Integration

Just this Sunday, I received an email about the Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Marriott Rewards combining with Starwood Preferred Guest. According to the email and Marriott’s website, the three loyalty programs will be linked, but operate as independent programs. Marriott does not expect to merge the programs any time before 2018.

Marriott Rewards Email

Screenshot of the email announcement on combining the Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Marriott Rewards with Starwood Preferred Guest.

Marriott International first announced it would buy Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide for $12.2 billion on November 11, 2015. The acquisition, which just received anti-trust approval from Chinese regulators, creates the largest hotel company with more than 5,500 owned or franchised hotels and more than 1.1 million rooms. In recent years, the hotel industry has faced competition from alternate lodging like Airbnb, making consolidations more attractive in order to save off competition and leverage economies of scale. Together Marriott and Starwood will generate $2.7 billion in fee revenue and are estimated to save $200 million in the second year post-closing.

Integration Planning Begins at the Start

Even prior to the deal closing, it’s important to begin integration planning. The Marriott and Starwood acquisition closed on September 23 and on day one, they rolled out their loyalty program integration. You can bet they already had this plan in their hip pocket.

The ability to successfully integrate largely depends on planning for and considering integration issues way back at the start of the entire acquisition process. Waiting until the day after the acquisition closes to begin thinking about integration. By then, you should already be executed your plan; it’s too late to begin planning.

The loyalty programs are just one small component of a larger plan to combine Marriott and Starwood. Even in this small piece of the plan, we see Marriott taking a phased approach by linking, but not combining Rewards with SPG. Marriott and Starwood both own a number of high-profile brand name hotels. Marriott faces the challenge of keeping Starwood’s loyal customers, many of who were upset about the merger, so keeping SPG running independently, rather than folding into Marriott Rewards, makes sense.

Determining how much to integrate depends on your strategic reason for acquisition. You may choose to have the seller integrate all of your processes, but other times you may choose to leave the seller alone. In other cases, you may even adopt best practices from the seller. You may also choose to adopt various levels of integration in different parts of your business. While Marriott has chosen to operate the loyalty programs independently, it’s likely it will combine departments like accounting and finance.

Photo credit: Phillip Pessar via Flickr cc

One of the primary reasons acquisitions fail is because of integration challenges post-closing. Implementing your integration plan smoothly and effectively is key to realizing the synergies of your acquisition. In a KPMG survey, U.S. executives cited a well-executed integration plan as the top factor that leads to deal success.

Integration is a massive undertaking that you should begin planning long before the deal closes. There are many moving pieces to consider from combining IT systems and product lines to overcoming cultural differences to branding of the new company. In addition, you must clearly communicate with your employees and customers. If you are just beginning to think about integration when the acquisition closes, you are already too late.

Looking back on their past acquisitions, 80% of executives surveyed by EY would have sped up the integration process and 58% said they would have communicated their integration plan more clearly. Failing to focus on integration can be a costly mistake that can undo months or years of work. Don’t let that happen to you: plan for integration now.

Learn how to build and execute a successful integration plan in our upcoming webinar,Keys to Integration Success” on August 11.

In this webinar you will be able to:

  • Explain the different levels of integration in order to decide how much to integrate after the deal is done
  • Begin to develop a 100-Day Post-Closing Plan
  • Explain effective communication strategies for integration success
  • Define cultural differences in organizations and how to bridge them
  • Utilize secondment to your advantage

Date: Thursday, August 11, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM ET – 2:00 PM ET

Photo credit: Willi Heidelbach via Flickr cc

You’ve developed your strategy, identified the right markets, negotiated with the owner and papered the deal. If you think once you sign on the dotted line your job is done, you are mistaken. The M&A process doesn’t end when the deal closes. M&A is really a journey “from beginning to beginning” where the consummation of a deal is actually a fresh beginning for the newly merged company. Ensuring the pieces of both organizations mesh the correctly during integration is crucial to the success of an acquisition.

