It almost sells itself Heineken number two beer brand in Manhattan - 26 How do you sell Heineken Beer in the United States? '"Ttiey are busier bere more with PR than with real selling, because the product almost sells itself", says Eric Morham about the Manhattan market. However, in other parts of the U.S., the picture looks slightly different. Eric Morham has only been Vice- President Sales at Van Munching for a short time, but he is an experienced hand in the Heineken business. He worked for Heineken in his native Canada, moved to Amsterdam to assume the role of Regional Export Manager, departed for the United States several years ago to familiarise himself with the American market and is now in charge of the Van Munching sales force. Eric Morham realises that changes in the beer market are taking place at an increasingly rapid tempo. For the company which thinks in terms of the future, this means that responding more flexibly to those changes and also working very close to the custo mer are an absolute must. To meet these requirements a reorganisation of the sales department was needed. The United States has now been divi ded into four regions: western region with an office in Los Angeles, south east region with a new office in Atlanta, central region with an office in Chicago and northeast region with its own office, separate from that of the Van Munching head office, on Sixth Avenue in New York. Sales Each region is headed by a Regional Director. These four people report to Eric Morham, as do a National Account Manager and the Head of Planning and Administration. The northeast region is currently by far the most important for Van Munching, since 45% of the sales are destined for this region. "Heineken is least strongly represented in the cen tral region, so there are big opportu nities for us there", says Eric Morham. He is convinced that Heineken can also achieve substantial growth in the southeast region. "In states like Virginia and North Carolina the population is growing strongly because of the trek from cities like New York. The cost of living is lower and we are seeing industry relocating to those states. That in turn means new opportunities for us." Opportunities which are being seized to stimulate sales of Heineken Beer in bottles. Though Heineken is indeed available on draught in the U.S., Eric Morham prefers to see the green Heineken bottle standing on the bar. "It gives much more visibility than a glass of draught beer. In some markets, however, we are again seeing a growing interest for draught beer. That is probably due to the increasing popularity of the micro- brews." However, splitting up the U.S. into four regions is not the answer to everything. Decentralisation, feels Eric Morham, is the keyword. That's the reason why Regional Revenue Centers have been set up in which the Regional Directors and their division managers are given great responsibi lity and accountability. Within the present structure twelve division managers have an active role to play. They coordinate the work of 87 district managers. The division and district managers in par ticular are the people who maintain the contacts with the wholesalers and also go out into the marketplace THE WORLD OF HEINEKEN

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World of Heineken | 1994 | | pagina 62