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How does a regional brand build on its local success and evolve into a national brand?

That is the marketing challenge to be debated on the FT’s Management Blog on Tuesday by MBA students from London Business School and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

At 5.45pm London time (11.45am Chicago time), the FT will post a video and article telling the story of Cains Beer, a brewer in Liverpool that is grappling with this question. The two groups of MBA students will then discuss the case study for 90 minutes.

Sudarghara and Ajmail Dusanj, the two brothers who bought Cains in 2002, will be watching their analysis closely. They have grand plans for Cains, which they want to turn into “Britain’s favourite beer company”.

By sponsoring the year-long European Capital of Culture festival being held in Liverpool, they have strengthened the brand’s regional credentials. Now they want to make it known nationally.

While most regional brewers stick to traditional ales, they have approached this marketing challenge by launching a lager called Cains Finest. Yet the advertising budget is small and they have other pressing operational issues, such as the integration of a recently acquired pub company.

Should Cains be spending more on marketing to persuade more national retailers to stock its beer?

How can it harness its Liverpool fame? Readers can track the students’ answers to these and other questions in real time or they can visit the site – and submit
their own analysis – after the discussion.


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