Why Glenmorangie Rebranded

Food & Drink

When LVMH purchased Scottish whisky distillery Glenmorangie in 2004, for a cool for £300 million ($362 million), it didn’t seem entirely in-line with the company’s portfolio.

While the Moët Hennessy empire was already packed with many award-winning and respected liquids, Glenmorangie felt a tad, well, traditional, in comparison.

And it showed in the numbers; profits fell as the blended companies found their flow—only to be lifted after a minor rebrand in 2007.

The company introduced a new, curvaceous shape to set the brand apart from other scotches on the market, positioning itself as a premium and international brand.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Thanks to savvy marketeering and growing consumer interest in whisky, The Glenmorangie Company recorded its best-ever sales performance at the start of the year, revealed plans to invest “tens of millions of pounds” per year to ensure it meets demand from whisky drinkers in the decades to come.

So, why have they rebranded again?

Last week Glenmorangie unveiled brand-new and unexpectedly vibrant redesign of its three core, award-winning single malts.

The Original (in orange, reflecting notes of orange, honey and peach), The Lasanta (in a rich red, reflecting the spicy, sultana-soaked sweetness of the whisky within), and the Quinta Ruban (in deep green hints at the foresty-like depths with mint and honeysuckle).

All of which have been years in the making.

“It started with looking at the brand and our long-term strategy – where did we want to take Glenmorangie, and how would new packaging help us to get there?” says Louise Dennett, Global Head of Brand.

To answer these questions, the brand team worked on a brief together with Glenmorangie’s agency partners—fuelled by consumer insights.

The company conducted research in the USA, Germany, Japan, and the UK, consulting with people who bought Glenmorangie, those who enjoy whisky, and those who like premium spirits.

“As you might expect, we began with multiple design routes. Our research helped us to discover the impact and communication of each one, and to optimise the route we eventually selected,” Dennett continue. “In particular, it enabled us to improve shelf stand-out and make our bottles easy to find quickly in stores.”

Once they had an agreed design, a “huge” cross-functional effort was enacted to industrialise the final product and take it to market.

“The packaging is one aspect, alongside our advertising campaign shot by Miles Aldridge, our visual merchandising, new product innovations, and even the changes to our brand home, Glenmorangie House. It’s all about finding new ways to delight existing Glenmorangie fans, and help new people discover our delicious whiskies.”

Essentially, they know they’ve got a good thing going. They just want to entice those who don’t know it yet.

The ROI of this investment has yet to be seen, of course, but it’s clear this new branding is tying into the company’s core, innovative values.

For almost four decades, Master Distiller Dr Bill Lumsden has not only been at the forefront of innovation at Glenmorangie, but scotch altogether.

He’s responsible for kickstarting the trend for “finishing” whisky in fine wine casks, extra-ageing Glenmorangie malts in barrels from Sauternes, Madeira and Burgundy grand cru Clos de Tart, and will continue to experiment with new methodologies at Glenmorangie’s Lighthouse innovation distillery: the first whisky-making laboratory of its kind.

“He has plenty more exciting ideas up his sleeve,” she hints, when asked about future innovations. “I’m particularly looking forward to a new whisky he’s been working on, which we will reveal this Autumn…”

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