The Heineken brewery, founded in Amsterdam in 1863 by Gerard Adriaan Heineken, is one the largest brewers in the world. With sales throughout Europe, America, Asia, Australia and Africa,Heineken was second in volume of beer brewed behind only Anheuser-Busch in 1993. While Europe, particularly the Netherlands, provided the majority of its sales revenue, international expansionprovided the majority of sales growth from 1992 to 1993. As the trend toward international expansion and the globalization of the brewing industry increased, the importance of effective advertisingstrategies and projecting an appropriate brand image became increasingly important.
Expansion into emerging markets forced Heineken to deal with many new challenges. Heineken began losing controlover advertising and pricing when it licensed foreign brewers to produce Heineken beer. Also, the landscape of the beer industry was quite different in emerging markets when compared with the Europeanbeer industry.
ariables such as per capita consumption, consumer preferences and behaviors changed considerably depending upon the country and its stage on the beer market evolution scale.Simultaneously, the European market was also changing as sluggish growth created increased price competition and margin pressures. As a result of all these pressures, the Heineken brand was beinginconsistently communicated through fragmented marketing strategies to its worldwide base of customers. Heineken executives viewed this as a potential problem that needed to be addressed if the companywas to continue as a leader in the beer industry. (See Exhibit 1)
In the early nineties, major changes were taking place within the beer industry. The brewing industry wasbecoming increasingly global causing major brewers, particularly in emerging markets, to expand by way of acquisitions and joint ventures. The untapped Chinese market, for instance, offered vast growth...