Economic factors affecting Coopers include:
- Consumer behaviour. Consumer confidence is related to the business cycle of prosperity, recession, recovery and return to prosperity.
- Where their market is - they must be targeting people who have money to spend, and are willing to spend it.
- Inflation and interest rates will also affect the way Coopers market their products.
These factors influence Coopers’ products because without a market to sell their products they cannot make any profit.
Many social and cultural issues are presently influencing the Coopers brand, namely the emphasis on quality of life. Consumers are looking for value; strength and safety in the things that they buy (Rix, 2005). The alcoholic nature of the majority of Coopers products may have marketing implications. This means that people’s renewed social/cultural focus may have them demanding healthier beverages, therefore new products may have to be developed to suit customers’ needs. Another social/cultural force that may affect Coopers is the introduction and social awareness of many environmentally friendly products including recyclable packaging and less wastage. Coopers may need to include more of these types of packaging and show consumers that they are actively trying to decrease wastage. Attitudes towards health, wellbeing and nutrition are important factors affecting the Coopers brand at present. More ‘Light’ and ‘Extra light’ beers are appearing on the market, as well as low-carbohydrate beers aimed at women. This may influence the company’s products and sales as both men and women are seeking healthier choices
Technological advances in Coopers such as the new $40 million plant at Regency Park has greatly increased their capacity to produce even more beer. This has a positive influence on Coopers, as they are able to increase production, and also increase their marketing efforts to sell the increased production. Greater capacity to produce may also influence Coopers’ products in that they may be able to develop more products, to cater for different segments.
Australia’s demography is constantly changing. However, two main trends are continuing to emerge. Australia’s ageing population may be an influential factor externally affecting Coopers. It may prove to be beneficial for Coopers to segment this large, ever increasing older market, because they could possibly be interested in further supporting a family business, albeit a multimillion dollar one. Another positive in targeting the older market is the fact that the older generation are less likely to be interested in trendy international imported beers the way younger people are. This may influence Coopers’ products to give them a different focus.
At present, Coopers has many competitors in the beer industry. Nationally, Coopers two main monopolistic brand competitors are Lion Nathan and Carlton and United Breweries (CUB). Coopers claim that their competitive advantage over these much larger companies is, to quote “We market what the big breweries can’t”. According to their marketing information fact sheet, Coopers’ main competitive advantages include:
- Strong Branding, meaning they are easily recognized as Coopers
- Strong distribution coverage, most pubs have Pale Ale on tap, but the majority of pubs and bottle shops stock their full range
- Strong customer relationships, relates to marketing activities such as the Coopers Club which has a strong customer focus
- Australian made
Another Coopers’ point of difference is their extremely high quality ales and stouts. This means that they are widely perceived by the public as a distinguished, superior brewery.
Major Threat Identification
The major threat facing the Coopers brand at this point in time is the sheer unrivalled size of their main competitors. Huge companies like Lion Nathan and CUB have more staff, a larger market share and greater marketing budgets. They have the ability to either buy Coopers out or overtake them in the marketplace. Unlike Coopers, non-family owned breweries could be ruthless in their progression to gain the greatest market share. In order to prevent this threat from impacting on Coopers they must utilize their one major opportunity, outlined below.
Major Opportunity Identification
One of the biggest opportunities facing Coopers at this point in time is the chance to heavily expand their markets intestate. It is great for South Australia to be home to the last family owned and operated brewery. However it is possible for the brewery to be too South Australian, or at least be perceived that way interstate. Coopers should make the most of its ever-increasing wealth and expand wholly into interstate markets. If successful, they could then go about increasing their overseas popularity even further. Coopers have the knowledge, money and understanding to take full advantage of this opportunity. A consequence of not wholeheartedly expanding may be that they stay in South Australia forever, and do not gain genuine following, acceptance and demand elsewhere.
How is marketing used by this company?
Coopers brewery has a strong marketing focus. Glen Cooper pioneered and first encouraged the company to use marketing and become customer-oriented many years ago. In the present day however, Coopers participates in many customer-focussed marketing activities. The objectives of the Coopers marketing department include:
- Increase sales, market share and “profitability of all products both domestically and internationally”
- To continuously develop strong brand, by communicating the key benefits of all products via imaginative and creative marketing activities.
The two objectives above are both equally important to this company. The first one means that they want to be as big as they can by getting as bigger slice of market share and sales as they can. The second statement however, shows that the Coopers marketing department have good strategies in place. To “continuously develop strong brand”, means that they are constantly trying to increase consumer awareness of Coopers, in the hope that they will choose the company to satisfy their wants. However, “communicating the key benefits of all products via imaginative and creative marketing activities”, means that Coopers want consumers to know about every aspect of their products, in order to want to buy them. Also, communicating the benefits creatively shows flair and a desire to entertain ad entice their markets to purchase their product above other companies.
How suited to the Australian market is Coopers Brewery?
Coopers Brewery has proven that they are very suited to the Australian market, above all other markets. They have proven this with their marketing aims and strategies, which are visible in their advertising, which is very Australian-focussed. Coopers use of Australian slang in their advertisements has also proven popular (eg. “We’ve done the old man proud” is a slogan used in a Coopers advertisement promoting the ongoing legacy of Thomas Cooper). Coopers has the potential to be suited to most markets both Australian and overseas. Their suitability to a market is namely controlled by their marketing and promotion mix, and their target segment. It’s easy to be suited to a “beer drinking Aussie market”, when your advertising targets “beer drinking Aussies”. Coopers however, has researched segments and developed products to suit a wide cross-section of different types of people, from young women (Heritage Premium Ale), to old men (Best Extra Stout). Coopers brewery have thoroughly proven their suitability to the Australian market, and they have also proven that they have what it takes to ‘survive amongst the giants.’
Rix, P 2004, Marketing: A Practical Approach, McGraw Hill, NSW.
Coopers student information Booklet (PDF)
Sourced from: http://www.coopers.com.au/students.php