150 years of Heineken: Brewery, brand, and family describes the impressive national and international expansion of the brewing company acquired by Gerard Heineken in 1864. What is the secret of success? Exploring the themes of innovation, internationalization, competition and cooperation, marketing, human capital, and corporate governance, the authors present and analyse the history of the company.
From the very start, the brewery recognized the importance of innovation. At the same time, Gerard Heineken, his fellow board members, and their successors were constantly on the lookout for growth opportunities. As early as the 1930s, they started expanding into Asia, Africa, and America. While they competed with other businesses, cooperation was also an important instrument.
Thanks to a consistent marketing and advertising strategy, Heineken became a global brand with a distinctive 'green' identity.
Alfred Heineken protected this brand and ensured a continuing role for the Heineken family. Yet because of the strict financial limits that he imposed, the company was at risk of falling behind its competitors in the 1990s. Through four major acquisitions in the 21st century, Heineken re-emerged as the world's third largest brewing company, while maintaining its close ties with its founding family.