:

    • Harvard school - is characterised as a will to analyse the company and its competitive position against the environment, and to search for both positive and negative factors influencing the company's position on various markets. Three strategic analysis models originated in this school:
      • LCAG model ( developed by E.P. Learned, H.K. Christensen, K.R. Andrews, W.D. Guth ) - intends to describe research on the company's strengths and weaknesses, as well as environmental opportunities and threats.
      • Contingency model ( A.D. Chandler, P.R. Lawrence, J.W. Lorsch ) This model permits to implement various solutions to the strategic problems. These solutions obviously depend on the company's current situation.
      • Industry analysis model ( M. Porter ) Michael Porter suggests to assess the company's situation in the light of the competitive environment.
    • Strategic Planning School -focuses on the strategic planning, however it doesn't bring any models nor strategic analysis methods. It seems to prove that pragmatic attitude to actions is the crucial factor.
    • Matrix positioning school - uses qualitative and quantitative analysis tools to measure the company's competitive position. It also presents the company's product portfolio and compares the dynamics of change between past and the future
    • Quantitative School - methods and techniques that are strongly connected with multi-criteria and statistics analysis. It is based on the econometric modelling.

Second paradigm is defined as "exposing of the socio-political strategy dimensions and strategic analysis " ( Gierszewska et al, 2007 ). Three schools of strategic thinking were based on that paradigm . They are as follows:

  • Behavioural. (H.A. Simon, J.G. March, R.M. Cyert, and H. Mintzberg). The school looks at the real processes of formulating and implementing the company's strategy, without any information background.
  • System (D. Katz, R.L Kahn and M. Crozier). It describes the role of individual in formulating strategic process, relations between participants and underlines "the social background of the organisation".
  • Incrementalists school (C.E. Lindblom, T.J. Peters, and R.H. Waterman)

This school represents pragmatic approach. The only way to improve the quality of management is to follow the already proved patterns implemented in business. What's more, motivation of the management process participants and the example of other successful corporations plays a very important role. ( Giermaszewska, 2007 ).

As we can see, these schools provide us with different approaches to the analysis methods improvement and strategic management. According to Giermaszewska ( 2007 ), and Janasz ( 2007 ), the schools based on the paradigm of the strategic rationality are more valuable than the ones based on the paradigm of strategic behaviours.

Modern classifications ignore the older schools and methodology proposition. M.F. Gouillart has chronologically ordered the best known strategic analysis schools and presented the following list:

  1. SWOT Analysis - 1965
  2. Portfolio analysis - 1970
  3. Japanese influence - the role of quality, production and technology - 1975
  4. Shareholders benefits analysis - 1980
  5. Porters Model ( Porter's 5 forces ) - 1985
  6. Price of perfection - 1990
  7. TIme-based competition
  8. Goal and strategic skills
  9. Strategic change

Stage one presents LCAG analysis from the harvard school, portfolio analysis corresponds to the matrix positioning school, Porter model stands for the industry analysis model, and "price of perfection" stage represents the incrementalists school. However, M.F. Gouillart has enriched this group with two more models. They are as follows: analysis of the shareholders benefits, and Japanese influence. He adds also three issues that occurred in the early 90s: time-based competition, goal, strategic skills, and strategic changes.

Analysis of the shareholders benefits - type of the company's position assessment. It comes together with the financial analysis signification increase, and capital market forecasts. Moreover, it focuses shares value increase as a main goal of the company, and implementation of the financial analysis into the strategy formulation and its development

Japanese influence - originated in the 70s, when Japanese economy became successful and was admired by the western companies. "Just-in-time" describes best the idea of this school, which underlines the precision and punctuality, one of the main key success factors.

Time-based competition - time advanced companies have a serious competitive advantage. Main tools used in this stage are techniques which help elaborate the "dynamics of the given phenomenon, processes, and organisation" ( Gierszewska, 2007 ).Time is one of the main factors which influence the result of the rivalry between companies.

Goal and strategic skills - the main role of the organisation is to define the company's mission and most important goals. Success is the ability to use the company's strategic skills.

Strategic change - it describes the problem of the company's and executives adaptation to the changes in the environment and in the organisation as such. If too much attention is put on the changes, the goal of the strategic management is lost. This means, that "elaboration and implementation of the strategy development" are not taken into consideration ( Gierszewska, 2007 )

Some of the above methods and schools are outdated, while some are still being implemented. The older methods from 50s and 60s are still being used in the consulting companies and business schools. LCAG method, product life-cycle, and BCG matrix are invaluable help for the beginning analysts.

