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Brands and the Evolution of Multinationals in Alcoholic Beverages


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  • Teresa da Silva Lopes


Brands have played a critical role in the evolution of multinationals in alcoholic beverages. As this article shows, brands often determined the nature and scope of mergers and acquisitions in this industry and so help explain the successive merger waves that have transformed it since the 1960s. The firms that became truly global were primarily those that developed a portfolio of successful brands recognised in many countries. By acquiring and repositioning such brands, firms were able to respond to changes in consumption, competition and regulation, to move from familiar to geographically and culturally distant markets, and thereby to achieve continuous growth and long-term survival. Standard accounts of growth and internationalisation tend to give primacy to investments in science and technology. By looking at brands, this article shows how other kinds of knowledge - in this case the marketing knowledge inherent in brand management - are fundamental in explaining the evolution of firms in industries like alcoholic beverages where technology is not a major input.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Business History.

Volume (Year): 44 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 1-30

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Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:44:y:2002:i:3:p:1-30

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Cited by:
  1. Sáiz, Patricio & Fernández, Paloma, 2009. "Intangible assets and competitiveness in Spain: an approach based on trademark registration data in Catalonia (1850-1946)," Working Papers in Economic History, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History) 2009/01, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  2. Stefan Schwarzkopf, 2008. "Turning Trade Marks into Brands: how Advertising Agencies Created Brands in the Global Market Place, 1900-1930," Working Papers 18, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  3. Gerben Bakker, 2012. "Adopting the rights-based model: music multinationals and local music industries since 1945," Economic History Working Papers, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History 47507, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.


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