This case examines the marketing of Murphy’s Irish Stout at the time of the merger between Guinness and Grand Metropolitan. Murphy Brewery is owned by Heineken International and has expanded its scope beyond Ireland in recent years. However, the brand is a distant second internationally to Guinness in the stout category. Furthermore, the company has launched a new brand—Murphy’s Irish Amber.
This case discusses the Murphy’s situation in Ireland, the UK, and Europe, as well as the United States. One of the issues to be examined is whether the company should have similar positioning worldwide.
Marketing Strategy Questions—This case is intended to address the marketing strategy questions facing Murphy’s. For example, what target market should the company focus on? Is its product line broad enough? Is the pricing strategy accurate? How can the channels of distribution be deepened for the brand? How should the brand be positioned and promoted?
Divisional versus Corporate Objectives—How extensively is Heineken willing to promote Murphy’s brand worldwide? Should Heineken concentrate its efforts only on the more “affluent” segments throughout the world, given the high status and price of the brand? How should Heineken address the impending production shortage at Murphy Brewery located in Cork?
Ethical Issues—Can Murphy’s promote these brands as “authentically” Irish if they are not manufactured in Ireland? What responsibilities do Heineken and other breweries have for promoting responsible consumption, especially if they are targeting young adults?
The case concludes with a number of questions that the Murphy’s executives are considering.
1. Should Murphy’s employ a global rather than a local marketing strategy worldwide? In your opinion, what is the best positioning? What theme(s) and message(s) should Murphy’s communicate? Will Guinness’s (then) current ad campaign (Exhibit 7)...