Mountain Man Brewing Co.: Bringing the Brand to Light (2007) Harvard Business School Case (Abelli)
Chris Prangel, a recent MBA graduate, has returned home to West Virginia to manage the marketing operations of the Mountain Man Beer Company, a family-owned business he stands to inherit in five years. Mountain Man brews just one beer, Mountain Man Lager, also known as “West Virginia’s beer” and popular among blue-collar workers. Due to changes in beer drinkers’ taste preferences, the company is now experiencing declining sales for the first time in its history. In response, Chris wants to launch Mountain Man Light, a “light beer” formulation of Mountain Man Lager, in the hope of attracting younger drinkers to the brand. However, he encounters resistance from senior managers. Mountain Man Lager’s brand equity is a key asset for Mountain Man Brewing Company. The question is whether Mountain Man Light will enhance it, detract from it, or irreversibly damage it.