Jim Beam Bourbon Bar Pours on the Personalization
More and more American’s are filling their plates with farm-to-table produce and free range meat. So it’s no surprise they’re also washing it down with small batch, organic and locally made bourbons. Jim Beam tackled this trend head on with a Millennial male-targeted in-store sampling campaign that reinforced the brand’s 219-year-old heritage in an intimate one-on-one setting.
The brand’s off-premise activation strategy had three key objectives: one, get whiskey-drinking guys ages 21-29 to reconsider and purchase Jim Beam; two, amplify the effort by connecting it to the Jim Beam “Make History” platform; and three, extend the conversation through an integrated CRM program. Jim Beam started the conversation through a series of pop-up sampling events in more than 14 markets that transformed a trip to the local liquor store into a visit with your favorite bartender.
Inside stores, samplers invited shoppers to pull up a stool and join them at the Bourbon Bar for a proper bourbon tasting. Through casual conversation, staffers identified the occasion consumers were shopping for and then made a personalized Jim Beam brand recommendation that would complement their plans. The signature Jim Beam cocktail (prepared on-site) further elevated the encounter by going beyond the usual “plus-one” drink recipe (e.g., whiskey and cola), reintroducing them to an American classic in a new way. With three Jim Beam variants and a signature Jim Beam cocktail on hand, the brand’s “bartenders” had plenty of options to familiarize consumers with the brand, arm them with valuable bourbon education and bring new bourbon drinkers into the category.
Adding to the experience, consumers who participated in the tasting were invited to join the online “I’m Beam” program and instantly print a customized Jim Beam White label on-site. Using a mobile app, consumers inserted their own picture into the label alongside the other woodcut portraits of the Jim Beam family. Staffers printed and gifted the personalized label, marking the consumer’s “initiation” into the Beam family.
The program generated 68 percent growth in event sales from 2013 to 2014 and saw a 58 percent boost in conversion from 2013. Beam senior brand activation manager Emily Carpin called it “one of the most successful off premise programs in the history of Beam.”