Poor Integration Can Ruin An Acquisition

Integration issues can plague a company long after the deal closes. Take United Airlines as an example. Although it’s been five years since the merge with Continental Airlines, the company is struggling to integrate its workforce. United’s flight attendants are still operating as if they worked at two separate companies, which has created operational challenges, damaged employee morale and company profit, and created unnecessary complications. Since the merger, about six percent of United flights have been delayed due to issues such as crew scheduling or maintenance problems. Understandably employees are frustrated. The failure to integrate effectively has eliminated the synergies – such as economies of scale and scheduling flexibility – that one might derive from having a larger workforce.

Why Do So Many Companies Struggle with Integration?

Leaders tend to think about integration as an afterthought, when really they should begin thinking about integration long before the deal closes. When it comes time to implement, they are “suddenly” faced with unanticipated challenges that could have been avoided or planned for had they started looking at integration earlier.

“What almost always gets underestimated, though – and often overlooked altogether – during due diligence is the actual integration of the new capabilities and how (or whether) it will work,” says John Kolko, Vice President of Design at Blackboard.

And as Kolko points out, if you don’t begin thinking about integrating prior to closing the acquisition, you may end up acquiring something that isn’t aligned with your strategy.

When you start thinking through integration issues and what the newly merged company will look like, you can get an idea of if and how the acquisition will operate post-closing. Will you let the company operate as a standalone business? Will you train employees to use your sales system? How will you leverage a new capability with those you currently have? Use your strategic rationale for acquisition to guide your decisions on integration.

Develop a 100-Day Plan

Thinking about integration early also allows you to be prepared and swiftly implement your plan once the deal closes. As the buyer, you only have one chance to make a good first impression with your new employees. The first 100 days of an acquisition are a critical time period when employees are less resistant to change. You have a unique opportunity to make sure everyone is in alignment during this time. Develop a 100-day plan prior to closing so you are not scrambling to put something together when it comes time to execute.

Photo credit: David Goehring via Flickr cc

Poor communication can really hamper your integration efforts, especially when you have to break bad news to your employees. When it comes to sharing an unpopular message, some executives try to sugar coat or beat around the bush. In my experience, avoidance tactics are not effective and just make employees angrier once they eventually find out the truth.

Pulling the Band-Aid Off

The best way to break bad news is to pull the Band-Aid off very quickly. Get bad news out early on in the integration process. Many people often assume the worst when they hear their company is being acquired so they might not be as shocked earlier in the process. If you wait until later, you’ll likely face more resistance from employees who are starting to feel comfortable again.

You might feel uncomfortable with the “pulling the Band-Aid off” approach, but it does work. I was once part of an integration program where we were on the floor of a unionized factory the morning after we closed on an acquisition. Unfortunately, the plan was to shut down this particular factory. I remember standing there, waiting for the new owner to give them the bad news and wondering how he would deliver it.

To my surprise, he stood up and said, “I want you to know that we intend to shut down this facility. Most of you are going to lose your jobs in the next six to nine months.”

At first, there was a lot of anger, frustration, and confusion. But as the buyer walked them through how things were going to work and told them about the career placement, counseling, and benefits available to them during the transition, the workers began to calm down. They were still angry, but they respected the fact that they weren’t lied to. They appreciated the early communication, which gave them time to prepare and plan for how the integration would impact them.

Sharing the bad news early also helps you eliminate confusion and prevent the rumor mill from starting. As bad as your news may be, the rumors will be ten times worse.

Advice for Breaking the Bad News

Of course each situation is different, but generally, there are a couple of things you can do to break bad news in the “best way.”

1. Be Certain – First, make sure that you have thought through the decision and are certain you wish to move forward. Once you proceed down a path, it’s very difficult to reverse the ship, so be sure that in the long run this is the best decision for the newly merged company.

