Marketing Strategy

How does Grolsch get more people in the Netherlands to drink its beer?

Grolsch's ambition is to continue to grow the brand and get more people in the Netherlands to drink Grolsch. But how will the beer brand make this ambition a reality? Because a lot is changing in the beer industry. People are choosing specialty or non-alcoholic beer more often, less quantity more quality, they are looking for experience and meaning.


As a beer brand, Grolsch wants to distinguish itself from its competitors and occupy an even stronger position in consumers' minds, hearts and shopping carts. That much is clear. But how does Grolsch achieve this? This is why Grolsch approached Blauw and together we took up the challenge to realize this ambition. By gaining insight into the opportunities for growth based on consumer needs and Grolsch's position in relation to the competition.


A sharpened positioning that puts the consumer first

Long-term growth of a brand starts from the needs of the consumer. After all, that's how you make sure you stay relevant in the long run. The challenge is that there are (increasingly) more brands that want to meet the same needs. So you need to understand what your position is in relation to the competition in order to increase your distinctiveness. With this in mind, we started the research and together we looked for opportunities for growth.

To do full justice to the existing knowledge, we started with desk research. All existing research reports that Grolsch already had were scrutinized. From this desk research, we sharpened the scope of the research and arrived at hypotheses. Then the research started!

We started with a qualitative exploration of how beer is bought and drunk and the needs behind it. The image of various brands was also discussed. Storytelling was central to this phase. Because where numbers help to recognize differences and make choices, storytelling helps to put these facts in context and inspire you.

At this stage of the research, we chose to research through an online research community. With this choice, we gave ourselves the flexibility and time to explore the market from different angles and to let insights land, discuss in between and build on them.


The power of connection: needs assessment & brand measurement

From the qualitative part, we got a first impression at the opportunities in the market. In order to take action, we needed insight into what the scope of these opportunities was. With a combination of quantitative needs research and brand measurement, we answered this.

The needs assessment gave us insight into how the market is segmented and how different segments differ in needs and behavior. The brand measurement gave Grolsch a picture of how strong the beer brand stands in the market compared to the competition.

We then linked results from both studies. From the combined research, Grolsch learned how to increase the relevance and distinctiveness of the brand! Precisely the insights Grolsch could use in sharpening its positioning.


Working together under challenging conditions

The research took place in times of Corona. As a result, all communication was digital, which made this project extra special. When you take on such a big strategic challenge together, it is nice to be able to look each other in the eye at the start and spar with large groups at the table during workshops. To ensure connectedness on the project, we scheduled interim workshops and sessions after each step. For example, we concluded the project with a digital workshop in which we arrived at different angles from which Grolsch could further work on the positioning. And the connection that is so typical of our collaboration can now be seen in the new campaign 'Time for each other, time for Grolsch'.

Want to know more about our approach to needs assessment? Read more here

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Frederieke van Leeuwen
Frederieke van Leeuwen