Tag Archive for: Ardbeg. Green Bay Packers

Ardbeg Scotch and The Green Bay Packers: What do They Have in Common?

“There’s a special rung in hell reserved for
people who waste good scotch.” If you saw the movie Inglorious Bastards, you might recall that quote. A good friend
introduced me to scotch a little over a year ago. I’d never tried the drink
before but was willing to give it a try when he brought a bottle to my home. It
turns out Jane and I both liked it…a lot! It’s less filling than beer, doesn’t
make us sleepy like wine, and there’s an amazing variety of different scotches
to choose from.
This post isn’t about the virtues of scotch or
an attempt to convert anyone. Rather it’s about an interesting marketing ploy.
There’s a well-known scotch called Ardbeg, which boasts a very
peaty flavor. The distillery first began producing whisky in 1798 but
eventually closed its doors in 1981. Limited production started up again in
1989 and continued through 1996. Full production resumed in 1997.
When I bought my first bottle I noticed the
distillery had an Ardbeg Committee, which I could join if I was so inclined.
Out of curiosity I decided to fill out the paperwork. Eventually I received my
committee membership. A few persuasive principles were at play here:
First, they shared a compelling story about
the history of the distillery. People are drawn to stories, particularly those
that have to do with overcoming adversity. Ardbeg’s long history, closure and
reopening made for a compelling story.
When I became a committee member the principleof consistency was engaged. We like to behave in consistent ways so it’s only
natural a committee member will probably buy more Ardbeg than some other brand.
Not all scotch drinkers are committee members
so the exclusivity taps into scarcity. I’m not a committee member for any other
scotch so it’s special community for me and the other 60,000+ committee members.
This is an example of very clever marketing to
revive a once struggling brand and build loyalty. The approach reminds me
somewhat of the professional football team The Green Bay Packers. Unlike all the
other pro sports franchises, the Packers will never leave Green Bay because of
the business decision of an owner or group of owners, as has occurred with many
other NFL teams. You see, the Packers are owned by the fans. Their stock has no
appreciating value, pays no dividends and cannot be sold or traded like other
stocks but all the fans care about is this – they are all part owners of one of
the most storied franchises in all of football.
More than 110,000 people own nearly 4.8 million shares.
Maybe you don’t want to own the team, just go
to the games. Season tickets for the team have sold out every year since 1960!
Currently there’s a waiting list of more than 81,000 names to become a season
ticket holder! This is Green Bay, Wisconsin, not some big city or exotic get
away destination, and people are registering kids at birth to get tickets.
Green Bay fans are … fanatical!
A good product isn’t always enough when it
comes to making the sale and that’s where persuasion comes in. How you talk
about your product or service and how you position it makes a BIG difference.
Limited availability (scarcity), and a sense of belonging and community
(commitment) go a long way toward impacting our decisions and behaviors. So
take a lesson from Ardbeg and the Packers and see if you can create something
special for your customers and prospective customers when it comes to you and
your product or service.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT®
Chief Influence Officer


Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.