International Case Analysis – Heineken
Ronald J. McIntosh
MG 495 Strategic Management - Winter 2014
City University of Seattle
Heineken begins it story as a company in 1864 when its founder, Gerard Adrian
Heineken purchased a small brewery in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Since that time, multiple
generations have expanded the Heineken brand to be the third largest brewer in
Europe and expanded its branding reach globally. The company’s portfolio includes 170
international ...view middle of the document...
Language is a major challenge, and even
though English is spoken around the world in most cases it cannot be used as a language for
international marketing campaign. Needless to say, the translation of the campaign
into the foreign language is of the upmost importance.
There are English words that do not have corresponding or associated words in most
foreign languages and in here lies the challenge in communicating the right message.
These words have different emotional meaning than the same words in the other language.
A marketing or branding message that the advertising campaign is based on might be
“lost in translation” and deliver a different meaning or unwanted effect.
“Slang” words that are used in American ads might be very hard or impossible to translate
into a foreign language because they do not mean the same thing or don’t exist at all in
another language. For example, Budweiser launched a very successful “What’s up”
campaign. If Heineken used that’s same campaign theme, it would have delivered negative
External Legal and Political Factors
There are a number of multiple regulations and laws affecting the beverage
alcohol industry. In the United States, the alcohol industry imposes various federal
and state government regulations. Alcoholic beverages in general face national import
and excise duty taxes as well as in the global marketplace. Further, the industry is
subject to restrictions in advertising, marketing and sales distribution. (Imbs, J. 2013).
External Cultural Factors
Sociocultural factors must be considered that apply to lifestyle changes,
economic concerns in identifying use of disposable income, and the level of social
impacts. These factors affect consumer’s behaviors when making purchasing decisions
of their preferred alcoholic beverage. Further, these sociocultural factors can
developed over years and most companies have been able to adapt to them effectively.
“Light beers” or better known as “low-carb beers” are an example of companies being
able to adapt to these factors (Gale Group, 2012).
Business Level Strategy
The business level strategy of Heineken is to grow the business in a sustainable and
consistent manner, while constantly improving profitability. The four priorities for action
➢ To expand sustainable top-line growth;
➢ To improve operational efficiency and cost reduction;
➢ To maximize implementation: Committing to faster decision making and execution;
➢ To approach markets where the company believes it can achieve a “must win” battle.
Driving this mission focus is the Heineken Group Board of Directors. The management of
Heineken is run by the Executive Board, which has two members and one Chairman. The
company has five operating regions: Western Europe,...