by Steve Medina
MillerCoors, U.S. Hispanic Sales
To be successful in business, companies not only need to provide quality service to their customer base, but ultimately they need to truly connect with their customers. MillerCoors is focused on building a workforce and supplier base that represents the diverse ethnic and gender groups that consume our products. Additionally, we are committed to connecting with our consumer, not only through marketing initiatives, but through community investments as well.
For example, one of our largest distributor partners, Manhattan Beer Distributors (MBD), has embedded diversity into its business, and has realized substantial sales growth as a result. Faced with the crowded marketplace of New York, MBD needed a strategy to build strong brand equity among beer drinking consumers faced with countless choices. To increase market share among Latino consumers, we, along with the MBD team, developed strong relationships with Hispanic retailers by listening to their needs and developing point-of-sale marketing and promotional materials that resonated with key Latino beer drinkers.
“To be successful in business, companies not only need to provide quality service to their customer base, but ultimately they need to truly connect with their customers.”
Additionally, some MBD leaders made the extra effort to connect with retailers by being bilingual, even if Spanish was not their first language. This showed tremendous effort on behalf of the team. Additionally, MBD has partnered locally with us on two programs to build brand loyalty—the Puerto Rican Day Parade and Compartiendo Mesa. In 2006, Coors Light became the official national sponsor of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, which is attended by millions each year, and viewed on television by nearly 12 million in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. As part of the sponsorship, Coors Light invests $75,000 in scholarships to students through certified affiliates of the parade.
Also, in conjunction with MBD, we developed the community-focused food drive, Compartiendo Mesa. Together, we worked with local non-profits to assemble and distribute food baskets during the holiday season. In 2009, we distributed more than 450 baskets to families in need.
Ultimately, MBD realized substantial growth as a result of diversifying its workforce to not only reflect the market, but to also understand the marketplace. Key outcomes garnered from a diverse workforce are better business decisions and increased innovation. To date, 51% of Manhattan’s combined workforce is Latino, and it has experienced double-digit Coors Light growth in marketplace sales every year since 2003. As a result, Coors Light is now the best-selling beer in New York City, and has higher share among Latinos in New York than the general market.