Marketing Essay – Heineken Case Study

The biggest challenge that the Heineken Company faces is how it is going to ensure that one of its recently manufactured brand penetrates the market. Buckler brand, which is a nonalcoholic beer, is to be distributed into the different markets. The company has been facing challenges of having other products established in different countries. Most of the products manufactured by Heineken are alcoholic drinks. In France, Tourtel, which is an alcoholic drink, had a bigger market share. This proved to be a herculean task to introduce Buckler in such a market. The managers are concerned about the slow start of the Buckler brand in the different areas where it had been introduced. The executives are finding it difficult to penetrate most markets as the nonalcoholic beer is a new brand in the market and most of the retailers are skeptical about it.
Getting the right marketing mix has proved to be a problem for the company. When a new product is manufactured by a corporation, there are concerns over the acceptance of the product by the consumers. It is because of this reason that corporation’s takes time to strategize the long term plans which shall ensure market penetration and consumer loyalty. The operations segment was reluctant to embrace the new product given the risks it poses to their products. This surprised the corporate marketing department.
The Brand development department has been vocal in the development of Buckler. This is a non alcoholic drink. The company has invested a lot of capital in the development of the product including formulating policies, which shall see the product take a bigger market share all over the world. Buckler and Norlander were designed by the committee appointed to undertake the development of a non alcoholic beer. Buckler has low levels of alcohol while others have no alcohol. In different jurisdictions, there are laws which govern the production of non alcoholic beverages. After, the product has been manufactured; there has been a quandary in deciding on the right marketing mix. The positioning and branding strategies of Buckler have been set. Extensive market research has been undertaken, and the results settled for Buckler. Norlander was dropped and launch of the Buckler undertaken. All the while, consumers had given a positive response over the taste of Buckler and the company was devoted to launching the product. The paramount concern is that most of the branches in the different countries are reluctant to accept the distribution of the product.
Most of the operating entities are citing the overlap of the new product with their existing products. Introducing competing products from the same organization will serve to confuse the consumers. Buckler has received acceptance from Spain and France. Other divisions like Netherlands had just introduced a similar product in the market. It became difficult to introduce Buckler in the market as it would have interfered with the other product, Amstel Light. At the time, the Netherlands division had a small market for the nonalcoholic beer. In Ireland, there was the introduction of another brand, and this made it a herculean task to launch two similar nonalcoholic beers in the same market. Consequently, the Ireland Market resisted allowing Beckley in the market. In Greece, they rejected the product as the population does not associate healthy living with the products.
Marketing Plan

Mission Statement

The mission of the company is to expand the market penetration of Buckler all over the world and be a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of the non alcoholic drinks.

Buckler is a nonalcoholic drink which is manufactured by the Heineken Company. The company has been in operation for ages and has firsthand experience when it comes to brewing beers. Given that the company has a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, Heineken decided to expand its product portfolio, by introducing the nonalcoholic beer. The company ventured in to the manufacture of nonalcoholic drink and within a year the product was ready for consumption. The nonalcoholic drink may either have little alcohol or no alcohol at all. This shall be clearly written on the labels of the Buckler bottles.
Target Group
Heineken Company is targeting medium and heavy drinkers. This is because of the taste which makes them feel comfortable while taking the nonalcoholic drink. In addition, in terms of gender, the males shall be targeted most as they are fond of quenching their thirst from one time to another. With reference to age, the nonalcoholic product shall target the people between the ages of 25 and 45. Such persons are active as they engage in their day today activities with lots of energy. Buckler shall serve them right as the product does not make one drunk since the alcohol levels are quite low.

Benefits of the Product

Buckler can be used as a thirst quencher because it is tasteful. Extensive research has been undertaken with reference to the taste and the alcohol content. It is a drink which can be consumed by any adult besides it has healthy benefits. The calorie accumulation is low, and this does not pose health risks to the consumers. It is an energy drink which can be consumed at any time of the day.

