San Miguel Advertising Heineken

San Miguel teeters on the edge of hitting record sales as it contemplates its future


By Natalie Mortimer, N/A

November 25, 2016 | 4 min read

San Miguel is bucking the largely declining beer sales trend and will soon join an elite club of brewers when the brand hits sales of over one million hectolitres, a milestone that will see it assess the brand’s future and how it reaches consumers.

San Miguel

San Miguel launches Rich List campaign

While overall beer volumes in the UK have been flat since 2012, San Miguel has seen double digit growth over the past three years, which the Spanish brand attributes to both the craft beer movement and the rise in demand for “global beers”.

Speaking to The Drum, senior brand manager Dharmesh Rana said as part of its changing comms strategy, San Miguel will lean more in to social media, particularly Instagram, and place a greater emphasis on experience, a positioning that is gathering pace this week with the culmination of its ‘Rich List’ campaign.

“We are at some point soon joining the one million hectolitre club, which then puts us at a position of scale and that is when we can start to look at where we want to take the brand in the future, what channels we want to play with, how we embrace how the consumer is changing, how they interact with beer and the channels which they go out and buy it.

“The brand hasn’t done loads of social in the past - it’s dipped its toe in to twitter, a little bit in Facebook - but we haven’t really done anything on Instagram, which is something that we are absolutely going to do more in. Facebook we are interested in as well as it could be an amazing way to get an experience idea through and actually capture that moment and capture consumers enjoying that moment.”

The brand’s Rich List campaign is a list of 19 men and women from across the globe who have devoted their lives to pursuing different experiences, from being a horse whisperer to a cave explorer. The campaign has been running since the summer and culminates tomorrow when the list will be published in the Guardian.

The campaign aims to set San Miguel apart from its competitors by pushing its experience positioning as well as playing on the insight that consumers are enjoying, and are increasingly interested in, global beer brands.

“Our beer brand was built on embracing the values that our consumers are living and breathing... That is not to say other beer bands weren’t but we have found a way where the focus for us is that experiences are the new riches,” said Rana. “That is not our mantra exactly, but we do consider: does everything look back to that, because ultimately if we don’t create experiences how are consumers going to have a rich experience? That is the reason why it will cut through and I genuinely don’t think I have seen anything in the beer industry like that.

“I see the role of brands likes San Miguel… as embracing the fact that people are well travelled and they want to know about brands around the world and the stories behind. We are a brand that has that story – we are a brand that comes from outside of the UK and has an amazing provenance so why shouldn’t we tell people about that? That is what they are wanting and it will hopefully stimulate more demand for beer and get people to try different beers from around the world.”

On the various ecommerce drives that brewers such as Heineken are embarking on (most recently with Deliveroo) Rana said that while it is “great” to see beer brands trying to get beer back on the agenda, it is not a space San Miguel is ready to play in yet, as it focuses on growing the brand in the channels it is currently playing in.

San Miguel Advertising Heineken

More from San Miguel

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +