Silver Bullets: A Soldier's Story of How Coors Bombed in the Beer Wars

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9780312092511: Silver Bullets: A Soldier's Story of How Coors Bombed in the Beer Wars
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A senior marketing analyst with the Coors Brewing Company from 1985 to 1988 analyzes the events leading to the company's decline, revealing the war-room mentality of senior management, bungled new-product ideas, and other problems

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From Kirkus Reviews:

An alum's inept attempt to discredit an unusually inviting target: Adolph Coors Co. Burgess (Marketing/University of Denver) worked for the Colorado-based brewer (whose proprietors are notable for, among other matters, their high-profile support of politically incorrect causes) as a marketing research analyst from 1985 to 1988. Drawing mainly on his experiences in this comparatively low-level post, he offers what's apparently meant to be an antic account of a macho gang that couldn't shoot straight in its campaigns to best Budweiser, Miller, and other rivals in the so-called ``beer wars'' of the 1980's. Burgess's audit is also informed by a more serious purpose: to make the embattled but consistently profitable Coors a paradigm for the putative shortcomings of corporate America. But all too soon, the smart-alecky text falls flat between the twin peaks of the author's vaulting ambitions. Apart from a bent for gratuitously likening the strategy and tactics of Coors management to those of Nazi Germany's leaders, Burgess can't keep his story straight. The episodic narrative lurches back and forth in time, covering events before, during, and after his tenure without ever achieving focus or impact. While the author's points about the company's failure to develop viable new products have merit, for example, they're lost in a welter of ad hominem observations about associates or superiors identified largely by puerile nicknames- -``Captain Kangaroo,'' ``Mumbles,'' ``Preacher,'' ``Silver Fox,'' ``Valley Girl,'' et al. The same holds true for Burgess's personal involvement in efforts to probe the attitudes of blacks, gays, and other disaffected constituencies. The author seems far more interested in railing against the presumptive bigotry, conservatism, and homophobia of corporate executives than in exploring their willingness to adapt to commercial realities. Nor does he seem to have noticed that, though Coors is a nominally public enterprise, no investors other than founding-family members hold voting stock. A book that gives new meaning to the phrase ``beer bust.'' -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Burgess, who worked as a research analyst for Adolph Coors Company from 1985 to 1988, gives a vivid account of his experiences in this book. From his job interview to the marketing research department meetings and conventions, Burgess presents an insider's view of the company and its marketing techniques. To compete with such giants as Miller, Budweiser, and Anheuser-Busch, Coors used strategies like featuring Mark Harmon in advertisements and developing new products such as "Colorado Chiller." Burgess tells how Coors was either the "ultimate challenge" or "ultimate nightmare" due to its being criticized and/or boycotted by, among others, environmental groups, the AFL-CIO, the gay community, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). These problems, combined with poor marketing decisions, contributed to the company's declining profits. This book provides an insightful look at a company and an industry. Recommended for both lay readers and specialists.
- Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib.,
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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