FEATURE26 November 2014

Deep dive into drinking occasions

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Five years into his role as head of strategic insights at Heineken UK, Mick Doran believes that the brewing industry is learning valuable lessons from other FMCG sectors in becoming more consumer inspired and brand led. “It’s not just about selling great tasting cider and beer,” he explains. “It’s about having a category vision and promoting engagement and enjoyment.”


Doran points out that Heineken has gone from what he describes as “little” innovation to more than 10% of its overall sales coming from new brands or brand extensions. It’s clear that the years he spent working at FMCG giants PepsiCo and Proctor & Gamble, prior to joining the brewer, have given him a solid training in how to harness insight to maintain relevance in a fast-moving consumer landscape.

“People get a narrow focus and forget the big picture, ” he says. “When you look at FMCG companies, for most of them, it starts with a vision. The ‘f’ is about the speed of the decisions people make, every second of the day. It’s about working out how best you can influence what triggers those decisions.”

He says that he’s fortunate at Heineken now to work in an environment in which there is “quite a healthy” investment into insight. As head of the consumer and market intelligence team of nine people, his ...