#BehindTheBrandManager Interview

#BehindtheBrandManager: Bhavna Mistry, senior brand manager at Heineken SA

Bhavna Mistry is a part of the Heineken SA team that bought new product offering, Heineken Silver to the country. Mistry talks to us about her role as senior brand manager for the alcohol company.
Bhavna Mistry is the senior brand manager at Heineken SA. Source: Supplied.
Bhavna Mistry is the senior brand manager at Heineken SA. Source: Supplied.

What did you study and how did you end up where you are today?

I studied marketing management and logistics at University of Johannesburg. I was inspired by how the power of brands drove emotional connections with consumers and today I am still inspired as marketing is the heart beat of many FMCG companies.

What do you do on a day to day basis for Heineken?

Apart from drinking copious amounts of coffee and being in meetings, as the senior brand manager of Heineken, my role is to leverage consumer insights to develop localised campaigns stemming from the global brand platform, formulate communication and commercial plans, innovation development, budget management, people management and track performance.

What are some of the challenges you face in your role as Snr Brand Manager?

There is always a great balance between managing the activity now vs. planning for the future. As marketers we need to be at the forefront of what is relevant for our target market and what will be relevant. Additionally, we need to ensure that we continuously monitor trends, markets and performance whilst positioning ourselves to pivot. Being adaptable and resilient is important.

What have been your career highlights?

One of my greatest highlights has been the launch of Heineken Silver. I have been working on this innovation for the last four years and it has been beautiful to see the launch come to life. This has really been a great innovation which really taps into a consumer insight around younger consumers looking for easy drinking refreshment.

What excited me the most was understanding Gen Z consumers and how we can tap into their passion points to ensure that our communication is relevant and inspirational to these consumers. With any innovation we need to shape the launch and this will be a continuous journey and I look forward to watching this product grow.

What impact do you want to have on your industry?

The impact that I would like to have on the industry is to break convention and push the boundaries of innovation in marketing through developing communication that lands with consumers in an emotive way so that consumers have a lifelong relationship with the brands that I work on.

What interested you in marketing?

Growing up I always had a very curious mind when it came to advertising and how big brands evoked a sense of emotion through advertising. I recalled looking at brands like Nike, Coca-Cola and high end fashion brands and wanting to be a part of this world.

Any advice for people who want to get into brand management?

  • Have a passion for brands and products and having an interest in its evolution while having the full context of how that brand contributes towards an organisation.
  • Be brave and courageous through creativity.

About Karabo Ledwaba

Karabo Ledwaba is a Marketing and Media Editor at Bizcommunity and award-winning journalist. Before joining the publication she worked at Sowetan as a content producer and reporter. She was also responsible for the leadership page at SMag, Sowetan's lifestyle magazine. Contact her at karabo@bizcommunity.com
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