University of Oulu

Ikäheimo, J. (2019), "The freshness of the fell streams: contextualizing the success of Lapin Kulta Beer in the 1960s", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 165-180.

The freshness of the fell streams : contextualizing the success of Lapin Kulta Beer in the 1960s

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Author: Ikäheimo, Janne1
Organizations: 1Archaeology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-07-08


Purpose: As Finland became an associate member of the European Free Trade Association in early 1960s, the domestic brewing industry faced a new threat posed by imported beer. It was neutralized effectively with joint and individual efforts of the breweries. This paper aims to analyze the maneuvers taken by Tornion Olut Oy to brand its new product, Lapin Kulta, which ultimately became the most popular beer in Finland. In addition, the contemporary changes in the Finnish society with related social tensions are shown to have contributed to its success significantly.

Design/methodology/approach: Archival research focusing on primary sources complemented with biographies, historical newspaper and magazine articles as well contemporary research papers with an aim to reconstruct and better understand the historical and social context of the events.

Findings: The success of the Lapin Kulta beer in 1960s was not only based on the effective marketing, although a well-thought name, the successful participation in international beer “competitions” enhancing the brand and both improved distribution and logistics certainly contributed to it. Instead the success is shown to have depended also on seemingly odd collection of external factors. However, when put together, the success is shown to have been based on brand’s capability to address the social tensions present in Finland during 1960s.

Originality/value: The importance of the context reconstruction in historical marketing research is underlined as developments traditionally attributed solely to product qualities and marketing may equally stem from a multitude of external factors. As a case study, the research represents a fresh take on the subject through a variety of previously neglected sources.

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Series: Journal of historical research in marketing
ISSN: 1755-750X
ISSN-E: 1755-7518
ISSN-L: 1755-750X
Volume: 11
Issue: 2
Pages: 165 - 180
DOI: 10.1108/JHRM-02-2018-0006
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Copyright information: © Janne Ikäheimo. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at