Southern Comfort revamps site to go beyond ‘one way dialogue’ with fans

Southern Comfort is switching its marketing focus to drive trials of the brand in pubs and clubs through a revamp of its website it claims will allow it to move beyond having a “one way dialogue” with fans.

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Southern Comfort has revamped its website (see above) to drive more trials in the on-trade.

The American liqueur brand is switching to a more sales-driven strategy after claiming drinkers are becoming more comfortable with its offbeat “Whatever’s Comfortable” positioning. Southern Comfort declined to provide sales figures, but says 2013 was a “strong” year, adding far more drinkers engaged with its recent set of adverts then they did with its lauded “Beach Guy” campaign two years ago.

It is launching its revamped site today (2 April) to lead the shift (see above).

Visitors to the site can interact with an illustrated history of the brand along with details on all Southern Comfort products. Users will also asked to submit their favourite Southern Comfort-based cocktails that will be entered into a contest to win prizes later this year.

It moves away from the more static nature of the brand’s previous site, which only contained product information, with the business pitching the platform as the main hub for future digital content.

Gwen Ridsdale, marketing manager for Southern Comfort UK, says a website offers greater scope to drive trials than its existing social media channels because drinkers still visit them mainly when they want to find out more product information.

It plans to use the portal to capture CRM data on users signing up to its newsletter but did not rule out incorporating ecommerce at a later date.

Ridsdale says: “The purpose of having a site built around user-generated content is to invite fans to start giving something back to the brand after recent campaigns have broadcast messages and been very one way.

“There’s a lot of debate in terms of are ‘websites dead’ and whether they are the best place to build a digital plan around. As a brand platform it gives us an opportunity to create interactive experiences whereas Facebook and other third party channels can’t really offer that environment.

Southern Comfort’s digital charge will extend to mobile and social networks such as Instagram and Twitter. 

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