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Heineken faces numerous threats and risks brought about by their external environment. Those lead to the need of high managerial skills and on point strategic decision-making.
The first general environment in the case of Heineken is governments. Since the Heineken Holding N.V. is present in numerous different countries, it has to manage different laws and rules concerning alcoholic beverages, as for example legal drinking age, which differs from country to country (Germany: Beer from 16 years of age, while drinking is legal from 18 years of age in the Netherlands). Additionally, since alcoholic beverages became so popular, governments try to profit as much as possible from sales in this division and therefore apply heavy taxes to alcoholic beverages. Heineken has to cope with that by analyzing each market thoroughly and decide which market would be the most profitable to start operations ins and how to get the favor of the host country’s government. Furthermore, they have to analyze the competitors that would be found in every market and decide, whether the company could penetrate the market successfully or would fail in the attempt to gain shares in the market.
Another major aspect of Heineken’s external environment are the changes in social culture. While beer was mainly for men and one of the main alcoholic beverages, in today’s world this has changed. Especially the younger generations prefer spirits over beer and mainly to be consumed in private rather than in bars. This shift in social culture will affect Heineken and their products heavily if the company does not try to find ways to cope with the above-mentioned. As a company, whose main selling point is beer, the shift on consumption means a drastic loss in sales volume and market share. Introducing “Desperados”, a mix of beer and tequila can be seen as an attempt to adapt the product to changing demands.
Next, since Heineken Holding N.V. has operations in a variety of different countries with different currencies, fluctuations heavily affect the companies financial performance. To reduce the risk of this matter, the organization introduced clear policies on transactions to reduce the impact of fluctuations between different currencies.
Lastly, the continuously increasing importance of technology and its ongoing advancements affect every division/ department of the organization. This opens a huge opportunity to Heineken to increase its presence in markets and gives access to customers and populations worldwide.

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