Heineken: Stay a Local Global Brand by Facilitating, Not Dictating


Heineken is called ‘The Chairman’ in Nigeria. So, we give that flexibility to Nigeria to call it ‘The Chairman’, but we do not need to create a global campaign saying the ‘Chairman’ from Amsterdam. . . . We give that flexibility. That’s how we operate. Have a central idea, but give local flexibility to the markets.’” – Obabiyi Fagade

As a global beer brand, Heineken promotes a spirit of open-mindedness, framing its drinkers as global citizens who respect other cultures while still reveling in the comforts of their own. In this episode of Branding Over Wine, Obabiyi Fagade, commercial development manager of global brands at Heineken, shares how the iconic Dutch beer brand cultivates this flexible yet consistent brand identity in 190 different countries all over the world. 

Here, Obabiyi reveals that Heineken’s identity in Northern Europe is actually quite different from its identity in Nigeria, which are both quite different from the one in the US. Rather than view this as inconsistency within the brand, Heineken embraces it as a reflection of its open-minded, progressive nature. So, for Heineken’s 150th anniversary, they ran a campaign celebrating its shifting identity in different eras and regions. 

Ultimately, the local diversity within the brand still points to its established—and beloved—global identity. Listen in for universal insights on the power of local cultures to diversify and grow global brands here.

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