Marketing Expansive Strategies of Scotch Whisky in China Market: A Challenger's perspective.
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
"Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whisky makes it go round twice as fast!" Compton Mackenzie wrote in the book - " Whisky Galore". Being famously called the "water of life", Scotch whisky has been the world's leading spirit drink and outsells every other noble spirit in world markets.
Compared with the success in Europe, South Korea and Japan, Scotch whisky in China market is still very much in its infancy. But the world's largest market clearly provides huge potential, especially in the past two years. Data show, more Scotch whisky was exported to China in the first half of 2004 than the whole of 2003, with export value growing by over 170%. The current situation in China spirits market is that Chivas Regal and Johnnie Walker take the major share, meanwhile, many other brands of Scotch sell in China with small volume. Furthermore, other whiskies, brandy, beer, and Chinese grain spirits compete aggressively with Scotch. Under such a background, the objective of this research is set to explore the marketing expansive strategies of Scotch whisky in China market from a challenger's perspective.
According to the characteristics of this research, qualitative research method is chosen as well as the three main research tools: literature review, interviews, and analysis of selected cases. In the literature search, four original propositions about the marketing expansive strategies are formed. Based on the ideas, the author designed the semi-structured interviews with four senior managers working for alcoholic drinks industry. Combined with information from the external scanning and competitor analysis, we discuss data from interviews in-depth about China spirits market to examine the original ideas. Furthermore, some critical success factors are drawn from the case study of Chivas Regal. All this information can be used together to support the basic idea of this dissertation: marketing expansive strategy including growth strategy and marketing mix decisions is crucial for a product to succeed in the international marketplace.
Notwithstanding the limitations, this research offers an extensive analysis on alcoholic spirits in China market. We formulate some business recommendations by applying the key findings of this research. These ideas are useful and helpful for those whisky firms that have the ambition to quickly expand its business in China market. Although this dissertation focuses on the analysis of alcoholic spirits, the main findings can be used in relevant industries such as fast moving consumer goods.
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