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Seagram's and Sazerac

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cowdery

A case card is an in-store advertisement mounted to the top of a case of the product, which has been cut open and stacked on the floor for sales.

--Chuck Cowdery

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cowdery

I can clarify my point a little bit more. How do marketers know what retailers want? They ask their own sales people, who ask the distributor's sales people. Sales management and marketing management primarily relies on the testimony of their company's own sales people to assess what retailers want. That assessment, therefore, is always self-serving. Most salespeople, given a choice, will take the immediate sale over long term brand building every day of the week. The tactics they tell their management "retailers want" are the tactics that they believe will produce immediate sales. Marketing decision makers seldom assess retailer wants any other way.

--Chuck Cowdery

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

Linn said, "That should work, but it doesn't. You get an error message"

Yes it does. The software just lies to you is all. I sent Greg three copies of a private message, all of which errored. When he answered he mentioned that he got all three copies.

=John=

http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

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kitzg

Chuck, I must assume you are speaking from your experience with the spirits industry and you make a very good point if that is how they get their retailer input.

While when running brands as a marketer I spent a lot of time "in the trenches" with our sales force I also spent a lot of time in stores and also with retail corporate management. It is easier to do in the food and drugstore business than with liquor stores or bars because 5 drugstore chains control much of the volume in the U.S. and in the food business if you can get your act together for Kroger or Albertsons (who own stores all over under other names) you can spread your concepts to other stores. Also those retailers heavily use scanner data to know what pricepoint sells and whether goods are sold on display or not. In addition, as managment I (and others at competing firms in the foods and HBA business) formed a group called Trade Marketing that took the money-spending decisions out of the hands of the sales force. This group analyzed customer business and knew what moves product and why based on some very sophisticated analysis techniques. I know P & G uses similar tools today.

My only experience with Spirits is the owners and managment teams I know. However, while I don't want to betray any confidences I know one owner who had periodic reviews with mangement (not sales) at one of the leading spirits firms to review programs for increasing sales and profits.

I'm probably telling more than most people in this forum care about. But the old "give me a deal and I'll sell more" is long gone in the food, drugstore, and mass merchandiser (K-Mart, Wal-Mart) business. Procter does not even use the word "sales force" any more. That function is transferred to a group called Customer Business Development.

As I readily admit, I don't know what's prevalent with spirit firms today.

Greg

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

I would imagine that one of the biggest differences between food/drugs/household and the spirits industry is that few, if any, states have laws prohibiting or severely regulating growth incentives for grocers, drugstores, and mass marketers. Not so for liquor stores and cocktail lounges. In Pennsylvania for example, point-of-sale advertising is looked upon as "enticing people to drink" and is discouraged by many ordinance in many localities. The concept of Customer Business Development is that the best interests of a manufacturer like Procter & Gamble are served by recognizing the retailer as the prime customer and selling the product (laundry detergent for example) as a sales aid in increasing the retailer's overall business. The idea is to eliminate the wholesaler and work directly with the large retailers. I don't think that's possible with liquor, and it may even be illegal in some places.

=John=

http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

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kitzg

Agreed and understood. This is why local distributors of spirits wield power as they become experts in their state legislation. Yet it seems to me that the original point of educating people at retail would sell more specialty and high end products than point of sale or discounts. You're not going to have a display of Pappy or Ky Spirit in many stores. But you do have people who stand and stare at the shelf just as you do with cold medicines. (I've observed and listened to conversations of people staring at the bourbon shelves. Often I notice they look at proof and seem to equate that with quality) It interests me that with about 2 exceptions when I'm in a retailer the person asking me if I need assistance knows less about bourbon than I do.

Same point for bartenders and servers.

thanks for the good discussion on this. I hope the brand managers and sales managers at spirits companies are way ahead of us on this. Most of my success has been in doing something different when others were saying, "but we've always done it that way."

Greg

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jbutler

It looks like the forum software thinks it's processing a post here rather than sending a message. Somewhere, I suspect a null argument is being passed where some integer value is expected. Fortunately, the error is ignored internally, and your message will be sent.

I'll see if I can get the time to track this one down guys.

