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Benromach redesign

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Wierdo started a discussion

Benromach have announced they have redesigned their bottles and labels.

whiskynotes.be/2020/whisky-news/…

Not sure on it myself. I think the old bottle design was a bit different. These look like they could be from just about any distillery.

3 months ago

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@OdysseusUnbound

I’m not a fan of the redesign. It almost looks like a prop bottle from a movie set. But I like Benromach’s whisky and that’s the important part. Though I also wonder if a label redesign is going to be accompanied by a price increase.

3 months ago 4Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@OdysseusUnbound I agree, always there are concerns about the effect on pricing. Marketing and redesign are not cheap.

Ultimately what's on the bottle is less important than what's inside...

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

I've commented to Benromach on there Facebook page that seeing as they've redesigned the bottle they should also up the bottling strength for the 10 and 15 to 46%.

They replied to pretty much everyone's comments except mine!

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Wierdo In fairness, at 43% the 10 is a very fine whisky.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Wierdo - well you're not playing the game are you asking such naughty questions ... tut tut! grin

On the redesign: No, no, no. I don't like change, especially for the sake of it, and agree that it now looks like it could be from any distillery anywhere. The old style was unique and quite cool, if you ask me. Bah humbug laughing

3 months ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Nozinan - I agree, I bet it's not cheap but I'd also bet they paid more than most for the old style packaging and bottles so perhaps, long term, it's a money saver?

Oh and it says 'exclusively first-fill' on this new one. Did the old? Don't think so ...

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

Economics 101: less cost = more profit. I'm sure these are cheaper to pump out than their much more appealing earlier version.

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

@CanadianNinja

I got to say @RianC, there are a few redesigns I’m not so happy with recently.

Bunnahabhain being one of them.

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie replied

when I first saw this new bottle design a few days ago it was a definite NO from me. However, after reading the back story and seeing it a few more times it's become less offensive. I was never a fan of the quirky writing on the old (current) bottles but they were ok. This one I'm on the fence about. They reassured us that the contents stays the same and that's what counts.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@BlueNote You mean the savings won’t be passed along to the customers? I’m shocked, shocked I tells ya ! stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

Old design: 2/10

New design: 3/10

Chances of this changing the prices: 10%. Prices reflect demand, not production costs.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@MadSingleMalt - Woah there, curb your enthusiasm smile

Didn't you once say you liked the old Disco cow Glen Scotia packaging? I always thought that was the whisky equivalent of a very fat, milk body in an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

But yeah, 3/10 looks about right here ...

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@MadSingleMalt

Prices reflect demand, not production costs.

Shouldn’t that be “prices reflect what bean-counters think they can get away with”? stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

@RianC, it's comforting to know that when I die, I'll leave behind a well deserved reputation on the whisky webs for digging those disco cows! (That, and spinning yarns about Chinese fluoride conspiracies.)

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie replied

Well tonight I'm having a Benromach 10 year old 100 proof (57%) and it's fantastic. I'll be going back to buy another of these discontinued bottles!

3 months ago 4Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Hewie Me too. I'm down to my last few drams. I hope I can get another one.

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

I don't really understand whisky branding. With a few exceptions (the likes of Johnnie Walker, Glenfiddich, Jack Daniels) they seem to have a redesign and change bottle shape, logo etc every few years. I don't work in marketing but this seems to go against the basic principles of branding in that through repetition you try to establish 'brand recognition'. You think of all the big companies Cadburys, Heinz, Ford, McDonald's, Apple etc, they have a logo that remains unchanged over decades. Occasionally they might freshen it up a bit but the basic logo remains unchanged. The idea being that both you can instantly pick out the product on the shelf. But also that consumers even if they don't initially buy that product get used to seeing it over time and then begin to trust it thinking 'if they're still selling that product after all these years it must be half decent' then maybe they switch to that product. Most distilleries seem to completely change things every 5 years or so.

The bottle in the photo was a Benromach I found in an off-licence I brought about 6 months ago. But was bottled in 2009. Which means at best they're on their third bottle design in 11 years. This time when they changed the design of the bottle they also changed the logo.

How on earth do they expect to build up brand recognition when they're constantly changing the brand?

They should have at least kept the logo.

3 months ago 4Who liked this?

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@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@BlueNote I have a half full bottle of the 100/10, and 3 more in the bunker.

Between that, my Devil's Cask, Laimrig and Tempest, I think you need to start planning a trip to Toronto instead of Mexico next year. I need your help drinking this stuff....

3 months ago 4Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Nozinan I probably won't be flying anywhere for some time yet, but that is a very tempting reason for a road trip. I'll just bring a sleeping bag and live in your bunker for a while. laughing

3 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@BlueNote There is suite named for the person who uses it most that opens to what my wife calls the drinking room. You won't need a tent...

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Wierdo - I was thinking the same thing myself, mate.

I wonder if, given the likes of Bunnahabhain and Benromach are appreciated by the nicher end of the punter spectrum rather than supermarket fodder (if you get me!?), they might feel rebranding keeps their product fresh and at the forefront of folks minds so, in turn, gets more attention at festivals, web chatter etc.

