E-Malt.com News article: South Africa: Amstel marketing manager confident of the brand’s positive future in South Africa
South Africa’s beer industry is an extremely competitive one, not only because of the plethora of established beer brands, but also due to the rise of smaller, independently owned craft breweries, the Financial Mail reported on May 9.
Amstel, part of the Heineken stable of beers, is a relatively small player in the SA beer market. According to Amstel marketing manager Khaya Dlanga, despite the growing popularity of craft beers and in the face of current market forces, Heineken brands are showing good growth.
Differentiating Amstel in this highly cluttered space is about “standing out and owning what no-one else can,” he says. To this end Amstel has its own story, which has resonated with South Africans since the brand first arrived in the country from Amsterdam: “Slow brewed and extra matured.”
The hallmark of the Amstel brand, when it was initially produced in Amsterdam, was the production of a better beer. “If making a beer taste better meant brewing it for longer, that is what we needed to do – and have continued to do,” says Dlanga.
Amstel has been finding ways to stand out in the market since then. It was, for example, the first beer to be produced in a green bottle in SA – a bold move in a market where beer had become synonymous with a brown bottle.
But it’s no secret that SA’s recent downgrade to junk status and a worsening economic outlook will affect all aspects of the business. Dlanga points out that what matters now is the creation of opportunities in this environment. For example, in a market where it isn’t clear whether people will continue to buy spirits at the rate they have in the past, Amstel is well positioned to provide consumers with a superior quality beer at a good price.
He believes this is a climate in which any brand – beer or other – must meet the needs of its consumers and by doing so, will continue to grow its brand. Those who fail to meet the needs of increasingly more discerning consumers will fail.
He believes the brand has a positive future due to its focus on providing value to consumers. Advertising efforts will continue to remind consumers why they loved Amstel in the first place, he says.
08 May, 2017