Marketing and Heineken

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Heineken Case Study Questions

Put yourself in the role of the Global VP of Marketing at Heineken. You have different marketing teams evaluating the Heineken’s global brand positioning. Your objective is to recommend to the CEO how you should proceed with your global brand efforts.

1. What are Heineken’s strengths and weaknesses? Is Heineken a global brand? Why or why not? What are the characteristics of a global brand? What competitive and cultural barriers does the Heineken brand face?

A global brand is one which customizes product features and selling techniques to local tastes so that consumers in different locations and under different socio-cultural constructs (or, in this case, also under different development cycles) can identify and relate.

Heineken is a global brand. It might mean slightly different things to different cultures, but it is recognized across the globe as a premium beer – tastes and costs more (or is valued higher) than the average beer.

Some of Heineken’s strengths were the already existing brand associations, especially outside the Netherlands, of “premium beer,” “lighter and superior quality,” and “attractive packaging.”

The competitive barriers vary from market to market. In some cases, particularly in Africa and Eastern Europe, the problem (according to the case assumptions) is that they were in the embryonic stage of their development. It is difficult to break into a market in which beer consumption is already low. The issues in Western Europe, however, were on the other extreme (namely overcapacity and minimal population growth,) which resulted in price competition and margin pressures, among other things. Also, in Germany, the country with the highest beer consumption per capita, other domestic beers not only dominated, but Heineken was only available through imports. This significantly impacts sales/consumption.

2. Analyze and evaluate the research outlined in the case. Why did they...
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