Cheers,

Jim Butler

Straightbourbon.com

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

I agree with you completely. Education of the people who actually interact with the end customer would be a wonderful idea. The trick is, who'd pay for it? You can't (in most states) have a sample-giver, like the lady distributing toothpicked morsels in the supermarket aisle. And maybe customer mis-education is not really as much of a negative for the distributor as one might think. If our ingrained sense that "more expensive" means "higher quality" allows folks to think the higher-taxed 100-proof is superior to the 80, well okay, that means more sales for the 100-proof. Fact is, for many of us that's not such a foolish guess -- distillers really do seem to bottle their better-quality products at higher proofs. Also, most of the spirits companies sell lots more vodka and rum (and Canadian and blended scotch) than bourbon. And that may not be unintentional. Considering the quality restrictions on the production of straight whiskey, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's significantly more expensive to make. Higher bourbon sales would come at the expense of (for example) vodka sales, and vodka is more profitable per case sold.

Instead of encouraging the individual spirits companies to invest in customer enlightenment, why not get organizations such as the KDA or DISCUS involved? I like to see a distillery-independent program promoting knowledge and appreciation for America's whiskeys (including Tennessee, Rye, and specialty whiskeys). In fact, I'd like to be part of such a program. These organizations have the bucks and the incentive, maybe we have some representatives reading who'd like to comment?

=John=

http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

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kitzg

There is a difference between the purpose of a KDA promotion and that of a brand manager. The brand manager is responsible for growing business for that brand. If I'm Marketing Director for Woodford Reserve and I've recently won awards I want servers and bartenders to recommend my product when someone asks, "what do you have for a good bourbon." (Of course, Ken wants them to recommend his product and the Brand manager(s) on Beam Small Batch products want theirs recommended.) If asked, some bartenders today would recommend the one they are comfortable with -- whatever that is. My initial point which Ken Weber underscored is that most bartenders don't know product. They don't know rye from wheated. They don't know what makes Booker's unique.

The KDA has no reason to fix much of that problem. Being a rather political group in that they must satisfy all distiller members they can promote the sale of bourbon over other spirits. They might want to do some general education about rye vs. wheat, what is proof, what IS bourbon, etc. When a distiller does it the focus will be on increasing volume and customer loyalty for a particular brand.

There is room for both. But this forum really is not about talking about brand managers increasing their business so I've said enough -- probably too much. thanks.

Greg

PS sampling is allowed in many states but in most instances the customer must pay for the sample. I've seen ways to do it just like Whiskeyfest.

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Ken Weber

Chuck,

While at BF, we never mentioned the fact that Southern Comfort was not a bourbon. After all, it is brown and contains alcohol and comes in a whiskey bottle. I would be interested to know which agency you worked with. I have worked with several, some outstanding and some not.

Ken

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cowdery

I was at Price-Weber in Louisville from 1980 to June of 1986 and worked on the Brown-Forman account. Here in Chicago I worked with a company called Promotional Marketing on Jim Beam business.

--Chuck Cowdery

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Ken Weber

They still work for BF. I set up an office there in '91 and spent more time with them than I spent at BF. They have some very good people. I worked with an agency in Chicago on the Jack Daniel's and Canadian Mist business. Lee Hill, which changed their name to Draft Worldwide. Another excellent agency.

Ken

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cowdery

Did you work with the late Jim Cone at Lee Hill? I met Jim when we both briefly worked at FS&M in Louisville, in the late 70s. Also Ellen Kamp, who now works for Beam, was at Hill.

At B-F, I worked with Dave Higgins and Jack Kennard, Jack Smart, Bill Juckett, and lots of others but those are a few who come to mind.

My apologies to the rest of the board for this inside baseball talk. Please ignore us.

--Chuck Cowdery

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Ken Weber

Chuck,

I worked with Mike McCabe and Lee Hill (although Lee did not contribute very much). I think his job was to make sure we were happy!

I can actually say I know all four of the BF guys and honestly like each one. Misters Higgins and Smart have retired. Bill is close and I am sure Jack is still plugging away.

Ken

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

Jack Smart has retired but he is now a tour guide at L&G.

Mike Veach

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

Marty Tichenor introduced Linda and I to Jack Smart when we visited the Brown-Forman corporate offices a couple years ago. We had brought along a couple of old original Old Forester magazine ads we thought some of the old-timers might enjoy seeing, and he was kind enough to autograph them. They are now displayed on our bourbon collection wall.

=John=

http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

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