5 Things I learned at the Jameson Factory Tour

A few days ago I visited the Jameson Factory in Dublin. What did the tour tell me about business and success? Below is a list:

  1. Nobody likes corporate anymore – even though Jameson might be a “cooler brand” compared to 99% of big firms in the world, the person showing us around kept assuring the group that he wasn’t just trotting out corporate lines.
  2. Success doesn’t always last – At one stage, Irish whisky had a 80%-90% market share around the world. The good times seemed to be going on and on. Then the company was almost dead, due to a combination of two world wars and prohibition in the US. In the 1960s, they merged with two other firms in Ireland, to have a “last throw of the dice”. Whilst the company might have recovered today, Irish whisky has never caught up with marketshare seen by their Scottish competitors.
  3. Experiences are better than things – most people want to experience things these days, rather than just buying products. So tours like this, attract even some non-drinkers, who are curious by how the whisky is made.
  4. Personalization is key – what was one of the most exciting opportunities for most of the group? The chance to get a whisky bottle with your name on it, or as a gift for family or friends, at the end of the tour.
  5. Facts don’t always change a good story – the fonder of Jameson was actually Scottish……that didn’t change the fact the company has become a source of Irish pride.

Also they are all things……to a minority of people. Not all things to all people. Ultimately, a very small percentage of the world’s population drinks whisky. An even smaller percentage drinks Jameson, with many swearing by bourbon or Scotch. That doesn’t stop Jameson from making a tone of money.

Further reading

Carrying on the all things for a minority of people theme, the article below discusses the benefits of being selective.

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