2. Write it Down – Once you have arrived at the decision, write it down. This way you can get people comfortable around the message and make sure everyone is saying the same thing. This is especially helpful if people are not particularly passionate or excited about the decision. Effectively you are giving people a script so there will be symmetry in your communication.

There’s really no good way to break bad news, but it’s important to be honest and not to drag it out. The sooner you tell people, the sooner you can move forward toward success.

Photo Credit: John Haslam via Flickr cc

With every acquisition you have a choice of how you will integrate the two entities. Often buyers assume a “winner-takes-all” approach where they impose their systems and culture on the acquired company. This is not always the best way to successful integration. In fact, it may be best to integrate some of the seller’s practices into your own organization.

In our new M&A Express Videocast, I advocate a strategic approach that leverages the best from both entities. I will also introduce the power of the 100-day plan in achieving a successful integration.

How Far to Integrate

April 5, 1:00 pm – 1:20 PM ET

About M&A Express

M&A Express is a high-impact series of videocasts presented by David Braun, founder of Capstone and author of Successful Acquisitions. Each videocast runs 20 minutes or less, and delivers cutting-edge insights on proven growth strategies for middle market companies. M&A Express is free! M&A Express is free! Visit our website for more information.

Watch previous Videocasts on-demand:

  • Why You Need a Roadmap
  • Where to Start Your Search
  • When to Walk Away
  • The Hidden Power of Minority Ownership
  • Cultural Due Diligence
  • The Letter of Intent: A Key Milestone

Whenever I am consulting on an integration program, I introduce a critical component I call the 100-Day Plan. I’ve found that when companies get the 100-Day Plan right, the likelihood for a successful integration is extremely high. But if you don’t implement the 100-Day Plan at the beginning, integration generally doesn’t go well.

Why is that? Think about a new employee starting work at your company. What are they like the first day, the first week, the first month? Chances are, they’re pretty agreeable. They’re probably listening and observing as they adapt to their new environment. After all, they’ve got to figure out basic aspects of your company’s culture, like how coworkers prefer to communicate throughout the day or when they typically go to lunch. Is the office quiet or talkative? How will they fit in with the existing workforce?

The same thing is true of the newly acquired company. During the first hundred days, the people at the company are generally going to be in listening mode. They will want to see how much you, the buyer, will be changing their company. In the meantime, they’ll be fairly agreeable.

Now consider your hypothetical employee six months after hiring. At that point, they’re feeling a lot more confident. Maybe they’re inviting coworkers to their choice of restaurant for lunch or taking on a leadership role within their department. They’ve started pushing back when other people are pushing forward.

After about a hundred days, people at the company you acquired will start getting comfortable and begin saying, “No, no. Wait a second. I’m going to push back a little on that.” Your first hundred days are critical in terms of getting people on board, aligning them with what you’re trying to do, and showing them what your vision is for the integrated companies.

This is why the foundation of a successful integration is built on the 100-Day Plan.

Photo Credit: Barn Images with modifications by Capstone

Q: “What if the buyer and seller functional leaders do not match? How do you coordinate the two sides?”

We take a functional approach to due diligence where we encourage your leaders from sales, marketing, finance, operations and other functional areas to meet with their respective leaders on the seller’s side. A functional approach ensures all important aspects are covered and explored during due diligence.

Due Diligence Buyer and Seller Interaction

Functional due diligence: Functional leaders from the buyer meet one-on-one with functional leaders from the seller during due diligence.

However, we often run into a situation where there are more functional leaders on the buyer’s side than on the seller’s because traditionally buyers tend to be larger than sellers. While you still want functional leaders from each side to meet, keep in mind you don’t want to overwhelm or intimidate the seller. I don’t mean take a soft or easy approach, but don’t have two or three of your functional leaders meeting with one leader from the seller’s side. It will feel like an ambush.

