Building brand equity at Heinz
A Heinz case study

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Page 3: Marketing strategies

Heinz 2 Image 4Heinz traditional approach for many years has been to engage in above-the -line advertising of its lines, mainly through television. However, 1994 saw a significant change in its approach. Heinz continues to use television advertising to support the umbrella ‘Heinz Brand’ i.e. the synergy of its 360 lines. However, it has significantly moved into direct marketing as a targeted approach to build stronger and more focused relationships with its customers. This is a new and innovative approach.

There are three main reasons why Heinz has decided to make this move.

  1. The proliferation of media channels and the associated fragmentation of consumer audiences, has called into question the effectiveness of the advertising for individual brands, especially when there are more than 360 in the portfolio. Many manufacturers are asking themselves; 'Is there a better way of communicating individual brand messages to key consumers?'
  2. The development of sophisticated database systems for direct marketing. Today, marketing departments have available to them all the latest technology to obtain and retain information about their consumers, enabling them to communicate individually with these consumers.
  3. Increasing consumer sophistication, means that consumers have become more selective from whom they buy. They are more likely to purchase those products which are most in-tune with their needs and wishes, i.e. with organisations who are prepared to listen to individual voices.

Leading the Field

Heinz believes that it is blazing a trail by introducing direct marketing to fast moving consumer goods (fmcg). Conventional wisdom has been turned on its head. Until recently, the view was that direct marketing might just have a role to play for high priced items like cars, financial services and home appliances, but could never be a cost-effective medium for fmcg. However, Heinz has a long history of diverting from accepted convention and breaking new ground. For example, in the nineteenth century, Heinz became the first company to pack sauces and condiments in clear glass jars so that consumers could see what they were getting for their money.

Heinz | Building brand equity at Heinz