Southern Comfort: Southern Welcome brand strategy

SHARE launched Southern Comfort’s rebrand with ‘Southern Welcome’, celebrating Southern hospitality and the habitual moments for enjoying the drink.

To help build a new future for Southern Comfort, we needed to understand the audience and identify opportunity markets first – we needed to define our brand purpose. From here, we could then create a meaningful strategy, and action with creative activations.

Getting to know the whiskey audience

We kickstarted the project by analysing a mix of social, digital, web and offline focus groups to understand their audience better. We gauged existing awareness and opinions of Southern Comfort, plus the whiskey category overall, whilst understanding the types of reasons and occasions where people consume alcohol – and specifically whiskey. To dig deeper, we also analysed psychographic data around core personality traits, interests, habits, values and attitudes of these drinkers.

Launching the #SouthernWelcome campaign

We pulled all of the insights together using SHARE’s RAPID model, and found three key personas that reflected the top customer segments to target. Using this data, we developed the #SouthernWelcome campaign to celebrate the authentic hospitality of Southerners and the key moments for enjoying Southern Comfort.

With each persona enjoying the brand in different ways, entertaining and irreverent content was delivered in a personalised way to custom audiences. Results of the RAPID project also allowed us to understand consumer perception of the brand, trigger points for enjoying the drink, and key moments for consumption which all paved the way for more refined strategic and creative targeting.

To support the repositioning, we developed a new visual identity for the brand’s social media content, launched Southern Comfort’s first UK Instagram channel, tested new formats and content, streamed live from a range of whiskey and food events, built a full influencer program, and even partnered with high profile chefs such as DJ BBQ and Neil Rankin.

As a result of our rebrand and launch campaign, we drove significantly improved results across social metrics: +193% Link Clicks, +41% Organic Reach, and +20% Fan Growth.

We continued to develop our core strategy in line with new season-led occasions and refined personalised targeting to speak to our audiences where they wanted, in ways they wanted.

  • Creative Director: Alex Hill
  • Project Manager: Xuan Vo
  • Senior Content Manager: Joe Moring
  • Videographer: Tom Stephens