asks, does Scotch whisky need a change of image?
4th October 2017
... Comments

I recently read an article on regarding the current image of Scotch whisky.

Tom Bruce-Gardyne argues that although ,"Scotch once embraced its homeland to almost comic effect, if you think back to those early whisky it grew into a global spirit its brands became more concerned with lifestyle than provenance. Thanks to the boom in vodka, it suffered something of an existential wobble in the latter part of the 20th century, but has managed to bounce back."

Elliot Wilson, Strategy Director at The Cabinet Agency, counter argues that with Scotch whisky in high demand this year, with fair pricing, new markets opening up and a strong regulatory production, we shouldn't need to worry about something as frivolous as image.

However, Elliot goes on to remind us that research shows us that, on the whole, Scotch will always be seen by the younger generation as a traditional, stuffy and a boring drink. There are, in Elliot's words, "many more exciting spirits that have leapfrogged Scotch to grab people’s attention and appreciation over the past decade. Gin, Tequila, rum, bitters, American whiskey, Irish whiskey, Japanese whisky and – dare I even say – flavoured whisky: the list goes on."

Elliot recommends that, if sellers are keen to make Scotch whisky more appealing to a younger market, the secret is in three areas: the desires of the youth (what do they want and when), the technology they use, and the truth (what makes whisky so special).

Ian Weir, Marketing Director at Ian MacLeod Distillers Ltd does not believe that Scotch whisky has an image problem. He believes that the industry is, "now very much geared to ensuring people enjoy their whisky the way they want to and this shows how the image of Scotch has progressed. We're just as open to mixers and cocktails as our Irish, American and Japanse cousins".

What do you think? Does Scotch whisky need a change of image?



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