How do you recruit new consumers and ‘open up’ the world of whisky?
Chivas Brothers had 2 key objectives: recruit new consumers, and ‘open up’ the world of whisky.
They identified that consumers have a limited vocabulary to describe whisky flavours, defaulting to traditional descriptors – e.g. rich, creamy, smoky – potentially due to limited category understanding.
Sign Salad was approached to help Chivas Brothers:
Chivas teams worked with Sign Salad, using a combination of expert interviews, semiotics and language expertise, to uncover evolving cultural meanings and expressions of flavour internationally by:
1. Refreshing the language and visuals of the whisky category across the US, China and Spain.
2. Creating strong brand standout for the Chivas portfolio, defining a unique visual and verbal ‘flavour library’ that could open up the world of whisky to more people by making whisky approachable & familiar.
Findings from this study evolved The Glenlivet and Ballantine’s drinks strategy, introducing whisky & tea pairings.
By evolving flavour representation in line with wider cultural & consumer shifts, Chivas has built a distinctive proposition and created a more exploratory, inviting and meaningful set of flavour notes with which to engage consumers in a dialogue about luxury whisky flavour internationally.
“Our partnership with Sign Salad, really helped us to future proof our scotch brands through challenging ourselves to reconsider how we talk about flavour. Winning the Insight Impact award with Alex/Katrina, has helped us demonstrate to the Pernod Ricard group how to put insights into action. Inspiring drinks strategy, innovation through to informing the business with regards to white spaces and education – Project Flavour has truly driven change in Chivas Brothers.”
Dale Milliken, Senior Consumer Insight Manager, Chivas Brothers, Pernod Ricard
“The insights provided by the semiotics of flavour allowed an immediately actionable new and innovative approach to Scotch whisky mentoring tailored specifically for the first time to the audience, by taking into account cultural and verbal cues.
First, our global Scotch Whisky Academy how to nose and taste module was updated to take into account the new descriptors by region.
Second, the semiotics of flavour project was shared across our four brand homes in Scotland and to our international graduate ambassadors in 28 countries including 19 who could directly implement new cultural tasting cues. It was also shared with our US team to implement.
As such, we have revolutionised our tasting notes and inspired ambassadors of Scotch whisky to make their educations sessions culturally relevant.”
Alex Robertson, Head of Heritage and Education, Chivas Brothers Pernod Ricard