Identify which leader from your organization most closely aligns with their functional leader and pair them off one-on-one.  For example, while you may have accounting, HR and tax professionals, select only one of these leaders to meet with the individual performing all of these functions at the seller’s business. This approach will allow for effective communication between buyer and seller.

This question comes from our webinar “A New Thinking on Due Diligence.” Learn more about Capstone’s webinar series.

People are critical to the success of your company, and it’s no different in the business you are acquiring. But how can you go beyond the surface and find out what employees really think? It is doubtful employees will be completely open and honest when asked point blank, “Do you like your job?”

One of the best sources of information when conducting human resources due diligence are employee satisfaction surveys, especially those conducted by a third party. These surveys are not only telling about employees but also about management and the organization as a whole.

Review historical employee satisfaction survey results and look for key metrics and trends. It’s also wise to look at remediation – how has management responded to complaints in the past? This may provide insight into the management team, working styles and organizational culture.

When we’re consulting on integration, one metric my firm looks at is turnover. Is there high turnover within a department when benchmarked against this industry or the rest of the company? If so, why is this happening? In certain situations of unusually high turnover, we found that the department manager had been there forever but was an ogre to work with. Anyone with any intelligence who came into that department pretty much got run out because the manager felt threatened!

You can also discover “green buckets,” or opportunities, within the survey results. If employees are dissatisfied with their old computers, now may be the time for an upgrade. In one case we noticed employees had really old monitors. We found that the owner had upgraded the computers, but viewed upgrading the monitors or keyboards as unimportant. For our client, it was relatively inexpensive to purchase new monitors and employees were very happy with the upgrade. Look for these opportunities to form a positive relationship with your new employees.

An acquisition can cause anxiety for employees. Anything you do as the buyer that says “We care about you” will help reassure employees and make for a smoother integration process.

There are many different ways to handle brand integration – whether it means discarding the target’s brand in favor of your own, keeping both brands, or creating a new one. Each strategy is valid, depending on your brand equity and strategic rationale for acquisition.

Let’s look at a live example: In its $2.5 billion stock-for-stock acquisition of Trulia which closed on February 17, 2015, Zillow has chosen to keep both brand names.

CEO Spencer Rascoff discussed branding in a recent interview:

“Trulia will very much be its own brand but won’t be its own company. The Trulia website will remain but, over time, the listings inventory and the advertising sales will come under Zillow. Trulia will still have a consumer-facing team to grow audience. The analogy I would make sort of relates to my old stomping ground of online travel, where a lot of companies — including Expedia and Orbitz — have different front-end facing sites but the inventory on the back end and other functions are a shared services.”

Here we have an example of leveraging two well-known brand names in order to dominate the online real estate market. By keeping Trulia and Zillow as separate, consumer-facing brands, the combined company reaps the benefits of both brands’ equity, while realizing the cost-saving synergies of consolidating back-end operations.

Learn more about brand integration at our webinar – Brand Integration: An Acquisition Challenge

Photo Credit: roarofthefour via Compfight cc

Once you’ve closed the deal on a new acquisition, what do you do about the brand? Keep it as it is? Replace it with your brand? Create a hybrid? Something else…?

The brand is one of the assets you acquire when you buy a company. It may be worth a lot. Or little. Or nothing. (It may even be a liability).

It’s important to recognize that a brand is much more than a name and logo; it’s the “meaning” of a company to its customers and stakeholders: the promise that it holds for them.   A major acquisition can change the meaning of the company you acquire — it can also impact the meaning of your own organization.

Join us for a new webinar on brand integration presented by Capstone Branding Advisor Jon Ward. Jon has served as a consultant and creative marketer for over 30 years, with clients ranging from one-person startups to billion-dollar corporations.

After this webinar you will be able to:

  • Discover ways to evaluate brand value
  • Expand your options for branding the newly merged organization
  • Create your own brand integration strategy
  • Plan your acquisition to obtain maximum brand equity

Date: February 19, 2015
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Registerhttps://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8799873507023879169

Can’t attend this webinar? Sign up anyway and we’ll send you the recorded archive.

