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  1. #51
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    Re: Before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good!

    Quote Originally Posted by smokinjoe View Post
    ... Where is the past and present marketing that has the sheeple fooled? ...
    http://www.doeanderson.com/our-work/makers-mark.aspx

    http://higheredbcs.wiley.com/legacy/...akers_case.pdf

    It's out there. They have built a significant brand over the years by using a pretty consistant message.

    I know when my wife and I are doing the dinner party thing with neighbors and friends I often see MM on the kitchen counter or bar. It sits right there next to the Jack Daniels, Absolute, Capt Morgan, Crown Royal, Dewars, Bacardi and the various other perceived upscale brands. These are the same people that buy other perceived upscale brands like Toyota, Bose, Nike, Lays, LazyBoy, etc... etc...

    It's all perceived value vs. brand awareness. Without the marketing, MM would be out of business or on the bottom shelf next to Old Crow.

  2. #52
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    Re: Before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good!

    Quote Originally Posted by kickert View Post
    I would compare Jim Beam White to McD's and MM to something like Applebees.....
    I'd say you are being generous.

  3. #53
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    Re: Before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good!

    Quote Originally Posted by Halifax View Post
    http://www.doeanderson.com/our-work/makers-mark.aspx

    http://higheredbcs.wiley.com/legacy/...akers_case.pdf

    It's out there. They have built a significant brand over the years by using a pretty consistant message.

    I know when my wife and I are doing the dinner party thing with neighbors and friends I often see MM on the kitchen counter or bar. It sits right there next to the Jack Daniels, Absolute, Capt Morgan, Crown Royal, Dewars, Bacardi and the various other perceived upscale brands. These are the same people that buy other perceived upscale brands like Toyota, Bose, Nike, Lays, LazyBoy, etc... etc...

    It's all perceived value vs. brand awareness. Without the marketing, MM would be out of business or on the bottom shelf next to Old Crow.
    Thank you for the links, Rod. Interesting information, for sure. There would be no argument from me that MM has been very successful in building their brand. (Incidently, that's why in another thread, I have defended their position to aggressively protect it.) I certainly would expect them to attempt to build their brand, otherwise what's the point. Like all distilleries, they have ad agencies doing what they do. What do they call it? Enthusion! But, I see nothing in the information you provide that would lead me to believe that what they have done is significantly different or applied in in greater scope than what most other major brands in the bourbon industry have done, or for that matter, any consumer product. If we have a problem with their success at it, well that's our fault. So, I continue to remain skeptical of claims of over-the-top marketing.

    PS:
    Out of business, or on the bottom shelf next to Old Crow, without the marketing? Wow, now that's a claim!!
    JOE

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  4. #54
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    Re: Before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good!

    Excellent post Scott, and a good analogy as well.

    To add to the perspective that Scott gave, when I did the MM tour back in November, the tour guide stated that their goal for 2009 was to ship 900,000 cases (I'll assume they meant case equivalents since there are different sizes). I joined SB in January and I'm member #5588, so if every member through me purchased 1 case of MM last year, we'd have accounted for 0.62% of the total amount of volume that they expected to ship.

    Also, as to the marketing comments, I'm still relatively new to all the bourbons that are out there and I've seen the ads (billboards or print ads) for MM, but I can't say that I was ever aware of other products like BTAC or ORVW through advertising. I'm sure these products don't really need advertising, because they are so limited, but without the knowledge gained here, I'd still think that products like OGDBIB and Weller Antique weren't worth me spending money on because they were lower tier brands. (Again, this is my former perception.) Now, I know the fact that there are some great lower priced bourbons out there and maybe MM isn't "worth" the retail prices I generally find. However, before doing research in here I was largely unaware of the quality and variety that was out there, so advertising played a role in my perception of what constituted quality.

    Mike
    Never ask a man if he is from Virginia. If he is, he'll tell you. If he isn't, you don't want to embarass him.

  5. #55
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    Re: Before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good!

    Quote Originally Posted by smokinjoe View Post
    ..PS:
    Out of business, or on the bottom shelf next to Old Crow, without the marketing? Wow, now that's a claim!!
    Looking back, perhaps I should have gone further. The point that I was trying to make is that the marketing and building of the brand has had more of an impact on the success and retail postioning of MM than the actual product itself. I'm not trying to be negative regarding the actual product, and at the end of the day, the product itself has to be desirable to the consumer. However, IMHO, if MM launched its product minus the marketing and branding it would most likely be a mid-shelf product at best.

