So you decide to grab some beer and you purchase it from a local shop, but what would you do if a ‘voice in your head’ told you to grab a Heineken? It’s not unusual, but it is the new marketing mantra adopted by the Dutch-born icon Heineken to celebrate its second anniversary by engaging with customers in a unique way at the point of sale – just before the purchase. The brand provided its customers with a different beer buying experience by incepting a ‘voice in their head’ urging them to grab the bespoke green colored embossed bottle – Heineken!
The brand executed it by using directional speakers for the purpose, which emits a high frequency beam of sound at the subjects – becoming a voice in their head, a voice that no one else could hear. Since it was a focused beam of sound, only the subject could hear it. The speakers were camouflaged with the surroundings and left the user in focus wondering where the sound was coming from.
Samar Singh Sheikhawat, Senior Vice President Marketing, United Breweries said, “Our activation idea was built around the thought of engaging with the consumer at the point of sale right before he makes the purchase; thus, reinforcing the positioning of Heineken as a brand that is innovative and cool.”
On the idea behind choosing the experiential route, he said, “There’s a wave of change taking place in today’s sales and marketing environment. Every interaction is being challenged to be more personal, engaging and meaningful. Therefore, there is renewed emphasis on brands having to deliver highly interactive brand experiences. Consumers need to feel like the brand is an integral part of their lifestyle and not something being pushed at them by marketers. Engaging with them through experiential marketing is the best way to get their attention and Heineken allowed its consumers to get up close and personal with the brand and see how it fits in their lives with this particular activity. Besides, we ended up providing a unique beer buying experience to our consumers.”
There will many more innovations in this space from Heineken in the coming months, he added.
In this world of fierce competition, it is important for a brand to execute innovative marketing campaigns and unique experiences to stand out. Establishing an emotional connect and becoming an integral part of the consumer’s lifestyle is becoming increasingly important for marketers. Hence, experiential marketing is gaining importance because it allows consumers to become active participants and get personal with the brand. A one-time purchase may meet the immediate goal, but it is important to continuously engage the customer with face-to-face interactions through experiential marketing.
Heineken’s quirky campaign will be memorable and may result in a change in the buying behaviour of customers. It can drive brand loyalty and maximise awareness because of the brilliant execution. It is time brands open up and start adopting the experiential route – The Heineken way.