Olivera Nikodijević, Apatin Brewery: Emotions Are Always The Key

My transition from the world of marketing agencies to a company came as a bit of a shock

Olivera Nikodijević, Brands and Consumer Excellence Di-rector of SRB & MNE at Apatin Brewery (Apatinska Pivara), talks about her experience, working for marketing agencies, switching over to the brewing industry and communication peculiarities in this industry.

The difference between working in a marketing agency or in the marketing department of a company can be quite big. What do you think is the difference?

The difference is reflected in the size of the picture that the agency and the company see. The picture is dramatically larger and more complex in the case of a company. Marketing agencies essentially deal with only one aspect, which is advertising. I had different experiences when I worked in a marketing agency. International clients were much more willing to share important information with the agency and expected the agency to come up with solutions that covered all the important demands of consumers and the market. Usually, the result matched that. My transition from the world of marketing agencies to a company came as a bit of a shock. From someone who was convinced of their functional ability when it came to consulting, I became a bit confused and apologetic. In the beginning, everything looked baffling to me. However, with a lot of work, continuous learning and passionate Versistence, I was able to cope with all the challenges and become who I am and where I am today. For all the above reasons, in working with agencies, we strive to present a sufficiently big and clear picture of where we as a company and our brands are, who are our customers, what are they like and what we want. This greatly facilitates team-work and produces great results.

Owing to constant innovations and exceptional campaigns you have successfully respond to market needs. How did you manage to do that?

— It is a great responsibility to work for Apatin Brewery. Over 260 years of tradition creates special challenges on how to remain worthy of that tradition and meet the expectations of all those people who worked in our brewery in the past centuries and who are currently working in it, but also how to fulfill all the requirements of the modern market and our consumers. What drives us is the extreme pride of being part of a story that lasts so long and a great love for our brands. We constantly engage all our resources to reconcile the enduring tradition and requirements of the modern age, with the ultimate goal of having our brands respond to the different demands of beer consumers in Serbia and the region. The beer industry gives us many opportunities. There is no faster, more energetic, more engaged, more creative and more emotional industry than brewing. Consumers, with all their expectations, hopes, desires, fears, frustrations, love, resistances and everything that make up their life are at the heart of everything. The key to marketing success is to understand consumers and respond properly to their needs, whatever they may be. This is what makes our beer business endlessly beautiful and endlessly challenging.

Beer brands usually have a very loyal consumer base, often in strong correlation with sports. What can other advertisers learn from beer brands?

— Beer consumers are emotionally attached to the brand. To them, beer is never just a product or just refreshment. A glass of beer testifies to the greatest joys, is a symbol of relaxation after a busy day, the meeting point of old acquaintances and a bond that turns strangers into friends. As 80% of beer consumers are male, who view sport as one of the most important things in life, whether they are practising it or just following it, beer is an integral part of all those moments. Our brand Jelen is such a brand. That’s the reason why we tie it to sports because that’s where our consumers are. For this relationship not only to be financial, a lot of emotion also needs to be added to it, especially since our beer drinkers are experiencing sports very emotionally. Emotions are always the key.

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