One more classification of the strategic management schools needs to be mentioned, the one created by the Polish economists Krzysztof Oblój. He has named and described them as follows:

  • Traditional ( planning )
  • Evolutionary
  • Positional
  • Resources and capabilities

Modern strategic analysis is partially based on the methodology of science, such as sociology, psychology, economy, and management. This connection helps to list the following characteristics of the strategy analysis approach:

  • Use of the financial analysis - for the assessment of the company's financial condition, the structure of the capital and in the assessment of the competitive position of the organisation. Additionally, it helps estimate sector entry and exit barriers, as well as estimate the production portfolio.
  • Quality factors - make the company aware of its soft elements, such as "culture, qualifications, and peoples motivations, strategic mission, ecological management aspect, and ethical side of the strategic analyses" ( Gierszewska, 2007 ). These elements relate especially to the knowledge on the competitors.
  • Situational approach - the ability to interpret the analysis results without specified tools and imposed assessments. Thus, strategic planning departments are liquidated and power is decentralized.
  • Complex character - company takes into account both internal and external factors influencing its operations.

Strategic Planning Methodology

The purpose of strategic planning is to set the needs and methods of carrying on the strategic analysis in the company. First issue that must be considered is the analysis of the company's environment, its strengths and weaknesses, staff development, and the potential to develop the new strategy. Good strategic plan helps the company use its potential and not to loose any opportunity offered by the market.

Strategic management means, that the strategic decisions have to be put in the right order, "findings in the different areas must be coordinated, and on the different levels of the management" ( Gierszewska, 2007 ). The following methods, presented by Maria Romanowska ( Gierszewska et al, 2007 ), are very helpful in putting the company's strategy on the right track:

The most important decisions for the company come from the board. Portfolio operations " depend on the number and type of sectors of the future activity, type of technology, and geographical scope of sales " ( Porter, 1996 ). So, according to what is said the corporate strategy should be considered as a first step to the further internal solutions.

Sector strategy is divided into two sub-groups: suppliers strategy, and competition strategy. Strategy making process in all these cases is limited by the goals and hierarchy that was implemented in the company development process. If corporations that operate only in one sector, there are no two strategic planning levels. They are just treated by the management board as one strategic plan.

Last type of the strategy is the functional one. Its aim is to " evaluate the goals and ways of achieving them in the area of the financial management, marketing, personal policy, structure shaping, focusing the management procedures, and technology development" ( Gierszewska, 2007).

To conclude, the aim of the functional strategies is to oversee all strategic plans in the whole organisation.

Scope of the strategic analysis

Strategic management requires capability to differentiate internal and external events/phenomena. Managers are able mainly to research internal problems of the company rather than external ( Gierszewska, 2007 ). External problems estimation needs the help of the consultants. Corporation which constantly observes the environment is prepared for any threat that may occur. Situation on the market helps the company prepare the good strategy plan for the future. If it is more elastic to the changing environment it "is better prepared for the more creative behaviours" ( Koch, 1998 ).

According to Porter ( 1980 ), corporate environment is divided into two groups: macro-environment, and competitive environment ( industrial or sector ):

  • Macro-environment is described as a wide environment of the company, on which this company has no influence and from which it is dependent. Additionally, it has to deal with a given political, economic, legal, technological, and socio-cultural system as well.
  • Competitive environment is " company's external environment which consists of other firms vying for patronage of the same market " (http://en.mimi.hu/marketingweb/competitive_environment.html ).

According to Peter Drucker ( 1998 ), most important factors of this element are suppliers, shareholders, and customers.

Corporate strategic analysis is the last stage of the strategic analysis. It should consider every area of the company: economic, technological, marketing, social and cultural. This means, that both qualitative and quantitative methods play here a very important role. They require simple actions and scientific thinking.

Macro-environment analysis

There are two types of macro-environment analysis:

    • No-scenario concept ( many opportunities )

What influences the success is ability to clearly identify threats and opportunities that come from the environment. The idea of this concept is to "base the whole strategy formulating process on the predictions, and deducting conclusions from the changes in the environment that have already shown up or have been recognized as the changes that can be predicted in the future" ( Gierszewska, 2007 ).

    • Scenario concept

Company should prepare different scenarios for various situations and problems, with which it is going to struggle. Then it focuses strategic plan which follows this analysis. Gierszewska ( 2007 ) adds, that "scenario concept lays in the exploratory study that is done in the initial phase of the planning process ".

Kozlinskis, Vulfs (Journal of Business Management; 2008, Issue 1, p30-34, 5p, 1 diagram, 3 graphs ) mentions in his paper, that the competitiveness of the organization can be measured by the business macro-environment ( BME ). BME can be evaluated by analysis of key indicators ( PESTEL analysis ), business surveys, and overall employment situation.

