Business Management

Conversation with Benoit Bronckart - Business Unit President, Central Europe at Anheuser-Busch InBev

Produced by

EHL Alliance

The EHL Alliance has created an innovative series of insightful podcasts with Communications Consultant Michael McKay that examine and explore the best of new ideas – giving voice to acknowledged leaders, practitioners and original thinkers - originating from inside the hospitality industry and business sectors close to it.



Benoit Bronckart

Business Unit President - Central Europe at Anheuser-Busch InBev


The post-pandemic era has thrown consumer goods companies on a roller coaster.Buyers seek innovation and convenience but still can't stand higher prices. Moreover, the great resignation made the already fraught labor market even more turbulent. Add the supply chain limitations, and it's pretty clear that brands need robust strategies to navigate tough times.

So how do you navigate and gain a competitive edge? Listen to this insightful conversation between Michael McKay and Benoit Bronckart, Anheuser-Busch InBev's Business Unit President for the Central Europe market. This podcast will give you a sneak peek into the current state of the consumer goods industry as well as some valuable tips for consumer brands.


    An Overview of the Trends That Are Currently Shaping the Consumer Goods Market

    New trends continue to reshape the consumer goods industry by the day. For instance, consumer behavior is evolving rapidly, thanks to changing preferences, tastes, and needs. 

    The top trends that are running the show include:

    Shifting Consumer Actions and Preferences

    Before the Coronavirus situation, empowered consumers already demanded personalized experiences. But the pandemic shifted their demands into high gear thanks to the dramatic acceleration of digital shopping and custom product deliveries. Furthermore, most of today's buyers prioritize brands that fit their values.


    Despite the current financial qualms, consumers are paying more attention to their health and well-being and are inclined to "healthier" brands even in the face of widespread financial strains. Benoit recommends fully natural recipes like their low or no-alcohol beer brands.   

    The Digital Consumers' Age

    The digital consumer trend is gaining traction exponentially, and many consumer brands are reciprocating by going digital. In this regard, the greatest concerns for companies are:

    • Establishing robust online retail channels
    • Boosting online presence in the socially networked world
    • Exploiting tech-driven opportunities for deeper consumer understanding and interaction

    Already, digital technology is influencing brand communication, and more consumers now rely on referrals.

    Inclusivity in consumption

    Consumer products are no longer limited to specific demographics as consumers are more willing to experiment. Beer, for instance, is no longer a drink for men alone, but even ladies enjoy this healthy, natural brew.

    Consumer brands that explore their creativity are likely to grow their client bases. In Benoit's case, the solution was to develop various products for all genders.  


    The topic of sustainability is among the leading forces enabling changes to business innovation and consumer behavior. As a result, people prefer brands that consider environmental impact, social sustainability, and ethical material sourcing.

    Securing a Competitive Edge in the Consumer Goods Industry

    Besides staying abreast of the current trends, staying competitive in today's consumer goods market also requires you to heed multiple best practices. Here are some valuable tips from Benoit:

    Don't ignore traditional media

    While digital marketing takes up the greatest chunk of our marketing resources and efforts, remember to leverage traditional media. The main benefits of this approach include the following:

    • Seamless connection with the local audience
    • The use of sustainable marketing material
    • The element of credibility

    Leverage Digital media 

    Digital media is a top component of your marketing efforts as it can enhance your local and global reach, ease your budget, and boost brand engagement. Benoit specifically recommends social media marketing as a cost-effective and flexible digital marketing method.  

    Maximize brand visibility

    Brand awareness influences all aspects of your company, from lead generation to conversion. By growing your brand visibility, you'll stay in consumers' minds, and they'll always consider your product whenever they need something from your category.

    Create strategic Partnerships 

    Forming mutually beneficial relationships with other businesses can help your company access top-shelf technology, increase brand awareness, develop new distribution outlets, and grow sales. 

    Use Events sponsorships

    An event is a perfect opportunity to introduce your brand to potential customers. Identifying and sponsoring the right events can be the tipping point between a successful campaign and a failure.

    Event marketing is personal, cost-efficient, and seamless. It boosts brand interaction and prestige, media exposure, and direct engagement.

    The Value of a Strong Organizational Culture in The Consumer Product Industry

    Organizational culture refers to the norms, values, achievements, and general beliefs of all members of your company. The unspoken and spoken mindsets and behaviors define your daily operations and activities.

    A strong organizational culture should include the objectives and mission alongside staff members' structured performance management, expectations, values, and overall engagement. This way, it can provide direction and ensure consistency.

    The culture isn't always perceptible to long-term staff members. Instead, it blends into the company's daily routine, becoming a second nature.  

    Companies in the consumer product industry should prioritize the ten principles of a strong organizational culture, which include:

    • Heed your current cultural situations – A simple upgrade cannot replace deeply embedded organizational cultures. So understand your culture, recognize consistent and preeminent traits, and distinguish valuable traits from hindrances.
    • Begin with behavior change – Trying to reshape your culture via top-down messaging or training won't change a person's behaviors or beliefs. Rather, altering key behaviors enables actionable, tangible, and measurable changes.  
    • Prioritize critical behaviors – Focusing on "the crucial few" behaviors could deliver a greater impact when many people participate. This includes a few activities that could impact overall business performance.
    • Deploy authentic informal leaders – Don't confuse authority with leadership. The latter is a natural attribute that someone can exhibit without a formal position in the company. Identify these frequently overlooked team members and use them to influence behavior. Involve formal leaders as well – Leaders should safeguard and champion the desired behaviors and reinforce cultural alignment. The people at the helm should demonstrate the intended change. 
    • Link behaviors to business goals – Provide well-defined, tangible case scenarios of how cultural interventions enhanced performance and outcomes. Also, pick measurable attributes that specifically target business performance.  
    • Demonstrate immediate impact – Team members can grow cynical or disengage from high-profile initiatives that don't deliver results. Therefore, ensure you showcase the business results of your cultural efforts as fast as possible.
    • Use cross-organizational methods – People respond more to changes shared or recommended by close associates. So leverage potent tools like social media to spread cultural ideas. 
    • Link programmatic activities with behaviors – Your new cultural direction should complement and integrate with your current way of doing business. With a guiding structure, you'll motivate your employees' actions and earn their emotional commitment.
    • Give it time – Don't expect results overnight. Successful companies make it by actively managing, monitoring, catering to, and updating their cultural forces. 
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