Gamekeeper turned poacher ?

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that I have started to drift back towards ‘store checking’ liquor stores and travel retail / duty free shelves.    Four months after leaving a category I had been immersed in for 11 years I now feel that my interest switch has flipped from ‘professional’ to ‘amateur’ once more.   

Two things I had not stopped doing and never will:

THE NECK STRETCH – when you enter a busy bar you try and quickly scan the back bar for all of your brands – no matter how much in the past they are.

THE MENU SCAN – flicking quickly through the wine and cocktail list for all of your brands – ditto.

It feels good to buy and order what I want, when I want it as opposed to remaining brand loyal – I’m one of those marketers who believes that you should always consume your own product, whatever that happens to be – but you still keep checking up on your former charges.

By and large it’s a good experience helped by the fact that alcohol beverage brands are strong and enduring.   Some  (the majority thankfully) I cherish so much I must look like a proud father when I check prices and the latest packaging.

However there is one that looks every inch the ugly duckling.    Mired in so many years of mediocre leadership that if there was a crime of bad brand management this would be Exhibit A.    A jewel in the crown covered in dust because of some ‘under the radar’ strategy which works against the brand not in support of it.

Hopefully someone can save it and, in the meantime, at least when you focus on the liquid inside all signs of compromise vanish.

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