Case Study

Heineken 2009: A global, glocal or local brand? (A)

18 pages
July 2013
Reference: IMD-5-0797

In 2009, Cyril Charzat, global brand manager for Heineken®, had to decide on the future of the iconic Heineken® beer brand. When Charzat started his new job in December 2008, HEINEKEN was experiencing its first ever stagnation of growth in the volume of beer sold worldwide. The economic crisis had hit and competition in the beer market had intensified. Consumers had the choice of a growing number of beers – local artisanal brews, low budget beers as well as more and more international brands such as HEINEKEN’s global competitors: Carlsberg, Corona, Budweiser, Tuborg, Becks, Stella Artois, and HEINEKEN’s own Amstel beer or Desperados. According to many of Charzat’s colleagues, the Heineken® brand had been doing well up to 2008 because of the company’s ability to customize its marketing to local contexts. Charzat had to decide whether the current “glocal” (global brand, local marketing) strategy was indeed the way forward or if the slackening growth indicated that it was time for Heineken to become a truly global brand.

Learning Objective

The case provides an example of a strategic decision on local or global branding.

Branding, Internationalization, Global
World/global, Netherlands
HEINEKEN, Consumer Goods, Food and Beverage, Consumer Goods, Beer
Field Research
© 2013
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