What makes a company successful?...

... delivering products and services that are relevant and create impact among consumers.

I combine my expertise as a Marketing executive in a Fortune 500 company and my passion as an investor to find the Companies that I think have "cracked the code" with consumers. Advertising does work. When I see a new product that fits relevant consumer trends, and that is supported with a campaign that I find particularly shrewd and innovative, I know that Company is potentially a great investment.

One of the great investors of all times, Peter Lynch, recommends to "buy what you know". You watch TV, go to the supermarket and walk around everyday. Observe... look around: what you see can make you money in the stock market. Now, let's be clear: a Company is not good just because it advertises. What we have to look for is great products supported with -and enhanced by- great advertising. The principle is simple: if something is good enough to draw your interest, it will be of interest to millions of persons just like you.

It is my goal to share with the reader my findings in the world of marketing which I think will turn into great returns for investors. Profit from it!

Friday, April 18, 2008

For authentic growth, turn to SAM

If I mentioned Boston Beer Company (SAM), most probably you wouldn’t recognize the name. But if I say Samuel Adams, chances are it ranks among your favorite beers. Founded in 1984 by Jim Koch, Boston Beer Company positioned its Sam Adams beer as a meticulously crafted brew for connoisseurs. The rest is history. Sam Adams has been gaining awareness and popularity throughout the years, by consistently staying true to its essence as a handcrafted beer, developed by beer-lovers for beer-lovers.

The key to Sam Adams success has been its allegiance to the fundamental consumer values discussed in my previous post "Consumer values to look for", which are masterfully integrated in both the way they develop their product mix and the way they talk to the consumers.

The current advertising campaign is a superb example of the insightful integration of these values. With Samuel Adams, it’s all about the beer. No flashy commercials, no fancy –and incredible- lifestyle cues, no talking animals. It’s all about real artisans describing with pride the fruits of their passion. It’s all about a detailed explanation of ingredients of the highest quality that are carefully blended to brew a superior beer. This is exactly what the consumers mean by authenticity.

The other important component in Sam Adams story is the promise of exciting experiential discovery. Forget about the regular and the light versions of the mainstream beers –with the occasional odd and short-lived spin-off-. What about trying a White Ale? Or a Cranberry Lambic? In total, 18 different styles that promise beer-lovers a rich, exciting and almost unlimited source of exotic and enjoyable new experiences.

With Sam Adams, is not about mindless beer drinking. It’s about personal, indulgent enjoyment. It’s about savoring the brew and discovering subtle undertones of earthy flavor or the burst of spice and hops. It’s about a higher pleasure.

Sam Adams is an extraordinary example of how a brand can live and represent what consumers value today. This understanding of their customers, and the Company’s determination to remain true to their demands, has turned into handsome returns for Boston Beer Co.’s investors. SAM stock has tripled its value in the last five years, achieving an all-time high above $55 in October 2007. The recent stock market malaise has knocked its price down to around $45. This might be a great entry point to start building a position in Boston Brewing Co. The company has a huge potential for growth, and I am convinced the current advertising campaign will surely generate a very high interest among beer drinkers to experiment with the brand; it is just the type of story they crave and love. A quality product and a company that knows what is doing will do the rest.

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