Heineken Success Story

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  • Published : December 21, 2010
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Success Story

Heineken Extends Brand Equity with First “Experience Store” Background
Heineken is one of the world’s most recognized brewers, with 170 beer brands that generated revenue of US$13 billion in 2008. The 146-yearold Dutch company is famous for its pioneering advertising and innovative marketing, which go beyond beer by associating the Heineken brand with socializing and having fun. In the face of changing beverage consumption, advertising restrictions, and a blurring of its positioning among self-owned and competing beverage labels, Heineken’s marketers decided to use the company’s strong brand equity to expand into adjacent markets and provide consumers with new ways to interact with the brand. Through a series of workshops, demonstrations, and relationship-building activities, the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) provided support and guidance on how technology could help Heineken achieve this vision. A major component of Cisco IBSG’s engagement was working with Heineken on a new “brand experience store” in Amsterdam called “Heineken the City.” The store is part of an overall marketing/branding strategy that combines traditional and new media to create connection points between Heineken and its customers. In doing so, Heineken is sharpening its “fun-loving lifestyle” image while increasing customers’ brand preference and loyalty.

Executive Summary


Consumer Packaged Goods

Changingpatternsofbeverage consumption and self-owned brands were eroding Heineken's brand preference and customer loyalty • Neededtoconnecttoanew, tech-savvy generation of consumers • P otentialbanontraditionalbeer advertising necessitated new, technology-based marketing SOlUTIONS

ntegratedmarketingstrategy I combining traditional and new media • tate-of-the-artpromotionalstore S showcasing technology as well as products • -commercewebsiteswithperE sonalized products and sports and entertainment sponsorships RESUlTS

Clearly (Re-) Differentiating the Brand: Heineken has always been a widely recognized name, but the brand had become less clearly differentiated in recent decades. In the Netherlands, where there are numerous beer brands—many associated with regions or specific target drinkers—brand preference and loyalty had eroded, and Heineken’s communications were not conveying the intrinsic values of the brand. The company believed that new media, platforms, and markets were needed to revitalize the brand and make Heineken a “lifestyle” as well as an instantly recognizable beer. Heineken asked Cisco IBSG to provide

idespreadpublicityfor W Heineken the City store; 300,000 visitors the first year • etter-than-expecteddemand B for customized and branded products • womorestorestoberolledout T in London and Milan; technology foundation will be expanded in future Heineken projects

Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

Cisco IBSG Copyright © 2009 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


Success Story

guidance on incorporating new media into The City project. Cisco IBSG also recommended new strategies for the future, such as the use of personal mobile and video services. Changes in Beer-Consumption levels and habits: Another challenge for HeinekenisthatbeerconsumptioninWesternEuropehascomeunderincreasing pressure; consolidated beer volume in Europe declined 1.6 percent in 2008, according to Heineken’s 2008 annual report. Heineken has seen marginal growth, mostly from acquisitions of new labels and brands. Economicandpoliticalissuesalsoarefactors.Whileexperienceindicatesthat beer consumption as a whole is relatively resilient in a period of economic downturn, there may be shifts from consumption in bars and restaurants to in-home consumption, and from mainstream beers to economy beers. A smoking ban introduced in the Netherlands in July 2008...
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