Overseas Demand is Brewing for US Craft Beers

Overseas Demand is Brewing for US Craft Beers

US craft beers have become increasingly popular abroad. Unfortunately, exports have not been able to match the growing demand.

High transportation costs and the risks of transporting a perishable product over long distances have deterred some brewers from exporting. Although some brewers have partnered with overseas beer makers and bottlers to expand rapidly, others have preferred to take a slower, careful approach to market share growth.

This post is based on the PRI.org article, Europeans are embracing American craft beer. So, why are exports trailing off?, by J. Margolis, February 15, 2018. Image source: nuamoid / 123RF.

Discussion Questions

1. Price, delivery reliability, delivery speed, quality, and flexibility can be order winners or qualifiers. For New Belgium, which characteristics are order winners and qualifiers? Why?

Guidance: Superior quality is definitely an order winner because overseas beer drinkers like the hoppy taste of US craft brews. Price is a qualifier; the high cost of shipping the beer overseas makes it difficult to beat the local competition on the basis of price. Delivery reliability is a qualifier; customers will cease to do business with suppliers who cannot deliver on time. Flexibility is a qualifier; brewers must provide the variety Continue reading

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“The Most Comfortable Shoe in the World”

“The Most Comfortable Shoe in the World”

A former pro-athlete from New Zealand teamed up with a friend to develop shoes made of wool. The project was crowdfunded and resulted in a machine-washable, wool sneaker that has been labeled “the most comfortable shoe in the world.”

Product sales have exceeded expectations. They value their customers’ input and continue to improve the design of the shoe.

This post is based on the CNN article, Allbirds Is Shaking Up Footwear With Machine-Washable Wool Shoes, by A. Garcia, January 17, 2018.

Discussion Questions

1) Compared to a lightweight leather sneaker, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the Allbirds sneaker?

Guidance: Link this discussion to Garvin’s dimensions of product quality. Advantages to mention: perceived quality (multiple redesigns), features (breathable, machine-washable, etc.), performance (comfort), conformance (multiple redesigns). Disadvantages: less durability (wool is probably not as durable as leather), unknown consistency due to age of company, unknown serviceability due to novelty of product.

2) What external factors did the developers see as opportunities?

Guidance: Discuss the market factors that made consumers embrace this product. Demographics: young and older people are attracted to the novelty and comfort. Psychographics: environmentally conscious individuals like the sustainability of the product; active individuals Continue reading

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Dr. Alexa to the Rescue?

Dr. Alexa to the Rescue?

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase have vowed to attempt a disruption of health care with an extensive use of technology. According to this New York Times article, their vision is already a reality in China.

Technology companies such as Alibaba and Tencent are developing artificial intelligence (AI)-based diagnostic tools to assist overburdened physicians. Setbacks in telemedicine and online drug sales did not discourage Alibaba from forging ahead with AI software for CT scan interpretation and for diagnosis assistance.

Tencent has been engaged in similar initiatives. Not only has the technology brought more efficiency in large hospitals, but it has also expanded the access to care in small, rural areas.

This post is based on the New York Times article, Amazon Wants to Disrupt Health Care in America. In China, Tech Giants Already Have, by S.-L. Wee and P. Mozur, January 31, 2018.

Discussion Questions

1) What are the advantages and disadvantages of using technology as a diagnostic aid?

Guidance: Advantages: better utilization of health care staff capacity, more accurate diagnoses, increased patient access to healthcare, lower costs, higher consistency of treatments for given condition, more convenience for patients, less wait for appointments and test results, etc. Continue reading

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