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New unified global identity for Heineken

Dutch beer giant Heineken has commenced the global roll-out of a new bottle, completing a global redesign of all its packaging

The restyling aims to streamline the visual identity and make the brand even more consistent and recognizable in all 170 markets. The new bottle will come in just five different volume sizes and will be available in western Europe at the beginning of 2011 and across the rest of the world by 2012. 

Mark van Iterson, manager global Heineken design and concept, said: “We believe that with one recognizable bottle the global Heineken brand will be further strengthened.  With uniformity comes even greater impact.” 

He continued: “The bottle will reinforce the new packaging visual identity which has already been applied to the contemporary tactile can and embossed glasses that were introduced in selected markets earlier this year. As the market leader we pride ourselves on being progressive in design as well as taste.”

The Heineken brand’s redesign project was led by a cross functional team consisting of global marketing, supply chain and the participation of a number of markets.  It ensured the smooth transition from 15 to five bottles sizes, while at the same time achieving greater efficiencies in the supply chain.

Van Iterson added: “Our consumer focuses on details.  This is why Heineken has dedicated time and resources to this design update, making sure every single element was taken into consideration.  We have looked at each and every packaging detail to ensure our sophisticated consumers feel a subtle but significant difference.  Consumer response has been excellent.  They see the new design to be modern, appealing and innovative.”

Unique packaging features
The new bottle, replacing the XLN (extra long neck) and Heineken shortneck packaging, is introduced in two versions: embossed and standard.  The new design features a unique curved embossment on the neck and back, which not only looks good, but also adds a pleasing to-the-touch feel, whilst a distinctive embossed mark acts as a stamp of quality and authenticity. 

In addition to the specific packaging changes, the new packaging visual identity includes updates to key brand elements including an ellipse curve, derived from Heineken’s racetrack logo. Additionally, Heineken’s trademark green has been enriched and its red star emblem has been raised above its logo.

New visual identity on glasses and cans
The new bottle reinforces the visual identity packaging that is already in use on cans and glasses introduced in the beginning of 2010.  The progressive packaging introduces sensory elements such as embossments, strategically placed indents and tactile ink, offering consumers aesthetic improvements, adding to the overall drinking experience.

new can design is the first of its kind to feature tactile ink, created by a series of small raised dots on the surface of the can. It gives the consumer a better feeling in the hand, enhanced grip and help the brand appear more refreshing and recognizable.

The latest drinking glass features an embossed curve on the side, adding a pleasant feeling when held.  It also helps bar staff by providing a guidance point for how it should be held at the draught column, helping staff to create the ‘perfect pour’.  The new slender shape has also been proven to respond better to the temperature, meaning it will stay cool longer.



1 January 2011 - Felicity Murray