As Hiram Walker’s Group Marketing Director for white spirits, Brandwerks’ John Recca was tasked with rejuvenating Beefeater Gin in the U.S. At the time, the brand was losing significant market share to other imported gins including Tanqueray and Bombay. Consumption lacked versatility and was primarily linked to the martini – and demographically to older consumers. Not surprisingly, the brand had a “relevance problem”, which focus group respondents characterized as my “grandfather’s gin”. Ouch.
Reversing course begged a new and urgent focus: improving perceived mixability, enhancing seasonal sales and expanding reach to a younger demographic. Armed with $6 million in investment funding approved by Allied-Domecq’s board, John and his team created and executed a fully-integrated seasonal promotion called, “Beefeater. The Summer Gin”.
By strategically increasing usage beyond the martini and reaching out to new, younger consumers, we instantly grew market share from 32% to 40%
The innovative promotion had many elements including national print, regional outdoor, trade merchandising and promotion, distributor and corporate sales incentives, public relations and something very unique…the spirits industry’s first-ever summer gift box. To kick off the four-month effort, the marketing team conducted distributor sales meetings in all major markets. Sales execution was flawless, and by the end of summer, Hiram Walker had successfully achieved its strategic goals.