Heineken chases the ageing consumer

The Dutch brewer is crowd-sourcing observations from fans on the consumption occasions of older shoppers using its innovation platform the Ideas Brewery. This is a surprising and welcomed initiative by one of the worlds leading marketing organisations. But only 1,800 views of the video in almost 2 months is not encouraging.

Also, I suspect this initiative will attract mainly ‘younger’ people to participate meaning that their views will be through the lens of a younger person rather than peer to peer. A common and often fatal marketing error. Furthermore, the concept of age-friendly means that the entire customer journey needs to be reviewed. This would include fundamentals like product closures (ring pull cans are notoriously difficult for weaker, less dexterous fingers).

This article in UK’s Marketing Week reports that the strategy follows the launch of the brand’s 60+ Generation challenge on the Ideas Brewery earlier this year where fans were invited to help create a documentary that celebrated the older generation. The activity is the first time Heineken has used its crowdsourcing platform, which launched last year, to target a specific demographic.

The insight will be used to create new beer products as well as bring the marketing strategies for its lager and cider brands more in line with the specific needs of the demographic over the next year. It is hoped the company-wide initiative will encourage more older drinkers to purchase Heineken’s brands such as Amstel and Birra Moretti.

This is a wonderful initiative, but those of us who focus on this segment, have a pretty good idea of the direction alcohol brands should and should not take.

“We see in many parts of the world an ageing global population which is increasingly living longer. Traditionally, our focus has been on younger consumer groups – we see potential in embracing all age groups. We are now looking for insights that can help us develop propositions that are better tailored to the specific needs of the 60+ consumer. At a later phase we will match ideas with relevant brands.” Heineken spokeswoman