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Sticking to Your Roots

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Building Brand Authenticity
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Abstract

I’d recognize that picture anywhere — Max Schubert, legendary Australian winemaker and the inspiration behind one of the world’s greatest wines, Grange. What intrigued me more was the story. I’d just exited the arrivals hall at Melbourne airport and was waiting for a taxi. To my surprise there was a large billboard in front of me celebrating Schubert and Grange. The message was simple — ‘To those who do things for love, not money.’ Ironic, I thought. Penfold’s is now owned by conglomerate Fosters, a company that has long chastised the wine industry’s poor understanding of financial returns (and one at time of writing was delivering less than stellar returns itself due to poor wine sales). However, the message was a signal — Grange was being returned to its roots. After years of less than stellar wines and a commercially motivated brand extension, perhaps the marketing team behind this icon was recognizing why people paid over US$300 a bottle for this brand.

By modern standards and the length of time we have advertised, our advertising has changed relatively little. This is particularly true for the first 35 years, in which advertising remained black and white, long copy print ads telling stories about the special process (charcoal mellowing) we use to make our whiskey, the people who make it and the place they live (Lynchburg, Tennessee), and the history and heritage of the brand and its founder, Jasper Newton Daniel. Much of our advertising today still tells the same story.

(Gus Griffin, Global Managing Director, Jack Daniel’s, quoted in Drummond 2008, p. 18)

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© 2009 Michael Beverland

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Beverland, M. (2009). Sticking to Your Roots. In: Building Brand Authenticity. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230250802_5

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