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The news that InBev has taken over Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion is a major event for both marketing and the supply chain.Although,initial reports suggest that the big benefit of the merger is the enormous brand power and marketing muscle of “Bud” in the US market,it seems likely that the new management will review some of the traditional advertising that Budweiser has been known for.Also,a focus of the American entity will be to cut supply chain costs by $1.6 Billion.
College classrooms will suddenly find the enormous marketing teaching material developed around the “Budweiser” brand outdated. Marketing clubs routinely discuss the Superbowl ads, dominated by “Bud” and things may change there as well.Similarly the famous supply chain beer game will probably need some reworking.
In fact, the merger will throw up enormous opportunity and challenges,not only for the merged entity but entire armies of consultants,speakers,professors and students will suddenly have to take a fresh look at global alliances, in this case a merger, and it’s impact on something we assumed would never change viz. Budweiser and it’s larger than life dominance in the American psyche.
For starters, consider the InBev website’s brand section that asks you your country of residence and date of birth while the Anheuser-Busch website asks you if you are over 21 and simply assumes US residence. All this will start changing as “Bud” becomes truly global.Similarly, before making any marketing changes in a great marketing formula, the new A-B-InBev organization should sure tread carefully lest we have one more “New Coke.“