.S.A. is a mecca for every marketeer" Vice-President Marketing on world's biggest beer market: Advertising, sponsorships, promotions. Van Munching Co. uses every means to boost the brand strength of Heineken, Amstel Light, Murphy's Irish Stout and Buckler. Chris Vuyk, who had "worked for many years at Heineken head of fice in Amsterdam, departed last September for the U.S. to take charge of the marketing discipline within VMCO. I have worked for Heineken in many countries but I've never yet seen a market where Heineken's strength is as great as here. For a marketeer the United States is a mecca", says Chris Vuyk in his Sixth Avenue office, right above the famed Radio City Music Hall. A while later he corrects part of his statement. For America cannot and must not be seen as one single market. Consumption patterns for beer vary widely in the U.S., even dis regarding the fact that legislation may differ from one state to the next. "If you devise a promotion for one state, you always have to ask yourself whether that same promotion is also possible in the neighboring state." The beer market in the northern states is somewhat similar to that in Northern Europe (relatively few sea sonal influences), but America's southern states greatly resemble the beer market in Southern Europe (strong seasonal influences and a major focus on the on premise trade). Apart from the climate, the heritage of the population also has a bearing on beer consumption. The main pop ulation groups in the northern states are descendants of German and Irish extraction. These consumers do not deny their roots; their consumption patterns show a great similarity with those in Northern Europe. Eve Chris Vuyk feels that, given the major shifts in demographics, the American brewing industry is on the eve of a new era. At the moment 75% of the population is white, 12% African American, and 9% Hispanic. By the year 2040 the 'minorities' will be in the majority, which will bring about a cultural sea-change. Even today Spanish-language television stations are widely active and Spanish newspapers and magazines are avail able from street-corner vendors. Local breweries are already adapting their commercials to reflect Hispanic preferences. As Chris Vuyk makes clear, Heineken should step up its efforts in this area. Market research data show the need for this. Heineken is not only consumed by the white population. Amongst African Americans there is a high acceptance, whilst an increasing number of Hispanics regularly drink a Heineken beer. Taken together, Heineken prod ucts have a share of 1.5% of the total U.S. market. In Manhattan, however, Heineken is the number two beer brand! That strong position is chiefly attributable to the prestige of Manhattan's downtown business cen ter but is certainly also due to the strong position that Heineken Beer holds in Harlem, the famous district of Manhattan, with very many African American residents. The exact communications strate gy needed to address the cultural changes in the U.S.A. still has to be fleshed out in detail, but the process is already under way in sub-areas. One example: a table tent for the on premise trade in six different lan guages. Where events for specific population groups are concerned, Van Munching also plays an active role in THE WORLD OF HEINEKEN

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World of Heineken | 1994 | | pagina 58