Heineken Depends on 'Customer Value Proposition' to Lift Sales   

By John Karolefski

The country’s big brewers are concerned because consumers’ choice of alcoholic beverages is gradually changing. More social drinkers are opting for wine or spirits over beer, and the change is reflected in recent sales statistics. For example, Heineken NV reported sharply lower U.S. beer volume in the first quarter compared with a year earlier.  Last month, its volumes fell by a high-single-digit percentage in the declining U.S. beer market, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
So, it’s no surprise why the Dutch brewer is relying on a creative initiative outlining a new Customer Value Proposition (CVP). It is a framework for defining the value customers receive when they do business with Heineken USA and its portfolio of brews from around the world, especially the iconic Heineken beer in green bottles. Dubbed “Profit from a World of Experience,” the new platform was developed two years ago and rolled on in October 2017. It focuses on two channels: grocery and convenience stores.

“What do you get when you do business with Heineken USA that captures who we are and what we do?” asked Vikas Satval, the brewer’s senior director of category development. He posed the question in a presentation recently in Nashville at the annual Category Management & Shopper Insights Conference hosted by the Category Management Association (CMA).

According to Satval, Heineken is on a mission to help its customers thrive. It does this by putting its global insights, marketing assets and trend spotting talents to work, providing the tools and insights our customers want to drive sustained, profitable growth in the import and craft segments.

For years, the big brewers focused on relationships, but today Heineken is working with consumer metrics, CRM, and an assortment of digital components.
Satval said this comprehensive effort began with a simple vision: Help build a best-in-class insights-based category leadership capability to enable Heineken’s CVP.

The program aims to create value to its customers by leveraging brands and services in a distinctive way. It ensures that the entire organization is focused on addressing both brand and customer marketplace opportunities by creating holistic end-to-end solutions that are consumer, shopper and customer relevant.

Satval outlined the following four stages of self-evaluation, setting the stage for how Heineken creates value for its customers with a differentiated bundle of brands and capabilities:
Customer Needs Assessment
  • What are our customers’ needs and expectations of their key supplier partners?
  • What are the highest value creation opportunities for our customers?
  • How are we performing against these needs?

Capability Inventory
  • What capabilities do we currently have that are of value to our customers?
  • What capabilities are we building that will be of value to our customers?

Value Proposition Development
  • What is our value proposition?
  • What capabilities are required to deliver the value proposition?
  • How will we brand our value proposition?
Value Proposition Deployment
  • How will we build awareness and understanding of our value proposition?
  • How will we drive application and adoption?
  • How will we track our progress and identify share/best practices?

As part of its CVP, Satval said Heineken gives customers forward-looking insights to identify what’s around the corner. What’s more, its local market expertise will create unique customer experiences that deliver traffic, sales and loyalty.

“The deployment is not complete,” he summed up. “We continue to drive and evolve the CVP.”

                                                                            May 2018
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