Over the approaching months we are going to see one of many largest advertising and marketing and promoting campaigns of latest years play out – as a Dutch grasp tries to dethrone an Irish large.
eineken’s daring and bold try and go after Guinness by launching a brand new stout known as Island’s Edge shall be watched with nice curiosity by everybody – from bar-stool philosophers and pub bores, to advertising and marketing college students and practitioners the size and breadth of Eire.
On the one hand it’d look like a battle between a plucky parvenu and challenger model from Cork taking over a Goliath-like Dublin brewer. However on a a lot greater stage it’s a battle between two world drinks giants which can be no strangers to fight on the worldwide stage, having gone head-to-head quite a few occasions in different markets.
This time, nevertheless, it’s barely completely different. The Dutch brewing large has parked its appreciable tanks on its Irish rival’s back and front lawns. They’re looking for to win over a bit of the stout market that has been synonymous with Guinness, Dublin, and virtually every part Irish since 1759.
Lest we overlook, it’s additionally a battle between two of the largest producers of stout on the planet.
Whereas Guinness wants no introduction, Heineken additionally owns and manufactures the Murphy’s and Beamish stout manufacturers, each of that are admirable brews – although, for varied causes, neither has ever actually taken off exterior of Munster.
On a wholly completely different stage, entrepreneurs will even be watching with nice curiosity how this battle performs out.
Heineken and Guinness (which is owned by Diageo) are giants of the worldwide drinks business, and each companies make investments tons of of thousands and thousands of euro globally in advertising and marketing yearly.
On the subject of advertising and marketing case-studies and textbooks regarding the drinks business, you possibly can most likely fill a small library with them. You may as well ensure that when the foremost gamers launch a brand new product or enter a brand new class or market, they’ve completed their homework.
Little, if something, is left to likelihood.
However the Irish drinks business just isn’t with out its challenges.
A pandemic-induced decline in 2020 and the primary half of 2021, a a lot wider and seemingly irreversible decline within the consumption of alcohol in Eire, and the shifting adjustments in client habits and preferences – all of those have mixed to drive drinks firms to be extra inventive, revolutionary and responsive to those adjustments.
Low or zero-alcohol beers like Heineken 0.0 or Guinness 0.0 are proof of this. But it surely’s an business the place change has been lengthy overdue.
Heineken’s prime brass in advertising and marketing now imagine they’ll win over a brand new and youthful technology of drinkers, who wish to drink stout however don’t just like the flavour profile of Guinness – by no means thoughts the perceived age profile of its most earnest advocates.
In accordance with Heineken’s personal market analysis, 80pc of Irish customers aged 25-35 assume there needs to be extra selection within the stout class, with 72pc inquisitive about trialling a lighter tasting stout. And therein lies the chance.
Heineken Eire does have loads of kind in relation to shaking up the drinks market.
In 2015, for instance, it launched Orchard Thieves on the Irish market, because it sought to interrupt the stranglehold of the C&C-owned Bulmers. Quick ahead six years and Orchard Thieves, along with its much less profitable sister model Appleman’s, now management an estimated 17pc of the Irish cider market. Heineken stays the most important producer of cider on the planet.
Other than gaining a sizeable chunk of the Irish market, nevertheless, Heineken additionally performed a key position in reinvigorating and rising a class that was in 2015 changing into more and more stagnant and going through decline within the long run.
Such was the expansion within the cider market, nevertheless, that even its arch-rival Diageo needed a chunk of the motion, and launched its widespread Rockshore cider model in March 2019.
However is it potential for Heineken to reinvigorate the Irish stout market, woo youthful drinkers to the darkish aspect, and wrest management from the chilly (however temperature-controlled) useless palms of Arthur Guinness?
As the good man himself may need mentioned, good issues come to those that wait.