Glenmeadie Case

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Glenmeadie is a Scotch Whiskey distillery whose reputation of excellence comes from their long-term presence in the market and consistent delivery of quality products. Glenmeadie’s spririts have received several gold medals (7 just this season) in both national and international competitions. The company is now in the middle of a huge marketing campaign, organizing events in 25 cities and offering a new program (the Tastemakers programme) which has been medalled by Corporate Events, a magazine dedicated to customer programs. Additionally, in an effort to make the customers “feel a more personal connection with the brand”, Glenmeadie developed its website - offering new interactive capabilities – invested in software for label and card printing (which is handed out at the previously mentioned marketing events), set a local customer information phone service and created a loyalty card program. It has also had an event-based program (email marketing and coupons for anniversaries and birthdays) and a quarterly newsletter which have been ongoing for several years. Despite the brand’s reputation, age and tradition, the company is relying on its marketing efforts to increase sales, which indeed have never been better. Ellis Cameron (master distiller) expresses his disapproval of the new strategy taking over product development and suggests separately bottling each cask of whiskey. This would allow each label to be extremely detailed in terms of date, production process, number of bottles from the same cask, etc. meaning each bottle would be part of a limited set. When you have a product that is clearly superior, do you focus on showing your product is superior or do you bond with your customers? (i.e. product-oriented vs. customer-oriented strategy) During these events, people get to taste the products, which is very good, but does that make them potential customers or are they drinking because it’s free? Is the return on investment of these expensive marketing...
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