Pernod Ricard is looking to introduce the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to more of its brands as it hopes to disrupt the market place and create an “ongoing conversation” with consumers.
Its Malibu brand has already turned 40,000 bottles into ‘digital touchpoints’, offering consumers access to exclusive content simply by tapping their smartphone on the bottle.
Speaking at its 2015/2016 full year results roundtable this morning (6 September), Pernod Ricard UK’s outgoing managing director Denis O’Flynn told Marketing Week the company was keen to use the IoT technology as it is “clever, quite disruptive and creates an ongoing conversation”. It is now exploring how Pernod Ricard can use the technology for its other brands.
“Someone scanning the bottle is not the end of the journey. It brings the product, experience and consumer all together,” he said. “We do see [the technology use] becoming broader, where we can incorporate messaging about the product, health guidelines, how to mix and serve it – all that information will be required in future, and will be done through some sort of smart technology.”
Gilles Bogaert, managing director of finance and operations at Pernod Ricard, added: “When it comes to the IoT and [our bottles], clearly we are working on it a lot. More and more it will be focused on consumer engagement.
“Potentially it could even help not only to be something passive where consumers can read the scanning but to create an experience for the brand.”
Gilles Bogaert, managing director of finance and operations, Pernod Ricard
“That’s something we’re looking to do more of in the future. To be able to create more experiences around the brands, including when people are at home organising parties for instance.”
Making a digital play
The company is gradually moving its media spend towards digital, having increased its total digital expenditure from 31% to 40% year on year in 2016.
And O’Flynn explained that its increased investment in social media is predominantly focused on showing its brands’ “lighter side”.
He explained: “With our Malibu brand for example, we shifted our emphasis on social media with our #Malibros campaign to attract a more male-skewed audience. We are having a bit of fun with it. Sometimes we can take life a bit too seriously, but we are in the leisure pound after all.”
The alcohol company, which also owns brands such as Absolut and Jameson, saw its sales for the year 2016 reach €8.68bn (£7.26bn), 2% higher on an organic basis than the previous year.
The UK’s performance was labelled “strong” by O’Flynn, with spirits and light wines outperforming the overall market.
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