'Jazzing up' whisky's image?

Related tags Scotch whisky

Glenfiddich, the Scotch whisky maker, is hoping to rejuvenate its
image by promoting the 'nu jazz' music scene alongside the drink
itself - a gamble which the company hopes will give a more youthful
image to what has traditionally been viewed as a somewhat fusty,
old-fashioned drink, at least in the UK.

Market analysts Datamonitor point out that that image of whisky varies significantly from country to country. In the UK and northern Europe, it tends to appeal to older consumers, with sophisticated tastes and a preference for single malts. However, in southern Europe it is preferred by drinkers aged 18 to 25 years, and blended whiskies are more popular. For example, Cutty Sark is particularly successful in Spain and Greece

In East Asia, meanwhile, whisky benefits from a culture of conspicuous consumption and is drunk in public as a kind of badge of taste and style.

Finding a marketing strategy that appeals to these different consumer groups is a considerable challenge, the analysts suugest. For this reason, the Internet is increasingly at the centre of distillers' drive to change whisky's image, as it allows manufacturers to target different consumer groups with websites dedicated to a single brand, tailored to suit different national tastes.

Glenfiddich has chosen to woo younger drinkers by associating its brand with the nu jazz music scene. The distiller's campaign will be centred around a series of interactive activities, in particular a website promoting jazz artists, a ticketing service operating through mobile phones and a download service.

Associating a brand with a particular type of cultural event has been shown to be an effective way of creating a bond between the targeted consumers and a brand, according to Datamonitor. Perhaps one of the best examples of this in recent years is the Carling brewery's association with rock and heavy metal events such as the Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK. Carling also organises events and distributes tickets.

The lager brand has since enjoyed something of a rejuvenation of its image as its name becomes increasingly linked to this aspect of youth culture, and it is reasonable to expect that the nu jazz scene can do the same for Glenfiddich and Scotch whisky in general, the analysts conclude.

Related topics Retail & shopper insights

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