Marketing Mix

The product requires to be marketed in terms of the 4p’s. These are place, promotion, product, and price.
The product is known as Buckler. It is a nonalcoholic drink. The company has taken so much time to come up with the product. So much has been done including removal of the alcohol after fermentation, which is a tedious and excruciating process. This has taken the company one year to manufacture the product instead of the two years that the competitors have taken to manufacture Buckler. This product will be used by the heavy and the medium drinkers. Beer drinkers will find the product tastier and the demand for Buckler will increase. Buckler shall be put in clean translucent bottles.
The bottles shall come in packages of 300 milliliters and 500 milliliters. Just like the other drinks in the market, Buckler shall serve to attract so many people. The superlative part about Buckler is that it does not cause any side effects. As a matter of fact, Buckler is healthy because it has low levels calories, which are not a health hazard. Compared to the products of the competitors, Buckler stands out as it has a pleasant taste. In addition, the product shall sell at a premium prices in some countries while, in others, it shall sell at reduced prices. The nonalcoholic drink comes in two options. One option has little alcohol while the other has none.
The company shall distribute the product to all of its operations centers. Distribution of the product shall be easy as the company has well established channels in Europe and other parts of the world. As a result of the presence of other non alcoholic drinks in the international markets, the company shall undertake to conduct a comprehensive study of each market. Through the corporate heads, Heineken shall be able to plan the best way to align the products with respect to their respective markets. The product shall be sold in shopping malls, fast food restaurants as well as by the retailers.
The company believes in the product. This has been arrived at after carrying out intensive research on different markets. In some markets like France and Spain, the cost of Buckler shall have the premium element as there are other products of the company doing equally well. A reduction in price shall be undertaken if the market forces work against the product. Considerations shall be extended to other factors like competitor prices, the profit margins as well as the market share.
Intensive promotional campaigns shall be conducted using the most appealing messages. The communication shall be passed from the corporate managers to the brand managers. The committee responsible for manufacturing the product shall ensure that the same message, in the different languages, is used in promoting the product. Different mediums shall be employed to assist in promoting the product. It shall not be a herculean task, for Heineken to undertake the promotional campaigns, as it has established outlets in all parts of the world.
Funds for carrying out the project shall come from the company. All the profits for the year shall be utilized in designing of the project. The funding shall aid in carrying out of the market research as well as on improving the quality of the product. So much capital shall be consumed, but within the first six months, the company shall have recovered the capital. The shareholders shall be called to decide on technical issues of the project. This shall assist the corporate marketing division to undertake many other innovative projects in the future. Through this move, the company shall have created employment and improved standards of living of the individuals.
There shall be clear lines of communication right from the senior personnel to the junior employees. The communication shall take the shortest routes as depicted in the organization chart. Through increased communication strategies, the product shall be supported by all the managers across the board. Information on the benefits of the product shall be communicated to the managers. These will encourage the manager to promote the products in their jurisdictions. The brand stands out because of the Masculinity, refreshing, safety and health benefits. It has the social aspect of bringing people together. All this factors will have a positive influence on the brand name.
Solutions to the Problem
In order to ensure that the product is embraced by all the operations centers, communication is imperative. The corporate marketing department should work closely with the managers from the respective countries. Buckler is a new product, and there should be support from all the stakeholders. Considerations should be paid on the existing products in the different countries. Again, awareness on the benefits of the non-alcoholic drink should be spread in countries like Greece. In Greece, people do not link the product with healthy living. Before launching the product in Greece and Ireland, aggressive marketing campaigns should be undertaken.
In countries like France and Spain, Heineken should introduce the product in such a way that it will not interfere with the current operations of such branches. The pricing should be reviewed regularly with the view of making the product accessible by everyone. Since the product has been well researched, more of the same should be done from time to time. The consumer tastes and preferences are as dynamic as the market. This calls for regular market research in the different operating segments. The information should be used to develop the eminence of the non alcoholic beverage in the future.

The operations managers should be given the necessary support to guarantee the penetration of the product in the market. Frequent meetings should be undertaken, with the aim of collecting all the views from the different departments, as well as implementing the formulated policies. A proper scheme of positioning and branding should be formulated with the aim of aligning the product with the different markets. The pricing of the product should have the premium element in countries like Spain and France as the people know about the product. In countries like Ireland and Greece, the pricing should not have the premium element as the citizens do not know much about the product. Low prices will develop a solid basis for developing the market for non-alcoholic beers.

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