Since the case study was written, New Belgium has added to its product line with beers divided into these different categories: Year Round, Seasonal, Revival, Hop Kitchen, and Lips of Faith (New Belgium Brewing, n.d.). NBB still calls Fort Collins, Colorado home (New Belgium Brewing, n.d.). However, in 2015 they will be opening up a location in Asheville, North Carolina to reach the East Coast (New Belgium Brewing, n.d.). They now are currently selling beer in 32 states, and produced 764,424 barrels of beer in 2012 (New Belgium Brewing, n.d.). Despite it’s growth it is still the third largest craft brewery, and eighth largest brewery in the United States (New Belgium Brewing, n.d.). They are still largely into the sustainability movement, and have a whole section of their website devoted to their sustainability efforts (New Belgium Brewing, n.d.). They are also still promoting events including their own, such as the Tour de Fat and Clip Beer & Film Tour (New Belgium Brewing, n.d.).
There strengths as a company would include their uniqueness and whimsy. It is rare for a beer brewery to be so devoted to being socially responsible. The ethical culture has been in engrained in their employees, who follow the company’s core values and beliefs (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011). As mentioned in the case study, consumer suspicion is notably high (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011). Having consumer support of their socially responsible actions has been a definite strength that makes them stand out amongst competitors.
A weakness for them could also be their focus on their responsibilities to the environment. While they are focused on these things, which ethically strengthen their company, their competition is out-pacing them in sales. They have remained number 3 in the craft beer industry since 2006 (New Belgium Brewing, n.d.).
One of the biggest opportunities for NBB is their new Asheville location. Looking at the map in the case study, Exhibit 8.1, there is a distinct lack of distribution to the East Coast (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011). With this new location they will open themselves to new distribution opportunities, and hopefully begin to sell beer in all 50 states.
New Belgium’s threats are in its amount of competition. With such a growing industry, especially amongst craft beers, they could be easy to get lost in the crowd. They will also face growing competition in their new East Coast home. Sierra Nevada will also be opening up a new North Carolina brewery in the next year (Sierra Nevada, n.d.).
Our textbook describes a competitive advantage as a concept that “stems from the firm’s capabilities in relation to those help by the competition” (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011). Competitive advantage can be affected by both internal and external factors, and it is founded in reality and consumer perceptions (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011).
New Belgium Brewing has strategies in place that give the company it’s competitive advantages. The company operates by a set of...