University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Heineken Case Study
Heineken is a global brand that has achieved great success in many regions across the world. Heineken benefits from many strengths that have been developed through careful corporate planning. * High quality brand image in many markets – In the US and Hong Kong markets Heineken is viewed as a very high quality, premium brand. In many other markets Heineken is seen as a quality brand, but blends with the other European imports. * Original Formula – Heineken benefits from having a long lasting, proven formula that many beer drinkers are loyal to. Attractive Packaging – Heineken is one of the few beer brands that feature a green bottle and box. This distinctive brand icon lets consumers easily recall Heineken in their consideration set when purchasing beer.
* Worldwide distribution – Heineken is available in all corners of the globe giving it immense distribution capabilities. While Heineken is a strong brand with outstanding prospects, the worldwide branding efforts have some major weaknesses. Regional advertising campaign – The absence of a worldwide advertising campaign was hindering the company’s ability to present a uniform branding strategy across the map. * Stagnant brand image – Heineken had begun to slide back into the back and blend with many of the other European breweries.
* Brand communication deviated from desired brand image – in many markets, local managers have created regional marketing strategies that communicated an alternate brand image than that of corporate Heineken. Opportunities for Heineken could come in a variety of outlets. Focus on areas that are in the beginning stages of beer development – Heineken has already been introduced in almost every area of the world. Leverage this strength in the areas such as Southeast Asia and South America that are looking for a premium beer segment. They could adjust the marketing mix in these areas to mimic that of the areas where Heineken has achieved this superior brand image. * Non-alcoholic and flavored beers – In Europe the demand for non-alcoholic and flavored beers are growing.
This trend could create an opportunity for Heineken to leverage its strong brand image into these emerging product markets. * Sponsorships – Use strategic sponsorships to reinforce the brand image. Sponsor various high-end events around the world depending on the regions’ customs. This would intensify the brand rejuvenation efforts with the added benefit of brand awareness. Project Comet concluded that Heineken should portray the image of “good taste” using the core values of: Taste, Premiumness, Tradition, Winning Spirit, and Friendship.
Taste and Premiumness have been understood core values of the brand for many years whether or not they have been specifically stated. Tradition is a great strength of Heineken and therefore the connection to the branding effort is an obvious one. The two remaining core values are where Heineken can use their impactful advertising the most to invoke a heartfelt reaction from the consumer. * Winning Spirit – Displaying a confident and superior image through the advertising campaign will significantly aid Heineken’s efforts to differentiate themselves to a point of class and effortlessness.
Unlike the recommendation for the use of tone of voice, I believe an employment of a high-profile spokesperson could develop this core value easily. * Friendship – Heineken is the perfect beer to be associated with a quality friendship rather than a “mass-gathering” drink because of the connection to quality. Consumers should want to enjoy Heineken with someone who they enjoy being with. I believe that this strategy aligns with Heinekens brand image and current loyal customers. Project Mosa was a study performed in 8 countries to understand what taste and friendship meant for beer consumers.
This study encompassed many variables of indicators of taste, but focusing on the ones that would be useful for advertising or branding campaigns some very key findings were uncovered. * Taste experience and Balance taste – These two indications of beer taste were uniformly agreed upon, thus should be included in any taste-focused advertisement. * Packaging – Outside of Netherlands packaging is considered a positive indication of taste, which is a fantastic finding for Heineken because they have distinctive packaging of the product.
This feature should be showcased in ads. * Advertising – The finding that advertising was a positive indication of taste shows that Heinekens plan to develop a state-of-the-art ad campaign is a reasonable plan to develop the desired brand image. * Friendship- the two friendship expressions that Heineken should focus on are the showing of true friends and that you can always count on Heineken. These are the only tested expressions that gained positive reaction to friendship from the worldwide consumer.
Heineken should deploy the cutting edge advertising campaign concluded in the Project Comet study on a world scale. Having different advertising strategies in various countries would undermine the goal to present the customer with uniform branding communication consistent with the desired brand image. There is enough research to support the deployment of certain expressions of taste and friendship that would be consistently effective across the entirety of Heineken’s market.