Case Detail

Case Summary

Asahi's Single-Brand Strategy

Case Number: 5-204-251, Year Published: 2004

HBS Number: KEL003

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Authors: David Besanko; Takatoshi Imada

Key Concepts

Economics, Competitive Strategy


In early 2000, Asahi’s senior management was under considerable pressure to launch its own brand of happoshu, a low-end form of beer that enjoyed certain tax benefits under Japanese law. Unlike its major rivals, all of whom had launched happoshu brands in the previous few years, Asahi steadfastly refused to enter the happoshu category. The case allows students to explore the economic logic of Asahi’s strategy. The case can be used to study how the entry of a new product affects price competition across two closely related product categories (beer and happoshu) and how an anticipation of changes in price competition might affect the economics of the launch decision.

Number of Pages: 4

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Economics, Strategy

Geographic: Japan

Industry: Japanese Beer Industry

Organization Name: Asahi Breweries Ltd.

Organization Department: NA

Organization Size: Small

Decision Maker Position: NA

Year of Case: 1999