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Case Study: Heineken BrandPortal

The Heineken BrandPortal was named as one of the Nielson Normal Group's top intranets for 2011.

You can download the story of the Award [PDF 2.1MB] or read on for the BrandPortal case study.

Heineken Brandportal homepage

Heineken Brandportal Homepage

How the world’s most international brewer gets a grip on digital assets

When Gerard Adriaan Heineken started brewing he used yeast experts to ensure beer could be transported without losing its unique, distinctive taste.

One hundred years on and Heineken is still innovating. But today’s experts are focused on making sure the brand, rather than the beer, can be exported without any loss of flavour.

In theory, it sounds easy to keep all your brand assets – like photography, logos, artwork and campaign materials – in one place. In practice, when you’re one of the world’s biggest brewers, it’s much harder. But the benefits of centrally managing all brand assets are obvious:

  • Better Communication:

    Gianni in Milan collaborates with Ela in Kiev
  • A Single Brand Message:

    more control, better quality
  • Dramatically lower costs:

    tighter process mean Guilders in the bank

“We are particularly impressed by SmallWorlders' ability to think in terms of tailor-made solutions instead of problems."

Jan Schapink, Communication Manager - Heineken Brand Communication

Before: the challenge

Three years ago, Heineken brand assets sat in multiple sites with different filing structures, rules and access privileges. Finding the right logo, photo, video or campaign artwork could be time-consuming and difficult.

Understandably, the central marketing team wanted to make it quicker and easier. But it’s not just about time and money. It’s about everyone singing from the same hymn sheet to strengthen the company’s brand and reputation.

Heineken UEFA Champions League Section Page

UEFA Champions League (UCL) Page

A simple (but powerful) solution

Enter Smallworlders and the new Heineken BrandPortal, a Digital Asset Management system with social intranet and collaboration features – all based on our SandBox™ platform.

It’s a customized, focused digital asset management system that combines efficiency with innovation - and best of all, it doesn’t take a techie to use it.

Heineken wanted the whole thing to be integrated and intuitive, so we subdivided the site into sections, making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for - then permeated the whole portal with the Heineken brand identity. So this is what they got:

  • Efficiency

    – Users can share files, upload content, and make changes themselves rather than asking the guys in IT to do it. Staff preview and download high-resolution assets.
  • Integration

    – Single sign-on with access based on role, department or task, with access to external teams like agency partners. Complete with personalized content facility, and security against unwanted users.
  • Collaboration

    – Users can search an ideas library for best practice; engage in inter and intra- company communication and collaboration; and benefit from an environment that fosters innovation.
  • Control

    – With BrandPortal, each marketing team can launch local campaigns without wandering off-message (or using last year’s pack shot).

“I really loved working with SmallWorlders for their knowledge, humour and honesty and can really recommend the company if you're looking for an intranet solution of any kind."

Juliette Sanders, Advertising Projects Manager - Heineken Brand Communication

Selling it in

We helped Heineken launch their shiny new portal even suggesting snazzy promotional items designed to appeal to its employees, and made the site visually attractive with design ‘skins’ for each of the Heineken sub-brands.

The result: employees actually wanted to use the new system. Over 1500 registered users - with 80 active on any given day - notch up over 5000 hits per month. They log in to access literally thousands of content assets: all proof of Heineken’s success at turning confusion into clarity.

The client seemed quite pleased too.