Beam Spirits restructures to support global brands

Beam Global Spirits & Wine (BGSW) has restructured its marketing on a worldwide basis to reflect the increased importance of non-US brands to the group.

Beam Global Spirits & Wine (BGSW) has restructured its marketing on a worldwide basis to reflect the increased importance of non-US brands to the group.

The new BGSW marketing structure will comprise a US team, an international team (local country operations) and a global team that sits above the two others.

BGSW was known as Jim Beam Global Brands until it acquired a portfolio of brands from Allied Domecq, as part of the latter’s takeover by Pernod Ricard. These include Teacher’s whisky, Larios gin, Canadian Club whisky, Maker’s Mark bourbon and Harvey’s sherries.

Beth Bronner, global chief marketing officer for BGSW, says that before the acquisition of the Allied Domecq brands, “about 75% of our business was in the US. Now, it’s about 50%. We needed a marketing strategy based on our new brands and our new geographies.”

Bronner is in overall charge of marketing for BGSW, while the global group is headed by Nick Garland, vice-president of marketing, international. Garland, who reports to Bronner by what both call a “dotted line”, has seven global brand directors reporting to him, one for each global brand – the group is still looking to fill two of these roles, although Garland will not say which ones.

Major national markets have their own marketing directors – such as Drew Munro in the UK.

The acquisitions changed a $1.2bn (&£670m) company with one global brand – Jim Beam – into a $2.5bn (&£1.4bn) company with seven global brands, moving it from the seventh-biggest international spirits group to fourth-biggest.

The new global group oversees consistency of brand strategy across all communications and all relationships with BGSW’s agencies, Bronner says.

The group also oversees research and development, marketing strategy, market insights, public relations and innovation.

The acquisitions have significantly increased BGSW’s marketing headcount. Where Jim Beam Global Brands had just 63 marketers based at its headquarters in Deerfield, just outside Chicago, BGSW has 160, based around the world.

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