Speaking at a roundtable event in London today (2 September), chairman and chief executive officer of Pernod Ricard Europe, Laurent Lacassagne, told Marketing Week that the brand wants to respond to current trends by focusing its marketing efforts on female whiskey drinkers.
“Especially when it comes to malt whiskey we’re trying to gain share with female consumers,” he said.
“Flavoured whiskeys are a way for us to expand our consumer base and occasions. But it’s an important component of every brand’s strategy.”
The news comes after the company announced in June that it has restructured its marketing teams to focus on four consumption occasions – night out, premium socialising and luxury, get together and aperitif and meal occasion – rather than on brands.
The company’s chief financial officer Gilles Bogaert added that the “consumption moments” approach will present new opportunities for the brand.
“We are about to roll out that methodology to 80% of the group,” he said.
“In some markets where we’ve already introduced it, like in Spain, we have also shifted brands between occasions, as some occasions were overcrowded,” he said.
To reach new markets, Pernod Ricard will also focus more on its ecommerce offering by forming partnerships with other brands and retailers.
“We don’t believe that anyone has taken the lead in this particular sector so there’s an opportunity for us to get into that area,” says Pernod Ricard’s UK managing director Denis O’Flynn.
“In that regard, we are talking to a couple of potential partners to see how we can progress that.”
Going forward, the company hopes to grow the share of ecommerce in its business by approaching customers differently.
“The challenge is getting your brand in front of someone who is used to shopping at a standard supermarket,” O’Flynn said.
“It’s all about education, how you present [the brand] and having ongoing conversations with the consumer.”
Troubles in Europe
Pernod Ricard’s full year results for 2014/2015 showed a 2% growth in organic sales, with reported sales growing at 8%.
While sales in Asia and the Americas rose by 4% and 2% respectively, Europe’s sales flatlined due to difficulties in Eastern Europe and travel retail.
In terms of categories, growth was predominantly driven by whiskeys including Jameson, The Glenlivet and Ballantine’s as well as champagnes G.H. Mumm and Perrier-Jouët.