Febelmar Happening 2011

Yesterday, I attended – together with a bunch of enthusiastic InSites Consulting colleagues – the Febelmar happening at Hotel BLOOM! in Brussels.
As this event was co-organized with and connected to the ESOMAR Insight Conference, we were hosted by our very own Niels Schillewaert. Before we got to the 2 keynote speakers, we were entertained by Dirk Denoyelle, who gave an entertaining speech on Belgium , its lack of a federal government/abundance of regional governments and of course its “beer culture”. A perfect intro for the 2 Belgian Marketers of the Year 2010, who both happen to work in the beer sector.
Nicolas Lambert (Marketing Director @ Alken-Maes Brewery) kicked off, and explained how Alken-Maes transformed their “me-less” (it wasn’t even a “me-too”) Maes brand into a confident brand with a stronger character. He illustrated his case with one of their most original guerilla campaigns: the “crate swap”. Alken-Maes invited Belgians to put an empty crate behind their window (even crates of competitor’s brands), and Alken-Maes gave them a full Maes crate in return. They exchanged over 20.000 (!) crates in total, and dropped of these crates before their competitor’s door, claiming the deposits.
To conclude with, he also appraised market research as the perfect way to feed your instincts, and to give rigor to make important changes.
The next speaker was Johan Van Dyck (Marketing Director @ Duvel – Moortgat Brewery). He explained the different marketing strategies for each of their brands. Whereas Duvel is a connoisseur brand driven by traditional market research, Vedett is completely the opposite: its brand strategy is fuelled by a monitoring panel, consisting of young, trendy people. As each of these strategies were illustrated with commercials and promotion movies, we were all longing for some beer by then 😉
Luckily, the organization had thought of this and treated us afterwards with a walking diner with Belgian gastronomy and exclusive beer tastings. And – as we just learned that a glass of beer contains a lot less calories than wine (100 versus 170 respectively), we could enjoy this without feeling guilty!

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