  6. #56
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    Re: Before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good!

    Quote Originally Posted by smokinjoe View Post
    PS:
    Out of business, or on the bottom shelf next to Old Crow, without the marketing? Wow, now that's a claim!!
    Yes, indeed quite a claim. I'd reach for MM over any current Old Fitz, Weller SR or ORVW 90.

    If you don't care for the taste of the whiskey, that's fine, but I don't understand why sucessful marketing is a bad thing, or why MM are sell-outs because they don't make bourbon with a group of elves in a hollow tree. Last I checked, the Van Winkles got their whiskey from a distillery (two of them actually) that has been owned by just about every big liquor company on the planet. What is now the Four Roses distillery has been owned by a bajillion BIG LIQUOR companies too. And I don't see anyone challenging Julian's or Jim Rutledge's integrity. In fact, if you want to talk about "the little guy" MM is the exemplar par excellence of "the little guy makes good". As the late Don King might say "Only in America!"

    But maybe I'm biased because on the last MM tour I took, Bill touched me twice.

    UPDATE: I just read your post above, Halifax. Note that the above rant isn't directed specifically at you.
    Last edited by Josh; 03-02-2010 at 13:56.
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  7. #57
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    Re: Before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good!

    I don't buy this "it's just marketing" argument for any of the products to which it is usually applied. There is an adage in marketing that great marketing will get people to buy a bad product, but only once. Products simply do not succeed 'on marketing alone,' as frequently is claimed by posters on this site.

    The product has to pay off whatever promises the marketing makes. That's not the same as saying that the products in question are great products, just that to the people who buy them, the marketing promise is in synch with their experience.

    Some people will set up a straw man by offering their interpretation of the marketing promise and their opinion of the product, which invariably does not match up, and which is essentially irrelevant. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. If the product is successful, then the people who buy it must believe their expectations are matched by their experience.

    To argue to the contrary is inherently insulting to anyone who enjoys those products, because you are saying they are ignorant sheep, easily misled by a pretty picture and a clever phrase into drinking overpriced swill. (What is the appropriate price for swill, anyway?)

    The appreciation of fine spirits is not about feeling superior to other people. Well, maybe for some it is, but it shouldn't be.
    Last edited by cowdery; 03-02-2010 at 14:31.

  8. #58
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    Re: Before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good!

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    I'd reach for MM over any current Old Fitz, Weller SR or ORVW 90.
    Really? I cut OWA to 90 proof and did a side by side with Maker's. I didn't take any notes, but thought I preferred OWA across the board. I figured WSR would hold up to it too, even though cutting OWA isn't exactly the same as WSR...

  9. #59
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    Re: Before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good!

    Like I said earlier... I've bought tons of MM over the years. Got a handful of bottles sitting in my cabinet. I didn't buy those bottles because I knew it was the best product out there at that price. I bought MM because I, like other consumers, perceived MM to be the best in it's class. Hey, nothing wrong with that. I think what MM execs have done is absolutley genius from a business standpoint.

    Had I not stumbled across SB I would have never discovered the joys of WLW SR, OWA, etc, etc. As a novice bourbon consumer I was not familiar with these brands. I was never made aware thru marketing or promos, and have never seen them in any bar.

    Thankfully thru word of mouth and additional bourbon experience/knowledge I have been enlightened. That being said, word of mouth, although highly desirable, is no a single component for which to build a brand around.
    Last edited by Halifax; 03-02-2010 at 14:46.

  10. #60
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    Re: Before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good!

    Quote Originally Posted by nblair View Post
    Really? I cut OWA to 90 proof and did a side by side with Maker's. I didn't take any notes, but thought I preferred OWA across the board. I figured WSR would hold up to it too, even though cutting OWA isn't exactly the same as WSR...
    I stand by my assertion. I'm all about some OWA, but I don't think Weller SR is really up to snuff. Just too mild. I have some bunkered OWA 107/7 y/o, so the next time I buy some MM I'll do a side by side (with the OWA cut to 90) and see how it goes. I love tastings.
    bibamus, moriendum est
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