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Brands and the Evolution of Multinationals in Alcoholic Beverages

  • 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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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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