HOW DID JOHNIE WALKER REVIVE THEIR BRAND? A CASE STUDY-
Brand image is one of the most essential and difficult aspects of marketing. It takes years to build and can cost millions or even billions of dollars. If not done right, it can even kill a century-old brand. This is especially true in the spirits business, where brand image can make or break a business.
One brand that has mastered the art of brand communication is Johnnie Walker. The legacy of Johnnie Walker has continued for 200 years, making it a marketing masterpiece to learn from. What started out as an obsession for consistently tasting whiskey by a grocery boy has turned into a business empire that has spanned four generations and scaled across 180 countries.
However, after 150 years of being the most popular whiskey brand in the world, by the end of the 20th century, Johnnie Walker faced one of the most difficult challenges faced by every age-old brand: identity crisis. But the way they reacted to this crisis taught the world an incredible lesson in marketing.
WHY DID JOHNIE WALKER NEED A MARKETING PLAN?
In 1999, within just three years, Johnnie Walker saw a disastrous decline in sales by 14%. The board discovered that Johnnie Walker had 27 campaigns running all across the world, each with a different message, and the brand had no substantial image of itself. In addition, the megatrend in the 1980s and 1990s was inclining towards wine and vodka, leading to a 20% decline in whiskey sales volume among American consumers.
Diageo, the parent company of Johnnie Walker, stepped in and brought together an amazing team of marketers to understand how to revive the brand and build a brand image that can stand tall in the modern age. The campaign they designed turned out to be so magical that within the next 15 years, it turned Johnnie Walker into a $2.2 billion brand.
The marketers of Johnnie Walker did super intense market research and realized that there were three major problems with the brand.