Blog: TFWA - Diageo prepares for a travel retail journey
Andy Morton | 25 October 2012
Diageo's global travel retail head, Roland Abella, was in a bullish mood last night (24 October).
“I like to take risks,” he said at the unveiling in Cannes of the Johnnie Walker Explorers Club Collection, his company's biggest travel retail launch. “If we fail, then we will learn from it. But, I hope we won't.”
He's unlikely to fail with the Explorers Club, a premium blended Scotch range exclusive to the travel retail sector that claims to tap into the “romance of travel”. The question is: why has it taken Diageo so long to come up with a collection like this?
As Abella said, the strategy in travel retail today is differentiation; trying to give the target Asian and Russian airline passengers something they can't get at home.
Aside from the question of whether non-Western cultures can identify with the Victorian-tinged view of travel Diageo is peddling with its Silk Road, Royal Route and Gold Route lines in the Explorers Club, the collection ticks all the modern boxes. The packaging is colourful, it comes with an off-the-peg story behind it and it's expensive, from US$43 to $159.
After the launch, Abella told just-drinks that “geographies don't mean anything anymore”, highlighting Diageo's one-size-fits-all approach to travel retail and why this new collection is being released in all global markets.
That's not a view shared across the Scotch industry. Morrison Bowmore Distillers said yesterday that regional market trends do seep into travel retail, but it'll no doubt work for the Explorers Club, especially with the marketing clout of Diageo behind it.
"This is our big play for the foreseeable future," said Diageo's Global travel and Middle East marketing director, Steve White. It appears then, that Diageo is setting sail on its own journey.
Fetch me my binoculars.
Do you like whisk(e)y? And, I mean, really like whisk(e)y? Are you at a loose end in the first half of 2017? If so, then I've found just the job for you....
Whenever we read anything about Millennial consumers, there is almost always mention of the personalisation trend as well as the importance of social media....
Ever wondered what fuels Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisitional drive? Is it naked ambition? Faith? The good of mankind?...
- Diageo NA head on Trump, Millennials, Bourbon
- Has Millennial-mania drowned out elder consumers?
- Interview - Loch Lomond GTR head Andre de Almeida
- Absolut and Smirnoff's conflicting Millennial view
- Brown-Forman's H1 performance by region, brand
- Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent set to stand down
- Diageo wine assets integration head to leave TWE
- Brown-Forman's barrel sales take Scotch hit
- Absolut not "sufficiently focussed" on Millennials
- Angostura places CEO on administrative leave
- Luxury Alcoholic Drinks: The Spirit of Premiumisation
- Global gin insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global Wine Market 2016-2020
- Global Cognac insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends