Consumer engagement at Heineken

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As a leading beer company Heineken has found many ways to engage their customers. Whether it is an interactive advertising campaign including James Bond or a social media contest, the effort never fails to excite.

The Heineken Experience

One of the more engaging examples is the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam. It is a historic landmark and the original brewery facility of Heineken. There are four floors with historical items, an interactive simulation where you can be the bottle and product sampling (in other words you get a fresh draught beer).

Ideas Brewery

Another great example is their crowdsourcing platform, which is called HEINEKEN Ideas Brewery. This platform was launched because innovation is important for top-line growth and Heineken believes that innovative ideas can come from anywhere.

The Sustainable Packaging Challenge

The first challenge was introduced with the platform launch in April 2012 and it was about sustainable beer packaging. The ideas had to fit in one of the three areas:

“- Re-using and recycling packaging
– Discovering new packaging materials
– Considering transport as a mean to create a sustainable future for beer packaging.”

The winning idea received a 10,000 U.S. dollar reward and was submitted by Helmut Witteler. He proposed an innovative device (Heineken-O-Mat) that would motivate consumers to return their bottles with the incentive to win 1,000 USD.


The Draught Beer Experience Challenge

The next challenge for the consumer was to reinvent the draught beer experience, because Heineken thought it needed to be upgraded with recent technological advances. The rules and prize are similar to the previous challenge. The difference is that six finalists were chosen based on their ideas and invited for a co-creation workshop in Amsterdam. The finalists had to work with Heineken experts, bartenders and consumers to improve their ideas. The winning idea was selected after two days at the workshop which was developed by Albert Soler Mas and was called: flavors of the world SKIMMER. His draught beer experience was reinvented by adding different flavors to the beer foam.


The 60+ Insights Challenge

The third and most recent challenge was held early 2013. This initiative is different compared to the previous two due to the fact that it is a nod towards marketing research. Heineken was looking for insightful information about the current lives of 60-70 year-olds. The company asked the crowd to share their observations and insights in order to understand how that generation lives and what their preferences are. This group is an interesting target for Heineken because this generation is largely retired and has more money and quality time to spend. This time three winning ideas had to share the 10,000 USD prize. The first place went to Marie Cecile Schouwenaar who submitted a clear insight on the 60+ generation.

These are all nice examples and Heineken doesn’t stop at that of course.  In 2012 they asked designers to design the “Club of the Future”, which soon evolved into “The Open Design Exploration”, Heineken’s platform for crowdsourcing the bar experience. So, not only consumers but designers too are involved with innovation at Heineken.

It is exciting to see what Heineken will come up with in the future.



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