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The Mag2 News site looks at the Nihonshu Genka Sakagura restaurant in Tokyo and how they’re striving to build their business. The analysis is from MBA holder Takeshi Aoyama.

The restaurant’s name (日本酒原価酒蔵) breaks down to “cost-price sake bar” and the article looks at the alignment of strategy and tactics that underlie its unshakeable popularity.

In his breakdown, Aoyama identifies the strategy as differentiation through appealing to sake novices by offering famous labels at low prices, with the aim of having as many people as possible discover and enjoy sake. This brings down the barrier of price that would otherwise keep sake novices away.

As the strategy seems to be working, the corollary is that some people avoid sake because of its price. Why? Either because they don’t feel it’s worth what they pay, or because they don’t understand the value of sake. And one way of breaking through this barrier is to allow novices to try it and see for themselves.

Production volumes of sake are falling and it faces a hard battle against other forms of alcohol, leaving many with the feeling that the industry is in crisis. But this strategy of letting newcomers try famous sake for less, getting them enjoy it and therefore increasing the number of sake lovers could get around some of the problems.

Nishonshu Genka Sakagura also serves food that goes with sake, another important element for enjoyment. And this narrowing down of their aim (getting people to enjoy sake) makes it easy to come up with tactics to make that happen.