Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Heineken Bars

Heineken - the next Starbucks? (AOL) Heineken is taking beer branding one step further.

Brand Experience is finally getting the emphasis it deserves from planning and creativity. So much so that experiential marketing agencies are becoming an industry of their own. Check out Jack Morton, they believe experiences bring a brand to life and have the power to spark immediate insight and action. COOL!

"With Starbucks, people are looking for a familiar brand. This is what we are trying to roll out for beer," says Erik van de Ven, Heineken's manager for duty-free and travel retail. "If you enter the Heineken Bar, you enter the world of Heineken."

I think this is super smart for a beer brand. Starbucks created the third-place (not work, not home) around coffee. But who wouldn't want the license to enjoy a brewsky in an established third-place that offered beer? People now (maybe) feel awkward about their beer consumption at mid-day or after-work. But really, an after work brew serves the purpose of breaking up the work-home-work-home mantra. Heineken is serving the customer and the brand with experiential marketing.

"Social experiences are in many ways stronger than advertising. They create an opportunity to showcase your brand at its very best," says Tim Riches, the Australia managing director of branding agency Futurebrand at Interpublic Group
of Cos. (AOL)

Heineken will be rolling these bars out in airports around the globe. Keep your fingers crossed for U.S. entry, apparently we have some legal restriction against alochol makers owning and operating their own bars, so it might be a while...

Experience marketing focuses on creating a positive and memorable experience for customers. Super COOL because it focuses on the take-away for the consumer; in which, the brand is intrinsically a part of.

I worked for Starbucks for 6 months and about two and a half or those were dedicated to teaching me the values of the company and the goals for every customer interaction. Starbucks has the experience thing down. They are a big company but their brand runs through all departments and all interactions, making it feel small. Every company/brand needs to realize that even though passion may be felt at the top of the chain, it needs to trickle down to the frontline 16-year-old who's looking for inspiration. The frontline is where the customer experience happens.

Junior planners, have a couple ideas from your own consuming experience about how to make changes at the frontline for brands. This is where planning can really count!

For more info, check out The 3 Ds of Customer Experience by the Harvard Update group.


LB said...

I love your blog.....can I work for you??

LB said...
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