The Heineken Project was carried out as part of the Brand Management Course for two years: A.Y. 2010-2011 and A.Y. 2011-2012.
Each year, approximately 180 students for the 2 classes of the Marketing Management MSc were involved in this field project with Heineken Group Italy.
Twenty projects have been submitted and two groups/projects were awarded - one for each class; other awards were assigned for special categories (brand management for trade marketing and innovative brand management). For the project kick-off students had the chance to visit one of the company beer-plants.
The project allowed students to totally immerse themselves in the business environment and apply the theoretical models learned during the course.
The projects focused on several specific topics: Brand Audit; Brand Reinforcement and/or Revitalization; Brand Architecture and Brand Strategy. Some projects’ examples of the Heineken brand portfolio: Heineken Audit; Moretti and the Sofa-Icon reinforcement; StrongbowGold reinforcement; Dreher Extension by Panache.
The project was articulated into different phases, during which students had the opportunity to meet company’s representatives and professors for discussing their ideas, checking the state of the project (i.e. clarifying any doubts about information acquisition or reacting and adjusting their work’s trajectories, etc.). Projects were presented to the both the company and the fellow students to select the winners.
The criteria adopted by Heineken to evaluate the projects included the following areas: consistency with the brand positioning (weight 35%), innovation (30%), feasibility (20%), communication skills and presentation effectiveness (15%).
One of the project winners for the A.Y. 2011-2012 was “StrongbowGold Reinforcement”, presented by “The GoldOnes” team. Starting from a complete data set and research design - including in-depth interviews, blind tests, recognition tours, quantitative analyses and associative tests - the group pinpointed some strategic decisions for the brand reinforcement.
In the A.Y. 2010-2011 Heineken awarded two projects: one related to "How to better leverage Heineken sustainability and its mission to be the greenest brewer by 2020”, and one about “Moretti on table".
Marco Alberizzi, Marketing & Sales Director at Heineken Italy, during the awards ceremony: "We wanted to start this project because Università Bocconi is very close to the business world, Bocconi courses not only teach theory and the related models, but also "how the world really works", the practical dimension that students will find after graduation. For Heineken the project is a further excellent opportunity to approach our focus-target: young people. To get to know them better and recognize better students and customers!"
Maria Carmela Ostillio, who is in charge of the Brand Management course says: "The initiative is important because it helps students understand “how to make beer” and allows them to get in touch with people inside the company who have the know-how and experience which has led Heineken to its universal success".
The students who were awarded said: "The project has been all-involving and we worked hard to achieve our goals. Now we are satisfied and rewarded! Furthermore, the company will start a review process with us for some internship opportunities at our favorite beer….sorry company: Heineken!".