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Gin consumers in India are growing rapidly: Anshuman Goenka, Marketing Head Bacardi India

In an Interview with BW Businessworld, Anshuman Goenka, Marketing Head, Bacardi India talks about marketing strategy for 2019 and more

Tell us about your marketing strategy for premium white spirits for 2019? Innovative tactics Bacardi is using for their Premium white spirits? (Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire)?
Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire have been segment leaders over the last few years. Bombay Sapphire has a 67% market share and even Grey Goose has a market share upwards of 60% in the category. We pretty much are thought leaders when it comes to both premium gins and super premium vodkas. The big news on Bombay Sapphire is the launch of its new global campaign Stir Creativity. We launched that last year, we’ve continued it this year. Stir creativity is born from a very simple insight that every consumer is born creative. As we grow older we lose some of that creativity or we hide it within ourselves. As kids we were a lot more creative than what we are today. Bombay Sapphire wants to bring the hidden creativity back to life. We want to bring that forward. We want to let that flow. Bombay Sapphire is supposed to be a catalyst in inspiring creativity. We are also launching a new platform called the Bombay Sapphire canvas. Canvas is an experiential platform which will help bring stir creativity to life.

Talk to us about Sapphire Supernova and its unveiling.
Sapphire Supernova is a collaboration that we have done with Klove Design Studio. Klove design studios are thought leaders in terms of design and creativity. It’s a very like-minded partnership. Both brands stand for design and creativity. It’s at the heart of their brand ethos. Klove and Bombay Sapphire have recreated the Bombay Sapphire crown jewel which is on the Bombay Sapphire bottle. Calling it the Sapphire Supernova. It has been done using Bombay Sapphire bottles and Klove is the architect of it. It as an art exhibition. One key piece with the Sapphire Supernova was the idea of sustainability. Sapphire Supernova is made out of approximately 100 gin bottles that were discarded. We imbibed the two foundational pillars not just for Bombay Sapphire but also for Klove which are creativity and sustainability. We married them both together and brought them to life. Through this installation we wanted to defy the idea that anything made out of recycled items is not luxurious.

Can you tell us about how you see the Gin consumer in India and how are they different from other places?
Gin consumers in India are growing rapidly. It is what we call the Gin renaissance or “Ginaissance” in India. The consumer of gin today is a lot more adventurous. The consumer is well travelled. Globally gin is the hottest category right now it’s growing the fastest. It is fuelled by a lot of small boutique brands entering into the space. This is fuelling further experimentation in the category. Bombay Sapphire is the market leader in the premium gin sector across the world not just in India. With consumers rapidly getting into gin is good for us, as the market leaders their first go to brand is Bombay Sapphire.

Your comment on the Gin Resurgence in the country, what’s causing it?
Gin is a huge trend globally. As global trends become bigger and bigger they start to manifest in India. Gin is a category which offers the most creative cocktails. Day time drinking is becoming a trend. For day time drinking there is no better category than gin and there is no better brand than Bombay Sapphire. Lot of brands coming into gin. Gin festivals are becoming a trend. We had four last year.

What’s the story behind the name Bombay sapphire, is there a Bombay connect?
Inspired by Victorian jewels and regal crests, the famous azure blue Bombay Sapphire bottle was launched in 1987. Where other gin makers package their gins in a sea of green, our unmistakable bottle stands out in any well-stocked bar. Since 1987, we haven’t changed how we make Bombay Sapphire. The same ten sustainably sourced botanicals chosen for their unique flavour, brought to life in our Vapour Infusion process.
Another gin which is inspired by the giant sapphire of the same name, Star of Bombay is an exceptionally smooth premium gin.
The inspiration for the superior blend gin was the unique gem that appears beneath Queen Victoria on the Bombay Sapphire label. The one-of-a-kind jewel is the 60-carat ‘Star of Bombay’ sapphire discovered in Sri Lanka and given to silent movie star Mary Pickford by her husband, Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Mary Pickford, also known as America’s Sweetheart early in the 20th century, bequeathed the Star of Bombay to the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
Star of Bombay brings together the aromas and flavours of 12 botanicals. Adding two additional botanicals to the original recipe – Ecuadorian ambrette seeds and dried Italian bergamot peel – And slowing down our signature vapour infusion process.

Kindly give us a brief about your newly introduced rum in India. What is the marketing strategy for ‘Ocho’ which is premium to say the least?
It is called Bacardi ocho. It is an 8 year aged premium rum. It is aged under the Caribbean sun. When you age liquids in a warmer climate they age faster. Even though it is 8 year aged it’ll have the same flavour, complexity, mouthfeel and character that you would get in any premium scotch. To launch Bacardi ocho we have two strategies. The first is education, because it is the first time that we are launching a premium rum. It’s important to educate both bartenders and consumers about what is Bacardi ocho, why is it special.  If you look more into the story it goes quite deep. The recipe was initially created for the Bacardi family. It is 7 generations old and it’s been created by what we call ‘Masters of Rum’  and these are the guys in Puerto Rico who have created this liquid. Another reason why we are so optimistic about it is that getting premium things is another huge trend in the country. If you look at all categories be it whiskey, gin, vodka they’ve all introduced premium brands. The only category that hasn’t done that is rum. Who better to take that challenge than Bacardi? Also to be able to give this out as a product that other scotch consumers can enjoy as they will feel the same complexity and character in this liquid as they feel in their scotches. Another aspect of marketing Bacardi ocho is that we have created a new concept called the ‘Rum room’. Its an experiential concept. It is essentially bringing you the Caribbean vibe in a night.

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