Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Case Study - 42 Below

Its been a while since I put something up here. And since I just finished a Marketing Management Assignment. I figure - hey,what the hell.....Why don't I put an older one up here for you guys to read. So here some Analyzing of 42 below - the fantastic vodka company.

42 below Marketing Management Memo

The Key issue:
The key issue with 42 below is what happens to their marketing forward from this point. As the article left the impression that with 42 below’s current situation – they could relax on the marketing base they had grown. Geoff Ross (CEO) was quoted for being “loaded” (Morrish, 2007) and somewhat satisfied from what he has achieved.

Why is this concern?
42 below are known as a loud and very non-traditional. They have gone against norms within marketing, which stated that you cannot publish advertising which would cause public outcry. They took large gambles with their marketing – attempting to not only target a very specialist and well hidden market (high class bars), but do so by putting themselves in the spotlight
For a company whose following was built on the principal of loud blatant advertising, to rest on their laurels (Morrish, 2007) – would mean that they would be relying wholeheartedly on the aspect that their product was the best.

So what? The guy deserves a break – how does this affect the company as a whole?
42 below’s marketing policy is very left-field, and such abrupt marketing may not join well with new owners – Bacardi. Bacardi’s Vice President – Atul Vora, was quoted for saying the following;

“Take them back to the nostalgia of what we believe represents New Zealand, the purity and beauty of the country” (Walker, Gountas, Mavondo, Mullins, 2009, p374)

When talking about 42 below’s future marketing strategy. This missed the key point behind 42 below (and often New Zealand’s) strategy – they hit their target market via being “outspoken”, and “loud”.

So how can this move forward?
It seems obvious to me that the marketing management of the 42 below operations sit squarely on Geoff Ross’s shoulders. He has done what he set out to achieve, upon his departure (as he is looking at retirement) 42 below will simply become a notch to Bacardi’s belt of products (conforming 42 below to the Bacardi template of marketing).
So with that said my first recommendation would be that Geoff Ross takes on some apprentice’s so that he can pass on how he has built and maintains the marketing perspective of 42 below. Bacardi need to treat 42 below as their ‘wild card’ brand, to maintain the market built up around the left-field marketing performed in the past. Otherwise points of differentiation will be lost.

Walker, O, Gountas, J, Mavondo, F, Mullins, J. (2009). Marketing Strategy: A Decision-Focused Approach
N.S.W. Australia: McGraw-Hill
Morrish, S,. (2007?) 42 Below: The Story of Spirited Vodka Company
N.S.W. Australia: McGraw-Hill [Case Study 6 in Walker, Gountas, Mavondo, Mullins (2009)]

Indirect References:
Pride, W, Ferrell, O, Elliott, G, Rundle-Theile, S, Waller, D, Paladino, A,. (2008). Marketing : Core Concepts & Applications
Qld, Australia : Wiley