DIAGEO: Distillery experience strategy

SHARE helped DIAGEO to reinvent their premium distillery experiences by understanding customer perception and identifying bespoke opportunities.

Nowadays every transaction happens online and when you are a giant in the industry, it’s easy to neglect the offline experience. But a little touch goes a long way, and analysing Diageo customers’ conversations was about to transform the whisky distillery experiences.

In 2018, they decided to refurbish their distilleries to enhance the visitor experience. Staying relevant in today’s market can be difficult, so Diageo asked for SHARE Creative’s expertise.

Using our suite of language analytics, ParseR, we joined the whisky conversation. We analysed visitor reviews and social media posts for 19 distilleries to understand recurrent customers’ joys or pains that later lead to recommendations for Diageo.

Two audiences, two customer journeys

From this, we identified 2 key audiences with various levels of whisky knowledge, interests and expectations from the tours.

The Tourists, driven by enjoyment, are usually visiting the distilleries as part of a wider Scotland experience. They are looking for a friendly guide who could educate them on the basics, while they sample different types of whisky. They typically share their experiences on social channels with a couple of pictures, usually selfies.

The Connoisseurs are driven by comparison. It’s neither their first nor last time they visit a whisky distiller. They want to learn why this distillery is different from the others. They are thirsty for knowledge and want to sample unique scotch whisky. If they share about their experience, it will be a structured review usually on a website or even their blog.

However, both are looking for an experience and value for money.

Deep diving into whisky

Once we had identified these audiences, we could establish which groups were most likely to visit each distillery. Some appeal to both, while others are usually more for one type of audience. Based on the visitor reviews and social media posts we analysed, we found out what the distilleries were praised for and how they could individually improve the visitor journey.

We discovered that distillery expectations and great visits are made up of three key pillars: Experience, Authenticity and Knowledge. Then, we defined commonalities in these expectations which were used to inform Diageo’s distilleries refurbishment and strategies moving forward. A little touch goes a long way and that’s what creates a premium experience and turns your visitors into brand ambassadors.

  • Creative Director: Alex Hill
  • Data Director: Mike Tapp
  • Research Director: Jasmin Fischer
  • Analyst: Saffron Vandenburg