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Case Discussion Guide- Heineken, N.V. Global Branding and Awareness

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IBM 480-01

Fatih Karaagac

Fall, 2016

Heineken, NV: Global Branding and Advertising

Summary of the case

  • At the end of 1993, Heineken had a 24% volume share in the Netherlands, far ahead of its competitor “Grolsch”
  • The sales volume was declining why they needed a brand image revitalization
  • In foreign markets, such as the US or Hong Kong, Heineken had always been marketed as premium brand
  • Image leaded to the perception that Heineken was only appropriate for special occasion
  • In general, Heineken was known for a lighter beer of superior quality, in attractive packaging
  • More than 90% of the advertising was taking place in form of TV commercials

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • World´s leading premium beer
  • Known for its good taste
  • Attractive packaging
  • Have majority stakes in its partners to ensure consistent quality
  • Most imported beer in the US
  • Successful premium brand image in some countries ( US and Hong Kong)
  • Lack of global presence in bottling water

In the biggest markets – US and Germany – beer is imported

  • Lack of presence in Latin America
  • Heinekens brand image is not consistently projected in Brands communication


What has been learned from research? How adequately has research been conducted?

  • Focus groups were commissioned in eight countries to
  • Understand what male beer drinkers meant by taste and friendship in relation to premium beer drinking
  • Which expressions of taste and friendship could be used in advertising
  • The research mainly shows that the customer care about the quality and the tradition of the beer and they are indifferent in brewing skills and the international availability.
  • But you have to consider that there are big differences between countries
  • The US consumer for example care about the brewing skills in comparison to the average consumer

How can the Heineken brand be developed through marketing communications?

  • As Heineken follows a global strategy of expansion, standardization of marketing communication is a major step
  • Each country is in a separate stage of market of evolution, so Heineken have to use different marketing penetration strategies
  • Build market share in embryonic markets
  • Increase market share in the Take-Off and growing markets
  • Maintain market share in declining and mature markets
  • Despite differing strategies across markets, a unifying marketing communications theme is necessary
  • A global branding strategy will lower marketing costs, realize economies of scale in production and clarify the brands positioning in the minds of the customers

What should be the role of Heineken’s headquarters in shaping the marketing of the brand worldwide?

  • They should differentiate the marketing strategies and not just concentrate on TV advertisement
  • Sporting events
  • Concerts
  • Build the Heineken experience
  • Consistent product image
  • Personalized for different local markets, but still consistent
  • Despite differing strategies across markets, a unifying marketing communications theme is necessary
  • A global branding strategy will lower marketing costs, realize economies of scale in production and clarify the brands positioning in the minds of the customers

Explain why Heineken is - or is not - a global brand?

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