Sun King Brewery: A Case of Marketing Channel Redesign
This case describes five distinct periods in Sun King Brewery’s distribution history. The Indianapolis brewer experienced explosive growth since opening in 2009. It rode the wave of the “craft beer revolution,” earning 27 Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup competition medals and reached statewide distribution in 2017. Sun King was founded by two long-time friends, Dave Colt and Clay Robinson. Sun King’s distribution history provides students a rare opportunity to view multiple changes in marketing channel structure across time. They read about the geographic market changes in the case and the role merchant wholesalers played in Sun King’s achieving its long-term goal of statewide distribution. Students are asked to examine various aspects of Sun King’s channel management and design decisions and the influence of external environment factors upon them.
In completing this assignment, students should be able to:
1. Compare and contrast approaches to marketing channel structure design
2. Compare and contrast types of distribution tasks performed by channel members
3. Analyze environmental factors affecting channel members
4. Compare and contrast types of governing structures used in marketing channels
5. Analyze a given channel management decision