Heineken – History, Brand Value, and Brand Strategies

Heineken is a brewing company established by Gerard Adriaan Heineken. The Dutch beer brand holds a portfolio of 170 beer brands worldwide and stands second as the world’s largest beer producer. It was established in 1864 and is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Amstel, Birra Moretti, Desperados, Sol, and Tiger are famous brands registered under Heineken. All of these are famous beers but are very different but still make their own mark on the global level.

As of March 2019, the market capital value of Heineken is $28.3 billion, with sales of around $26.5 billion, and its employees are more than 80 thousand. The company has been placed in Forbes lists, holding a position in World’s Most Valuable Brand 2019, Top Regraded companies 2019, and Global 2000 2019.

Heineken – History

When GreardAdiraan Heineken was 22, he started this business by investing in a brewery in Amsterdam. Girard was a risk-taker; instead of following the Dutch mastery in ale, porter, or brown, Girard risked brewing the only lager. They successfully opened another brewery within a decade.

This was all possible with Dr. H. Elion developing a yeast, “ Heineken pilsner,” which is a key ingredient in Heineken beer.

In 1875, Heineken was awarded the Medal D’Or, and in 1889, Grand Prix in Paris. In 1932, the company acquired Singapore’s Tiger beer company. After the 1933 Prohibition lift, Heineken was the first beer exported to the USA.

 Heineken focused more on global expansion under Alfred Henry “Freddy” Heineken, merging with those small-scale breweries that were lost or closed during World war; they merged with Amstel and increased their market stock values by 55% in Netherlands.

Under Freddy’s leadership, from 1971 to 1995, Heineken grew its product sales and portfolio and achieved the tag of the world’s second-biggest brewer. 

Heineken Brand Value

Today, Heineken has a portfolio of 170 beer brands all across the world under the brand Heineken. It all started when Heineken came up with the strategy of acquiring breweries across the world after the war. 

This helped them reach the global market, and since then, Heineken has worked on acquiring strong brands all over the world but keeping their own rights preserved; this way, Heineken was able to reach markets across the world under these strong brands and maintain their brand trust value the same.

Starting with Amstel, their biggest competitor back in 1968, they never stopped from there. Amstel with its sister brands Amstel Radler, Amstel Premium Pilsener, Amstel Lager is very popular all across the world. 

Desperados is another beer brand famous for the tequila flavor in its beer, best known for its different flavors. Similarly, Sol from Mexico, which is a 120 years old brand, with its naming linked with independence, has its own place in people’s hearts. 

The Tiger brand brew 

Tiger is another famous acquired brand from Singapore, which is popular in around 50 countries around the world and brewed in 16 countries itself.  Tiger is Heineken’s one of the most recently acquired brands and probably one of the most valuable assets. The process of brewing Tiger beer is what makes it so popular; it takes 500 hours of the brewing process to prepare Tiger beer. 

Apart from these changes and experiments which all these brands research experiments, some brands are famous for following the same traditional methods for all these years; Birra Moretti is one such brand. The company started in 1860, and in all these years, nothing but only the bottle shape is what has changed for them.

With the consistent expansion and maintenance sustainability in all these years, Heineken has progressed a lot each year. For the financial year of 2019 itself, Heineken saw a rise of 3.3% revenue per Hectoliter and an acceleration in brand growth with an 8.3% growth rate.

Heineken has researched a lot and has successfully improved sustainability without compromising the beer quality, such as by reducing water usage for brewing and reducing CO2. Heineken stands for the countries in which they perform business. 

In 2019 they contributed agricultural supplies for Africa. For the current scenario, Heineken is participating in fighting against COVID-19 by contributing €15 million to the International Federation of Red Cross.

Heineken Brand Strategies

The company is currently operating in 190 countries across the world, currently holding second place in the list of the World’s Largest brewer. To reach such a position over the centuries, Heinken adapted some of the important business strategies which make them successful today.

Regional Marketing

Today, Heineken is partnered with 300 brands across the world. Heineken has strategically performed market research and has analyzed the consumer favorite. To do this, they have strategically divided the global market into regions of the Middle East, Asia-pacific, America, and Europe. 

To understand the choice differences based on culture, regions, and trends across different countries, they have performed years of studies and analyzed the market in these regions. Today, it is the biggest brewer in Europe and is showing bigger growth in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Maintaining Quality

Heineken’s priority remains in maintaining the quality of beer that is served, and to support this; they started paying well in its early days to make sure that the quality is never compromised; this helped them become popular and expand to the second brewery within a decade. Heineken continued to follow the same principle.

Acquire Brands Globally

One of the biggest strategies that helped Heineken become so popular today is acquiring popular brands worldwide.

They have acquired brands like Amstel, Tiger, Sol, and others., which are very much popular in their geographic region. Still, they let these brands have their brand names, this strategy helps them in retaining customers, and the brand market which is already present in the region helps to profit them instantly.


Heineken has invested in research and inventing methods that either improve quality or provide methods that reduce overall waste and are sustainable.

Starting with the invention of yeast brings the popular taste for this beer brand to research for reducing water usage and CO2. They are still researching better methods.

Digital Marketing

Heineken keeps itself involved with the sports and entertainment world to keep them ahead of its competitors, and digital platforms also allow them to connect easily with their customers.

Future strategies

Heineken is focused on promoting premium, no alcohol drinks since it showed a growth curve in the stagnant beer market. Instead of cannibalizing the drinks, it is focused and will be focused on occasions where consumption can take place, like people driving, lunch, etc.

It is determined to focus on sustainability under the ‘Drop The C’ program and increase the part involved in renewable energy of thermal and electrical energy by 2030. It has worked and is still working to reduce carbon emissions as much as possible. 


Unlike other brewing companies, Heineken believes in sustainability and thus has the sensibility to focus on it. With its great potential, Heineken will continue to grow and be among the best companies in the world.

It has to work on research and development more and bring the same richness worldwide. The approach that the company has shown after so much stagnancy in the market of beer and other drinks and all the controversies is remarkable.

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