The Heineken Marketing Miracle

By Brian Pasch

As a student of marketing, I thought that I would share a story with my marketing colleagues in the USA.  At first it may not seem like a “miracle” but the more I thought about Heineken’s marketing strategy, it is extremely impressive.

I’m in Amsterdam this week, my fourth visit in recent months as we extend our digital marketing consulting business in Holland. My friends in Holland made a comment that grabbed my attention:

“In Holland, Heineken is considered the beer for the “common man”.  It is not considered a premium beer.”

I asked for clarification, because in the USA Heineken is considered a premium beer.  The Heineken marketing to US consumers has been extremely effective.  I considered Heineken a worldwide “premium” experience, not just in the USA.

What I learned is that in the birthplace of Heineken, it is considered the Budweiser of beers. That is not to knock Budweiser, but it is the Dutch viewpoint of their local beer which is comparable to how Americans view Budweiser in the USA.

A Global MARKETING Success

When I travel around the globe, Heineken is often one of the more expensive beers on the list.  It made me think about the marketing miracle that Heineken has achieved.

One day Heineken decided to expand their beer, for the “common man”, outside of Holland. Instead of setting the bar low, they aimed high.  They believed in their product.

Today, by aiming high, the beer for the “common man” in Holland is the beer that is considered a premium experience worldwide. It is a great reminder to any company that is considering global growth; get the best marketing team for the product’s introduction.

Companies can create a clean slate in new International markets as long as they have a quality product. The relative quality is where marketing steps in and makes the miracles happen.

The next time I drink a bottle of Heineken I will toast to the marketing geniuses behind the brand that are today’s modem alchemists of beer.

Visting Amsterdam

If readers ever get a chance to visit Amsterdam, take an hour and go to the Heineken Experience, which is an active guided tour of the history of Heineken and you get two beers included in the price of admission!


Brian Pasch, CEO

PCG Consulting



3 thoughts on “The Heineken Marketing Miracle

  1. Brian,

    Thanks for the good read! Did you notice that the Heineken tasted different in Holland than what we drink here in the states? When I was there is tasted like our typical domestics? Being originally from Milwaukee I’ve had my fair share of beer, it was the first thing I noticed when doing a little bar hopping in Amsterdam!

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