Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sam Adams: Less Than 1% Market Share!

Have you see the new Sam Adams TV advertisements, in which they proudly proclaim that the company has less than 1% market share in the US beer market? Have you ever seen a company boast of having low market share? What are they doing?

Actually, it's very understandable and even shrewd. Sam Adams wants to make sure they stay true to their roots, that they brand retains its authenticity. The firm wants to be known as a classic microbrew, not a mainstream mass market brand. However, they clearly are a very large company relative to many microbrews on the market. Yet, the ads remind people that they are still very small relative to the mainstream beer giants. The ads help them to preserve that "us vs. them" positioning relative to the Busch and Millers of the world.

I personally love the ads because I always remind my students that market share should not be the goal of business leaders; profits should be the goal. Striving for maximum market share is not always the path to a great strategy and high profits. Far too many executives obsess about market share, and as a result, do not achieve the type of sustainable competitive advantage that they should.

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