Balancing alancing tradition and innovatrion : the role of strategic naming and family roots in the franconian beer industry

Cruz, Margarita (Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)

The introduction of new products is often seen as an attractive strategy that improves firm performance. However, because novelty can endanger local traditions and decrease attachment to existing stakeholders, launching new products can result in an arduous enterprise, in particular, in industries that value tradition. This paper elaborates on the resources and strategies upon which firms can rely to introduce novelty in traditional industries. In particular, family firms enjoy unique identity advantages over non-family firms that allows them to introduce new products in a legitimate way. This advantage can be better materialized when family firms make use of naming strategies by referring to their traditions in their product labels and serving geographically disconnected consumers. I test these predictions using data about more than 300 breweries in Franconia, a geographical cluster in Northern Bavaria (Germany) and one of the most traditional industries in Europe. The results of this study confirm that family firms are more likely to engage in the introduction of new beer types, especially those that are named using words that recall the traditional identity of the firm. Moreover, we also find support for the idea that these strategies are more common when firms serve geographically distant portions of the market.

Conference Type:
full paper
Economie et Services
Bolzano, Italy, 15-17 March 2017
Bolzano, Italy
15-17 March 2017
39 p.
Published in:
Proceedings of the IFERA Research Development Workshop 2017
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 Record created 2017-11-19, last modified 2020-10-27

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