Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Coors Brewing Company is the third largest company in the highly competitive U.S. beer industry. The primary target market for its products is young adults, who demand innovative approaches to marketing from brewers, including relevant and creative point of sale (POS) materials in retail outlets. Coors depends upon the cooperation of distributors and retailers to place Coors' POS materials in ways that will give their products greater visibility. Since all retailers and most distributors of Coors products also sell competitors' products, Coors realized that it must win the battle for mindshare with its distributors and retailers who are in a position to influence what the retail customer buys. For many years, Coors was at a competitive disadvantage with its POS deployment process. The distribution of POS materials was costly and time-consuming, involving paper-based procedures for ordering and fulfillment. In 2001, Coors created an e-Business Department to address enterprise-wide opportunities such as the POS process. As one of their first efforts, members of the e-Business Department created a portal-based POS Application Suite that proved to be highly effective in addressing the needs of its distributors and retailers for POS materials in support of Coors marketing campaigns. As one element of the POS Application Suite, Coors partnered with HP to create an "e-POS system". The e-POS system contains embedded innovative technology that permits distributors to customize POS materials for their specific needs while, at the same time, letting Coors maintain central control over what is permitted to be used under an important new national licensing agreement with the National Football League. The POS Application Suite gives Coors a first-mover advantage over its larger competitors.