Heineken sets as its mission to offer products that regardless of the price, make consumers sure that value is always on the highest level. It seems that Serbian market fully appreciate this transparent approach.
Consumers purchasing and consumption behavior is getting more and more complex. Therefore, Heineken continuously work on defining the business model, which will fully appreciate needs of the Serbian consumers who value both the price and the quality, says Aleksandros Danilidis, CEO Heineken Serbia.
How Heineken fares in the Serbian market, which is almost stagnant when it comes to the purchasing power of the buyers?
This is a very interesting question. Serbian beer market is very competitive. The price is considered as one of the key elements of product mix, but still not the most important one. It is known that Serbian consumers are price sensitive, but even more value sensitive. In order to build loyalty between products and consumers, quality of the product has to fully justify its price. In HEINEKEN Serbia we developed a portfolio of products which covers all price segments, under the same principle – offering top quality products for the best possible price.
Our mission is to offer products that regardless of the price, make consumers sure that value is always on the highest level. It is important to mention that during the last 5 years we have consistently developed a pricing strategy which is focused on “high value “principle and it really paid off. Our strategy is not based on aggressive price promotions, or frequent offers. We offer our portfolio on prices that can be full justified and most of our promotions are “value adding“ actions. It seems that Serbian consumers fully appreciate this transparent approach and this helped our Company to build a very solid business model.
What do you see as the best mix of Heineken brands in such circumstances?
Portfolio strategy is the base of our commercial strategy, and there is a reason for that – consumers purchasing and consumption behavior is getting more and more complex. Therefore we constructed a wide portfolio, combination of products which consists of local brands with long heritage, like Zaječarsko and PilsPlus, regional brand with long history in Serbia like Laško, and a variety of very famous and high quality brands like Heineken, Amstel and Krušovice – one of the oldest and traditional Czech beers. Also, the portfolio includes beers from different parts of the world like Kapuziner Weissbier, wheat beer from Bavaria and New Castle Brown Ale from England. At the same time we add innovation such as Zajecarsko Dark that can satisfy the need for variety of taste. Our plan is to evaluate continuously the relevance of our portfolio and to develop it even further according to wishes and needs of Serbian consumers.
How much are buyers devoted to your local brands?
Beer is a category of Food and Beverage products with a very long heritage. Thus, local brands are extremely relevant for almost every consumption occasion, and Serbia could not be an exception of this rule. Therefore, beer market is dominated from local brands at a level of 85%.
Our brewery in Zajecar was established at the end of 19th century. Serbian consumers accepted with enthusiasm our decision to distribute nationally Zaječarsko few years ago. Zajecarsko changed the shape of the Serbian beer market in a short period of time. The recipe was simple: A brand that carries genuine Serbian values, has unpretentious character, top quality and consistently good price. We significantly invested in our brewery in Zajecar, but we did not overspend on communication.
We work hard to offer innovations like Zajecarsko Dark, at an exceptional quality and accessible price, but we did not go for aggressive promotional activities. This is a consistency that Serbian consumers rewarded generously and we feel obliged to make our best effort in order to return their trust.
To what extent is CSR a part of the strong brand?
HEINEKEN Serbia is focused on performing a sustainable business in the whole value chain: from the grain to the outlet. And we believe that CSR should not be perceived as part of brand marketing mix, but as the platform which will help our company to contribute to a sustainable future of our planet and our local communities. Heineken manifesto is clear about responsibilities regarding our positive impact to people, local communities and the sustainability of our planet. Thus, we have only one option: to work hard in order to implement and save guard all initiatives that serve our commitment. One of the most important results we have achieved from the beginning of our operation is reduction of CO2 emissions in production by 28%, also water consumption reduction by 58%, and important thing to mention is that 100% of all the fridges we purchased and distributed are green.
Responsible consumption and behavior
One of the most recognizable initiative that HEINEKEN Serbia has taken in CSR activities is the campaign „Guys who drives home? “. Campaign has been organized for 4 years now, with the goal to promote responsible consumption and behavior, aiming to ensure safe back home from biggest summer festivals in Serbia. Through our strategic partnership we safely transported 150,000 festival visitors and established a million direct contacts.