If we were to compare the popularity of Heineken, with another drink, then we would have to settle for Coca-Cola. Everyone in the world has heard of Coca-Cola, and Heineken is no different among alcoholic drinks. This is no mean feat for a company that has been in operation for over a century and founded on the dreams of a young man who was determined to excel no matter what. The company has gone ahead to win prestigious awards over the years, and the Heineken logo continues to be recognized regardless of the few changes it has undergone. Below is the story of how the company was founded and the evolution of the logo.
The Founding of Heineken
According to Profit Magazine, Heineken goes way back to later 1860s. Gerard Adriaan Heineken was born to a wealthy salesman, Cornelius, who died leaving his fortune to his wife, Anne. When his father died, Heineken was 22 years old, and he convinced his mother to buy De Hooiberg, the largest brewery in Amsterdam at the time and Heineken named it Heineken and Co. Although De Hooiberg had been in operation since 1592 and had 69 outlets, Heineken was not experienced enough to run it, having spent his youth in the family business of selling butter and cheese. Still, Heineken could see the potential that the beer industry had and was determined to try his hand in the business. Even in his young age, Heineken understood that having government support was crucial in ensuring the success of his business. Therefore, since beer was considered a healthy man's drink as opposed to strong liquor, he decided to start making it. Also, as disclosed on LinkedIn, Heineken had noticed that the other beer sellers were not focusing on delivering quality drinks to the customers, so he wanted to capitalize on that. So he did not mind parting with 86 Dutch Guilders in exchange for the rundown De Hooiberg factory. Heineken then started working on setting himself apart from the rest.
A Company Propelled by Quality Product and Services
In 1873, Heineken went a step further in cementing his place in the industry by brewing his own yeast which is still in use to date. He became the first brewer to build his own laboratory because he was bent on making quality beer. The entrepreneur sought the help of a student of Louis Pasteur, Dr H. Elion, whom he hired to develop Heineken-A-Yeast to use in Bavarian bottom fermentation. As a result, Heineken's Bierbrouwerji Maatschappij(HBM ) was established, leading to the first Heineken beer brand being brewed. In 1875 he had already gained a reputation, and Heineken bagged the Medaille D'Or during the International Maritime Exposition in Paris. In 1883, the company also scooped the Diplome d'Honneur at the International Colonial Exhibition in Amsterdam. Later in 1889, according to Culture Trip, Heineken also won the grand prize at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. In 1900, the company also won the Hors Concours Membre du Jury in Paris. By then sales had gone up to 1.7 million gallons, and Heineken became the biggest exporter to France.
Heineken's top-notch quality also saw it become the beer of choice during the Eiffel tower restaurant during the opening in 1889. Heineken had decided that he would always use high-quality ingredients that comprised the yeast made in his laboratory, water, hops and barley, all of which have remained the same ingredients even to date. He insisted that the reputation of high-quality remained by asking his customers to buy only what was enough since it was still a highly perishable product. Even if it went bad, he offered to pay them the money back instead of tarnishing the brand's image. With the vision of becoming a world-renowned brand Heineken networked reasoning that he would rather have one solid point of contact than 100 diverse customers. Therefore, besides becoming the biggest exporter to France, the Heineken brand was sold across the entire Netherlands. In 1933 when President Franklin Roosevelt allowed the manufacture and sale of beer, Heineken became the first European beer to be sold in the US. It has remained among the top-selling brands in the United States, going from a beverage mainly known as "Dutch beer" to be an internationally recognized brand.
Heineken Logo Evolution
According to Logo's World, the Heineken logo has changed since 1864 when the first emblem was first designed. There is no information regarding how this first logo looked like, but it is believed it informed the next design that was adopted in 1884. The logo introduced in 1884 comprised a green oval with a white center and a thick white border. The text "Heineken's " was in the upper part of the green oval while at the lower part was "Amsterdam –Rotterdam" A black tape running across the green oval had the words "Pilsener Bier." In the center white part of the logo and above the black tape was a star while below the tape, in the white center, was an artistic drawing.
In 1889, Heineken could not ignore the many awards the brand had won; therefore, he tweaked the logo to incorporate all the honors. The only change was in the color green that was darkened a bit. The inscriptions of all the awards were incorporated in the center part of the oval, and this logo remained in use until 1930 when once again there were minor changes. First was the white outline which was thicker at the bottom and wider at the top. The star also was shaded red while the black tape now read "Heineken's Brewed in Holland." In 1951, the revision was the white border having a long text and the star was no longer red but went back to being white to avoid association with communism. In essence, the oval and its texts remained in use till 1991 when the company did away with everything else and was left with simply "Heineken" and red five-pointed star.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith