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