Jan 19 2011
THE BOOZE BIN
By Cassandra Bianco (@cnbianco)
In a recent interview, Hendrick’s Gin ambassador Jim Ryan said that for marketing success, it’s key to have crystal clear identity. Hendrick’s certainly defines whimsy, the peculiar and cleverness. The campaign’s psychographic branding is a refreshing take to the mainstream “party hard” and “sexy lifestyle” brand campaigns. The product stands out not just from other gins, but the whole liquor market.
It’s tough not to be enamored by the spirit’s delightful website, created by Philadelphia design firm Quaker City Mercantile. Eccentric illustrations and charmingly named sections like “A Treasury of Tipples,” and “Wondrous Affairs and Occasions,” express the brand’s unique language— an especially strong branding tool (think Starbucks menu items.) The website’s Unusual Times blog is a daily snapshot of the peculiar, where quirky posts vary from “cactus music” to old-school housewife work out videos.
In December, Jim helped develop the concept for the Hendrick’s Gin “Enchanted Forest of Curiosities,” an experiential pop-up space in New York City that hosted numerous events, comedic acts and musical performances with media partners including New York magazine, Eater.com and The Onion.
Jim illustrated that orchestrating a memorable experience is integral to foster brand loyalty. Hendrick’s marketing strategy focuses heavily on intimate events; tastings are sometimes no more than 20 people. The campaign regularly partners with The Dandies and Quaintrelles, a Washington, DC based social group, which hosts vintage-inspired, stylish events in partnership with charity causes. Recent Hendrick’s Gin events include the Tweed Ride and the Seersucker Social. Jim said a New York City Tweed Ride is in the works too.
Hendrick’s Gin also staged multi-city croquet tournaments, and dress code on invitations urged guests to “don your best railroad tycoon, Upton-Sinclair inspired, Baroque, Rococo, Victorian, or Edwardian garb.” Croquet players sipped flower-and-fruit-filled punch in teacups with martini-glass stems, listened to live jazz, enjoyed delicate patisserie, and winning guests received prop-cucumber trophies.
When the product is top-notch quality, and the design is beautiful, all that’s needed is the Don Draper approach: lateral thinking for an outside-the-box strategy, (gin) cocktails in-hand.
Tags: Adam Aleksander, best practices, Brand Loyalty, brand management, Dandies and Quaintrelles, enchanted forest, Hendrick's Gin, Jim Ryan, Maloney & Fox, mixology, PR Industry Trends, psychographic marketing, Quaker City Mercantile, Reputation, Seersucker Social, strategy, Tweed Ride
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