PEST analysis - theoretical background

PEST analysis is a "typical look from the bird's-eye view on the business, political, and social landscape, in which operates a given company" ( Oblój, 2007 ). It is probably the simplest way to segment the environment, and thus has been divided into four sub-groups:

  • Political environment
  • Economic environment
  • Social environment
  • Technological and demographic environment

Graph. Xx. Corporate environment segmentation

All these segments are interdependent. They are very important for the company because:

    • All events and trends that occur in all of these segments "have a short-term and long-term implications for the company's development and non-profit organisations" ( Oblój, 2007 ). According to this economist, it is really hard to predict the growth of some of these parts. For example government regulatory policy or cultural changes. However, demographic or technological segments changes situation is much different. But, as Krzysztof Oblój says, that even if strategic implications of changes in both cases are unclear, they are very important
    • New events and dynamic changes of the relationship between segments "redefine the barriers of the markets and branches and mode of the competition" ( Oblój,2007). Professor Oblój gives an example of the legislation changes that were made in the United States. They have opened financial services market for the companies such telecommunication services providers and car producers, and forced banks to connect their services for both individual and institutional clients as well. Bank sector is most threatened with the technology changes. If the bank decides to computerize its deposit and loan services, it will have to liquidate its typical branch. As observed, internet, mini-banks, cash machines, or computerization of the company are a very powerful tools and decide about the future of the organisation

Companies from the same industry are strongly influenced by the same trends and events that appear in the environment. Prof Oblój gives a very good example of the internal changes in the polish companies in the early 90s. Purchasing power decrease had a strong impact on the lower demand for the holidays after the fall of the communism. Competition on the market was increasing and therefore smaller travel agencies couldn't satisfy the increasing demand. They turned out not to be professional and bankrupted very quickly. People prefer to go for a holiday with the reputable agency and pay more, in order to feel safe.

Competitive environment analysis

The main characteristic of this type of environment is the ability to influence the company. As it works both ways, the company can influence its environment ( it can change and shape it ). However, it depends on the company's competitive position on the market.

Competitive environment analysis identifies conditions of the sector in which company operates and develops. Corporate sector analysis helps in getting significant information about "opportunities and threats which are connected with the age and dynamics of the sector, behaviour of the suppliers and customers, and, two most important issues to consider, behaviour of the competition and possibility of the new players appearance" ( Oblój, 2007 ). What's more, company is able to assess current and future attractiveness of its sector.

Before the company focuses on the sector analysis, "it should begin with the analysis of the whole industry and the national economy" ( Gierszewska, 2007). This will help indicate the global, macroeconomic, and structural conditions of the given sector. Before large corporations enter the foreign market, they should remember to analyse the chosen sector globally and regionally.

PORTER 5 forces

The essence of formulating the competitive strategy is relating company to its environment. Sector in which company operates has a strong influence on the market competition rules. According to Michael E. Porter, one of the most respected economists in the business world, "awareness of the five forces can help a company understand the structure of its industry and stake out a position that us more profitable and less vulnerable to attack " adds Michael Porter (Harvard Business Review; Jan2008, Vol. 86 Issue 1, p78-93, 16p, 1 diagram, 1 illustration, 1 graph, 1 map, 1 color ).

Porter's five forces are: rivalry among existing firms within the industry, bargaining power of suppliers, threat of new entrants, bargaining power of buyers, and threat of substitute products or services. All interactions among these forces are shown in the picture below.

The forces can be described as follows:

    • Entry barriers - the " structural limitation of the competitiveness in a given branch " ( Oblój, 2007 ). According to Oblój, high entry barriers prevent the sudden attacks of the new competitive companies entering the market. Only well-developed companies are able to face this problem. However, low entry barriers mean increase of the intensity and unpredictability of the competition while entering the market.
      • Economy of scale

Many companies gain profits after exceeding some production scale, because unit costs are decreasing together with the production scale. Fixed costs per unit costs are decreasing, because the same or similar costs are spread over increasing production volume. Production scale has a very positive influence on the company. Employees are getting more skills, losses are decreasing, technology is developing very fast.

Economy of scale plays a very important role on the so called commodities market. Price of the products is dependent from the situation on the market, financial situation of the company from its costs, and these costs from the economy of scale.

      • Capital requirements

Capital is one of the most important issues to run the business. If the investor decides to run the small business, for example cd/dvd or children bike rental store, there is relatively small capital required.

However, dominating and well developing technology and market characteristics require big amount of capital. Additionally, it is one of the factors, which discourage potential competition from entering the market on a small scale with the gradual capital engagement

      • Products brand power

Market, which is strongly dominated by the well known, promoted and respected brands, has high entry barriers. Company entering the such market can face huge problems. Dominating companies have their loyal customers, and the new players goal is to convince these people to try its products ( by the price attractiveness, good promotion and using parameters ), make them change their likings and switch to the brand new product. If the product is more attractive than the existing ones, company can be very successful on the target market.

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