Grey Goose brand

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

22 April 2019

Grey Goose brand repositions, with mixed results

The Grey Goose brand stands in a current state of confusion. With sales falling (for a variety of reasons), a new campaign seeks to reposition the vodka into something that emotionally connects with younger audiences.

The results are mixed at best.

“In fact, the execution of the ads looks like advertising. It feels like Madison Avenue’s idea of what millennials do while it looks down on them from its skyscrapers.”

Let’s back up for a moment. The Grey Goose brand has, for years, positioned itself as premium vodka, promoting its French origins. The brand doesn’t plan on ignoring that messaging. But with a 13.3% volume decline, it knows it must do something different.

What the Grey Goose brand did initially correct. They examined the market and found that millennials are moving away from vodka and more toward brown spirits like whiskey. When they do drink vodka, it’s the craft ones like Tito’s.

Therefore, a strategy developed. Let’s reflect that target audience, one that’s seeking authenticity. At Stealing Share, along with our in-house research firm Resultant Research, we’ve conducted research with millennials – and in the vodka industry.

Seeking the authentic is a high emotional intensity among that demographic. That’s one of the reasons why craft beers as an industry are surging in relation to the large American lagers. That hasn’t helped the individual craft brands because there are so many of them. But the category continues making inroads.

Grey Goose brand becomes trite

The vodka industry was similar. There are so many brands that it becomes difficult for consumers to choose. There was a vodka explosion of sorts a few years ago that’s waned. And, in response to the initial rise, so many new vodka brands emerged that they oversaturated the market.

So how do you stand out from the crowd in such a crowded market? By reflecting the customer. And that’s what the Grey Goose brand is attempting, explaining, “Personal fulfillment is no longer achieved by simply impressing others, but rather by celebrating the moments that matter to one personally – big or small.”

Grey Goose brandThe Grey Goose brand continues with “You are the special occasion, and every moment is an opportunity to create a lifelong memory.”

Hmmm. Sounds like a beer ad. And I don’t get how that reflects authenticity. In fact, the execution of the ads looks like advertising. It feels like Madison Avenue’s idea of what millennials do while it looks down on them from its skyscrapers.

Live like you crashed your own wedding? Are you kidding me? If anything, the execution of the advertising suddenly makes the premium Grey Goose brand look trite. And that’s an achievement.

See more posts in the following related categories: Beverage branding


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