As Hiram Walker’s Marketing Director for Canadian Club Whisky, Brandwerks’ John Recca directed the U.S. rebranding and relaunch efforts of the company’s flagship brand, then a $200 million piece of business. This was not an easy task given the brand’s authenticity and heritage–very deep seated and little changed since 1858. But, rejuvenation was much needed, especially given sizable market share losses at the hands of Seagram’s and others within the highly competitive Canadian whisky segment.
Working with the Canadian brand owners and the London based parent, Allied-Domecq, John and his team developed a comprehensive plan to relaunch the brand in the United States. This required significant investment, which was granted by Allied’s board soon after the successful revitalization of Beefeater Gin. The relaunch included many elements and partners, including New York and Chicago advertising and promotional agencies. This fully-integrated program included new packaging, print and outdoor advertising, trade merchandising and point-of-sale materials, public relations and sales incentives.
Results were immediate and long-lasting. The award-winning relaunch won several awards, but importantly, resulted in sales and market share gains. This was a team effort that gave new life to this time-honored and historic brand.