Why Heineken wants to measure success through ‘Good Times’

Bram Westenbrink, head of Heineken brand, tells CR why it’s the first beer brand to measure its success and effectiveness through the human connection it enables

Freddy Heineken, grandson of Gerard Adriaan Heineken, who first founded the beer brand, was chairman of the board of directors and CEO from 1971 until 1989, and he was once quoted as saying: “We don’t sell beer, we sell gezelligheid”. ‘Gezelligheid’ encapsulates the feeling of good times, and it’s a sentiment that has remained at the heart of the beer brand.

This year sees Heineken celebrate its 150th anniversary and gezelligheid is more present than ever, so much so that the brand announced it will be incorporating a new measure of success. As part of its anniversary campaign, Heineken is to become the first beer company to measure success “through the good times and human connection it enables”.

“We’ve evolved the way we measure our success. We will still track our traditional markers of success, but with added ‘Good Times’,” says Bram Westenbrink, head of Heineken brand. “A need for good times is particularly relevant in the context of the world right now. Our research found that 87% of consumers globally believe it’s more important than ever for them to have a good time. As we look ahead from our 150th anniversary we wanted to celebrate our brand’s heritage in creating good times by making them a part of our ongoing brand tracking metrics.”

Misspelled bar sign from the 150th Anniversary Campaign. All images: Heineken