Click here for more information and to register.

When it comes to integration, people often think equity ownership should determine their approach.

If they own 100% of the business, they should change all the target’s practices to their own.  In a strategic alliance where neither side can force the other side to do anything, they might not integrate any of the practices.

But really, equity doesn’t have to dictate the level of integration. You shouldn’t be asking what or how many changes you can enforce but about which changes are right to make.  Owning 100% of the company doesn’t mean you should make the business you just acquired just like you. One reason you bought this company may be that it is completely different from your own.

Let’s take a look at a recent transaction: Coach will acquire Stuart Weitzman in order to drive topline growth in high-end, luxury women’s shoes.

In this case, Coach will be very careful about what they change initially. Although Coach owns 100% of the company, they most likely will not force Stuart Weitzman to adapt to all of their practices during integration. If the company changes Stuart Weitzman’s brand, pricing, or selling model, they might just be killing the goose they paid a lot of money for.

In addition, Stuart Weitzman (the company’s CEO and creative director) will continue to contribute his creative talent to the company under new ownership. If you’re like Coach and talent acquisition is critical to your deal, you better have a good employee retention plan that makes sure talented employees like Weitzman are committed to staying with the company afterward.

We need to change the way we think about integration. Avoid a mentality that “the spoils go to the conqueror.” Rather, you should identify star employees and practices from the seller that are better than your own and recognize that as the buyer you might adapt some of these practices yourself.

Focus on what you’re trying to get out of the integration. Then your strategic outcomes will drive your approach, not the amount of equity

The closing of a deal is the fruition of months — even years — of hard work. But closing is just the beginning of integrating a newly formed company. Combining companies is a major operation that requires skill, diligence and patience.  In fact, CEOs and executives often cite integration as one of the most challenging aspects of M&A.

Learn how to successfully plan and execute the integration of two companies in our first webinar of 2015 on January 14.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the different levels of integration to decide how much to integrate after the deal is done
  • Begin to develop a 100-Day Post-Closing Plan
  • Explain effective communication strategies for integration success
  • Define cultural differences in organizations and how to bridge them
  • Utilize secondment to your advantage (you’ll learn how that works)

Don’t let a rocky integration spoil the fruits of a partnership that has been primed for success. Let Capstone help you understand how to plan and prepare for a happy marriage of two companies!

Date: Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Registerhttps://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4431391763332716802

Can’t attend this webinar? Sign up anyway and we’ll send you the recorded archive.
CPE credit is available.

You can increase your chances for successful acquisition by using functional due diligence to evaluate a prospect. This means actively involving leaders of the key functions of your organization: functional leaders from sales and marketing, finance, operations, IT, etc.

There are several benefits to involving functional leaders in the due diligence process.  Each leader has a different perspective and can provide unique insights to help evaluate an acquisition target. That’s because each functional leader focused on a specific area has a deeper understanding of the day-to-day procedures and may point out unseen risks and opportunities.

In addition, involving functional leaders early on in the due diligence process leads to a much smoother integration once the deal is complete.

To learn more about functional due diligence, please join my webinar on “A New Look at Due Diligence” on July 24, 2014.

Due diligence is often seen in purely negative terms, as a way to avoid pitfalls or find “hidden skeletons”. In this webinar you will learn how to use due diligence positively, to maximize the opportunity for a successful acquisition.

After this webinar you will be able to:

  • Organize due diligence to maximize efficiency and get the information you need to move the deal forward.
  • Know what items to look for by key functional areas (sales, marketing, HR, IT, etc.), including financial due diligence.
  • Use due diligence to reveal unforeseen opportunities as well as important red flags
  • Understand how items uncovered during due diligence can affect deal structure and terms.
  • Utilize tools to organize due diligence findings

CPE Credit available.

