One report, multiple solutions…

Pearlfinders research is solution neutral. Our analysts’ goal is to uncover key challenges being faced by a brand without prescribing the solution. Many of our reports discuss multiple disciplines of marketing, empowering clients to approach with tailored solutions based on their area of specialism, while all aimed at solving the core challenge being faced by the brand.

Below is an example of a recent report we produced following a conversation with a Brand Manager at Heineken. During our research it discussed a refocusing of the US marketing strategy following segmentation, and building its brand using new techniques. While the conversation centred on social media, clients have used this report to help them win meetings with the brand for events, PR and advertising.

Having a solution to the underlying challenges being faced by marketers allows clients from all walks of marketing to connect with senior decision-makers in a uniquely relevant manner.

Heineken looks to integrate into lifestyles of the health-conscious and craft beer fans

The decision-maker: Following an expansion of its sponsorship portfolio, Pearlfinders interviewed a Brand Manager who’s responsible for strategy across the US.

The challenge: The objective for Heineken this year is to better integrate into the lifestyles of more niche groups of people, in order to become a “staple” brand and drive both acquisition and loyalty. The challenge is in engaging such an array of audiences and bringing the relevant Heineken qualities to the fore without alienating other groups. What will interest health enthusiasts, for example, will not sufficiently engage craft beer fans. There is also the risk of alienating older audiences, who may not be interested in either of these trends.

Current strategy: The team wants to segment its consumer base both by age and by interests, for example:-

  • People who have just reached LDA – this is Heineken’s future customer-base, and as such, the focus is rapid acquisition.
  • 35+ individuals – the focus here is on loyalty, as many of this group will already have established affiliation with the Heineken brand.
  • Health/sports enthusiasts – this is a trend that it is looking to tie into, particularly with its Heineken Light brand. It needs to build awareness of the fact that a bottle of Light is only 99 calories, which can easily be incorporated into the social past-times of health & wellness enthusiasts.
  • Craft beer fans – with the boom of interest in this market, Heineken needs to be highlighting its craft heritage and ingredients to align with consumption trends and drive growth. The company is still family-owned and operated, its beer still only has three ingredients, making it very similar to IPA in flavor and appearance.

Short-term opportunities: Social media is an area that Heineken is actively searching for agency assistance on, with a focus on two key factors:-

  1. Brand perception – as is the nature of social media interaction within online communities, Heineken cannot be seen as a “corporate intruder,” but instead has to integrate into that community. 
  2. Consumption – it needs to understand the social media consumption habits of each of its target audiences in terms of their preferred platforms, in order to tailor its strategies for each channel.

Multiple solutions: We provided details of marketers across the department. Clients have used the challenges detailed in this report, and the focus on targeting new segments of its audience, to arrange meetings with decision-makers about events, PR, sponsorship and experiential.