Heineken Changes Its Iconic Bottle

When sales begin to fall, business owners start looking for solutions. It doesn’t matter whether the business is large or small, dropping sales means something is wrong. Perhaps your business model no longer works, perhaps your product is no longer needed, or maybe the way you market your product is the problem. A decision by an iconic beer maker shows one way to deal with the situation, but below you’ll also find others.

Customer Disloyalty

Bottled up inside. Heineken dominated the higher-end beer market for decades, but now the brand is in trouble. A perfect storm includes the success of competitor Corona, a decline in beer drinking, and the growth of smaller craft beers. The company’s solution is a new bottle with a different shape, even though the beer inside won’t change. The Wall Street Journal

Some experience required. Customer perception of a brand is complex and has as much or more to do with actual experience than superficial perception. For example, 89 percent of customers began doing business with a competitor after a poor experience, and 86 percent will pay for a better experience. Eleventy

Changing with the times. You’re not the same person now as you were a few years ago, and neither are your customers. So if your marketing message, branding, and product haven’t changed in all that time, there may be a problem. Marsha Friedman suggests some tips for getting up to speed. EMSI

Doors of Perception

Causing the effect. Of course, when considering why sales are slipping or leads may not be coming in as easily as they once did, it’s helpful to take a thoughtful approach to identify the cause of the problem, says marketing expert Susan Oakes. Avoid reacting prematurely by cutting prices or making other immediate responses which may hurt your business instead of helping. M4B Marketing

Riding the bull. You should also examine the way customers interact with your brand. Rachel Parker tells the story of how one particularly skillful marketer for Red Bull got her attention simply by handing her a refreshing can of the beverage in the middle of a thirsty workout. Resonance

Persistence of Vision

A change in focus. Look for the reasons your sales may not be all you would like them to be by asking yourself some important questions, says blogger Harry Vaishnav. Find out whether you are selling to the right customer, and if you are focusing too much on marketing and not enough on your product. There are some other issues business owners should also consider. Small Biz Viewpoints

The secret of staying power. Amazingly, some brands, no matter how long they have been around, demonstrate incredible staying power. Entrepreneurs can learn from businesses like The Becky Thatcher Restaurant in downtown Hannibal, Mo., a business that has had customers coming back for 43 years, says marketer Diana Pohly. Here are some lessons for longevity. Step By Step Marketing

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.