Click to register: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/601246870

Integration is key area of concern for many involved in mergers and acquisitions. According to a survey by Deloitte, 37% of directors and 43% of CFOs named post-deal integration as their top concern. About 47% of executives believe “people problems” in M&A are more prominent now than 12 months ago.

So how can we overcome integration challenges? Those of you who have heard me speak know I’m a big proponent of secondment. Secondment means taking employees from your organization and placing them in the seller’s and vice versa.

To find out more about this powerful tool, read my article “Employee Secondment: A Secret to Successful Integration” in the Training magazine.

In 2013, we saw interesting mergers & acquisitions across multiple industries, ranging from hot tech deals like Yahoo’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr to the rescue of favorite food brand Twinkies from bankruptcy by Metropolous & Co. and Apollo Global Management.

While the potential synergies of the two companies are always laid out, not much is said about how to bring these two workforces together for successful integration. Check out three of my top tips for success on Money For Lunch. Click here to read the full article: “Merger Madness: Three Tips for Success.”

Photo Credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via Compfight cc

Cultural alignment while integrating two companies is a hot topic in the M&A world.  For instance, CFO.com recently quoted Jonathan Chadwick as saying, “The number-one reason I think deals fail is because there was not an agreement or a matching of cultures.”

Should you have any doubts, read about Kidder-Peabody inside of GE. Those cultures did not mesh, and I don’t know if anyone could ever make them work together.

It’s important to assess the cultures of the prospect and your own organization before closing the deal.  That does not necessarily mean only acquiring companies whose cultures are the same as your own. Successfully acquiring a company with a different culture does happen more often than you would think.  In fact, the prospect’s different culture may be the very reason for the deal.

Years ago we were working on an acquisition for a manufacturing company in the Midwest. Our client sought a high energy, visionary and artistic organization to produce a more creative environment.  Together we found a company in California with a radically different culture. . Our client was a coat-and-tie company; the California company was very relaxed. The CEO of the acquisition prospect told us, “I have a hard time getting employees to wear shoes sometimes.”

Obviously integrating the two cultures was a challenge, but we found the right blend. One concept we incorporated from the acquisition prospect was a 9/80 work schedule, where you work 80 hours over nine days and then get every other Friday off. At first, our client thought it would never work; there was no way they could have people out of the office every other Friday.

But, since it was so successful with the California company, our client tried it with a small group of employees. They found absenteeism went way down and morale went way up. Employees scheduled doctor appointments, car repairs, etc. for every other Friday so it didn’t interrupt their work day.

Just because two cultures are different doesn’t mean one is right or the other is wrong. You need to be a good listener—and stay open to the concept that both cultures can work well together.

Photo Credit: Groume via Flickr cc

 

When I am teaching M&A, I often use the phrase ‘‘from beginning to beginning.’’ I am signaling a difference from the more familiar phrase ‘‘from beginning to end,’’ which suggests that once the deal is signed, the process is over. In my experience, the end of an M&A transaction marks the beginning of a whole new business reality, the merged entity. Integrating two companies always brings challenges, but the more strategically you have executed your acquisition, the more smoothly your integration will go. Remember, meanwhile, that although the close of your acquisition deal is the end of the buying process, it is also the beginning of your new company.

Photo credit: Lubomír Walder via Flickr cc

Join Capstone CEO David Braun as he leads a webinar on how to successfully plan and execute the integration of two companies.

The closing of a deal is the fruition of months — even years — of hard work. With it, though, comes a whole new round of work that begins the moment the ink dries on the agreement. The integration of companies is a major operation that requires skill, diligence and patience. It may come at the end of the buying process, but it kicks off a whole new episode — the marriage of two entities, each with its own history, capabilities, weaknesses and culture.

Don’t let a rocky integration spoil the fruits of a partnership that has been primed for success. Let Capstone help you understand how to plan and prepare for a happy marriage of two companies!

David will speak for approximately one hour followed by a question-and-answer session.

REGISTER HERE!

Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM ET/ Noon CT/ 11:00 AM MT/ 10:00 AM PT

No Prerequisites or Advanced Preparation needed!

Registration Fee: $79 earlybird if registered by Friday, September 21
After September 21, $99

IMPORTANT PAYMENT INFORMATION: Once you register, we will send you a request for payment via PayPal (may take up to 24 hours). Once payment is confirmed, your registration will be approved and you will receive the log-in information for the webinar.

CPE Credits – 1 CPE credit in Business Management and Organization will be given for those actively participating in this webinar
Program Level: Basic
Delivery Method: Group Internet-Based

Please forward this information on to anyone who might be interested in corporate growth strategies.

Refund policy: Requests for refunds must be received in writing by 1:00 PM ET Monday, September 23 and your registration will be refunded in full within 5 business days. After 1:00 PM ET on September 23, a credit will be given for a future webinar. In the event of a cancellation, you will be given the option of of a full refund or applying your fee to a future webinar.

For questions or concerns, please contact Matt Craft at 703-854-1910 or mcraft@capstonestrategic.com

Capstone Strategic, Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy as a sponsor of continuing professional education of the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 4th

Don’t let a rocky integration spoil the fruits of a partnership that has been primed for success. Let Capstone help you understand how to plan and prepare for a happy marriage of two companies!

David will speak for approximately one hour followed by a question-and-answer session.

You’ll learn how to:

-Explain the different levels of integration in order to decide how much to integrate after the deal is done
-Begin to develop a 100-Day Post-Closing Plan
-Explain effective communication strategies for integration success
-Define cultural differences in organizations and how to bridge them
-Utilize secondment to your advantage

CLick here to register:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/803623286

Date: Thursday, October 27, 2011
Time: 1:00 PM ET/ Noon CT/ 11:00 AM MT/ 10:00 AM PT

No Prerequisites or Advanced Preparation needed!

Registration Fee: $79 earlybird if registered by Monday, October 24
After October 24, $99

IMPORTANT PAYMENT INFORMATION: Once you register, we will send you a request for payment via PayPal (may take up to 24 hours). Once payment is confirmed, your registration will be approved and you will receive the log-in information for the webinar.

CPE Credits – 1 CPE credit in Business Management and Organization will be given for those actively participating in this webinar
Program Level: Basic
Delivery Method: Group Internet-Based

Please forward this information on to anyone who might be interested in corporate growth strategies.

Refund policy: Requests for refunds must be received in writing by 1:00 PM ET Wednesday, October 26 and your registration will be refunded in full within 5 business days. After 1:00 PM ET on October 26, a credit will be given for a future webinar. In the event of a cancellation, you will be given the option of a full refund or applying your fee to a future webinar.

For questions or concerns, please contact Matt Craft at 703-854-1910 or mcraft@capstonestrategic.com

Capstone Strategic, Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy as a sponsor of continuing professional education of the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 4th Ave N, Suite 700, Nashville, TN, 37219-2417. Website: www.nasba.org

Beer consumption in the US is growing at 1-2% a year according to the National Brewing Association, I know I’m doing my job of contributing to this growth, but apparently many of you are not!

In Brazil the growth rate is over 10%!  So no surprise that Kirin is acquiring a stake in Schincariol the #2 player.  Anheuser Busch long ago figured out that finding growing markets beyond the US was a better recipe for them than trying to get into products they really didn’t know, for example Eagle Snacks.  Many US companies today are struggling with no or low growth markets and struggling with how to expand.  Often they resort to product extensions which can be very successful, but still serving the same slow growth market.  Other times I see them try marketing gimmicks to attract attention.  Unfortunately, this often leads to downward price spirals leaving them in a slow growth market…. with lower margins.  I think you have to take a step back and really look at your market – globally – to identify the growth you should target.

I’ll bet you a beer Kirin will like the Brazilian market.