Hospitality | Brand Strategy | Brand Storytelling | Field Sales Force



Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks supplier with an outstanding collection of global brands across spirits and beer – including Guinness, Smirnoff, Tanqueray, Johnnie Walker, and Captain Morgan. In 2014, Diageo began a business shift to aggressively invest in the highly profitable on-premise channel (bars and restaurants). This channel is extremely competitive with all the primary spirit and beer suppliers fighting for share, both share of mind with the buyers and share of the menu for cocktails. Diageo embarked on a search for a new agency that would take its vision of ‘winning on premise’ to the next level. The goal was to grow share (+2bps) in 3 years and outpace the industry growth.
Inspira Challenge

The Challenge

As hospitality experts, we understood the challenge and knew how difficult it would be for Diageo legacy brands to break through with buyers and consumers. An innovative approach was required.
EQ Our insight discovery process focused on interviewing hundreds of bar owners, bartenders, and operators to determine what was missing from the customer/buyer conversations. Our research revealed that the industry-wide approach practiced was one-sided and brand-first. “Canned” promotional programs from brands were forced to fit across all account types, whether a neighborhood bar or trend-leading cocktail bar. We discovered that customers/buyers would activate those programs, but what they wanted from their suppliers were business solutions and concepts that would drive value for their guests.
IQ Our secondary research confirmed what we had learned through our interviews. It was a sea of sameness. Competitors were taking a similar approach that did not really address the accounts’ business needs.
Inspira Inspiration

The Inspirational Insight

Create a breakthrough approach to pioneer reframing the customer/buyer conversation to put the guest first and the brand second.

The Concept

Conduct collaborative conversations to build custom/bespoke marketing programs brand-by-brand and account-by-account. Enlist experienced hospitality people (former GMs, Bar Managers, and Mixologists) to serve as the face of the programs and ensure that elevated conversations were led with account buyers. Our goal was to have the most elite team of beverage experts ever seen in the industry.

Inspira Results

The Results

Our success with Diageo has spanned over 8-years. Working across 20 brands, Inspira has designed hundreds of marketing programs across all types of accounts. We now have 400+ dedicated Diageo-specific teams across 30+ US Markets.

These elite teams consistently outperform the industry and categories by +5 to +10%.

Diageo has recognized this high-performance rate, bestowing us “Supplier of Year” recognition.

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