During our class trip to Belgium, we got a chance to tour the Duvel brewery in Brussels. As someone who is a big beer fan and has done several brewery tours in the United States, I was extremely excited for this experience. It was interesting to learn about the different processes they use to make all the different kinds of beers they have to offer. I was especially impressed with their extended fermentation process that takes place throughout multiple steps in different locations. This is one example that represents their quality over quantity mindset, which was made clear throughout the tour. This reminded me a lot about the travel company I am currently working with, and while the beer industry and the travel industry are very different, there was still a correlation between the quality first mindset that is present with both. While many factors play a role in a company’s success, this mindset holds true to the underlying concept that if you can provide a high quality product or service, the demand and interest will always remain present.
Another area where the quality over quantity strategy was apparent, was in the description of their globalization process. Even though our tour guide’s insight was limited in to the specific marketing techniques or specific expansion methods, it was very clear that Duvel is relying on the quality of their product to expand markets and will not compromise this quality to expand quicker. She did mention that they pursue a local workforce when expanding in to new markets in order to utilize their potential connections and better understanding of the customer preferences. She did not go in to much detail about the global marketing campaign and what kind of marketing adaptations they make in order to appeal to different market preferences or restrictions. Based on the discussion, I got the feeling that limited adaptations are present in the different marketing techniques that are being used in different markets around the world. However, as has been the case with other beer companies that participate in the global market, there are potential legal/political issues that may force changes to be made in marketing techniques for Duvel as they expand in to different countries. However, the pride and regard that Duvel have for themselves and their product was very apparent, and definitely carries through in their marketing techniques on a global scale. This was made exceptionally clear when our tour guide described their expansion process as a tool for allowing their loyal national market to still be able to experience Duvel during their holidays in different locations. For these and other reasons, I think Duvel definitely sways more towards the standardization method rather than the localization method in relation to their globalization process, and may need to incorporate different methods to gain further success in other markets. This is always a difficult task, especially in the beer industry where customer preference can vary widely from region to region. For example, in America, the national preference tends to favor more of a light beer, while Duvel is more of a heavier, full beer that is more preferred by the European market. It still remains important for the company to stay true to their core and never compromise on the quality of their product, but I definitely think that they may need to take these factors in to account when creating marketing techniques throughout their globalization process.
Regardless, I am definitely a big fan of the Duvel company and thoroughly enjoyed tasting the different beers they have to offer. Between the classic Duvel, the cherry “lemonade”, the triple distilled beer, and the Belgian white, they have a wide variety of great beverage options and it was extremely interesting to see behind the scenes of how they were made. I will definitely be trying to get my hands on a Duvel Belgian White again sometime soon.