The whole changing packaging thing must have some justifiable benefits as, as said above, it certainly won't be a cheap swap; but I do feel with Benromach they may actually be doing this to cut packaging costs longer term. They did away with the plastic stand a few years back, for instance, which may have been the start of this 'downsizing '.

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Wierdo - just noticed they have NCF on the label of that older bottle you show. Interesting that they dropped that. Is it on the new one?

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

I've just checked my new bottle of Benromach cask strength and a bottle of the standard 10. Neither mention NCF anywhere on the bottle or the box. So I guess they're chill filtering. Shame

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood replied

Won't add much to what's already been said, the new look is terrible and feels like somebody's nephew or whomever in the marketing department was given free reign.

@Wierdo you are correct third major change in a short time, I felt like the last reboot was in the right direction but wow this new one. I understand that the old logo was not easily read from a shelf but it was Iconic in my mind which was way more important.

@RianC They've always chillfiltered Benromach barring some specific expressions, it's part of the Gordon & Macphail M.O. as is the 43% thing. First-fill casks as well.

I suspect they are suffering perhaps from some sort of marketing/sales crisis of sorts...Maybe in the face of all the whisky boom they feel like they aren't sticking out enough or aren't appreciated beyond those in the know? If only they could capture some of that Springbank magic dust

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

@cricklewood the trouble is they need to decide on one approach or the other with Benromach. At the moment they are caught between 2 stalls.

If they're going for the casual whisky drinker/supermarket buyer/duty-free market. They are the people who will tolerate 43% and and chill filtering. But if that is who they're targeting then lots of luck with that because Benromach is not at all the sort of whisky likely to attract that crowd. And Benromach is only really available in specialist whisky shops and online. But let's face it. Benromach is just not that sort of Scotch.

So if they're targeting the more discerning malt aficionado (and that would be the approach I would take with Benromach) then they need to up their game. Because those customers expect 46% (minimum) NCF, natural colour as a starting point. And if Benromach won't do that. Springbank, Ardbeg, Glenallachie, Balblair, Arran, Glencadam, Bruichladdich, Glen Scotia, Ben Riach, Bunnahabhain, Deanston, Glendroach, Craigellachie, Glen Garioch, Old Pulteney will. And that's who they're competing against.

I hesitated on buying a bottle of Benromach 15 for quite a while. I'd had the 10 and enjoyed it. And at less than £35 a bottle I didn't mind that it was only 43% abv. For an entry level whisky 43% is acceptable to me. But at £55 a bottle it took me ages to commit to buying the 15 because at only 43% at that price it felt like I was being short-changed. I only brought a bottle in the end because it got such a strong recommendation on here. And I'm glad I did, I enjoyed it. Still wish it had been 46% and NCF though. If it was. I'd have 3 bottles of it in my stash right now. The only Benromach I buy regularly is the cask strength (or 10/100 before it was discontinued)

In fact I'd say it's getting to the point now that it's actually expected of even an entry level whisky if it's a 'proper malt' then it's bottled at 46%. I've refused to purchase other Benromach whiskies such as the organic because again 43%. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling a little short changed in purchasing a whisky at less than 46%. I can categorically say if it was the Benromach policy to bottle at 46%, NCF, natural colour I would buy more Benromach. And the likes of me should be their target customer.

3 months ago 5Who liked this?

Jonathan replied

@Wierdo They should all be like Ardbeg and just make up stories: "There's a tall sherry cask that was heavily diluted! It was tragic. But out of that tragedy we saved some special casks. They travelled the world to land in your 43% abv $60 bottle ."

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

I had an odd exchange on Facebook about Benromach. Benromach must be paying a lot of money on advertising as it is constantly appearing on my feed. On Sunday when a post advertising the 15 appeared I responded that I liked Benromach but I wished they didn't chill filter it and bottled it at 46%. For £60 a bottle I thought it was reasonable to expect this and I listed a few other distilleries like Springbank, Glendroach etc that do bottle at 46% and NCF and that I hoped Benromach would follow suit.

I had a response from a lady saying why be the same when you can be different! Benromach is award winning. I said NCF and 46% would only improve Benromach why not sell it at it's best. As a customer the only Benromach i regularly brought was the cask strength as I preferred my whisky at a higher strength that if Benromach moved to 46% and NCF I would buy more of their whisky. And that awards in whisky were like wine awards. There were loads of them. On the other hand Jim Murray only gave it 78% in his whisky bible. I gave that as much credibility as I did it winning awards.

She responded again. Saying I wanted everything my own way and stamped my feet if I didn't get it.

I thought it was a bit odd. Why does this woman care so much that I'd like Benromach to stop chill filtering their whisky? So a bit of digging on Google and she's a Gordon and Macphail (who own Benromach) employee. So I responded asking is it standard for G&M employees to respond this way to customers giving them feedback on their product?

She deleted all her responses.

Elsewhere on the thread another chap on the advert posted that he hated the new design bottles and preferred the old ones. Some guy responded. Are you sleeping with the whisky or drinking it? What do you care if you don't like the bottle? So the chap said he was just giving his opinion on the rebranding and he didn't like it. So the other guy then responds. Everyone has an opinion maybe you should keep yours to yourself.

I thought again this is a bit odd. Why does this random guy care so much that someone else doesn't like the new bottle? So I clicked on his profile. He runs a Glasgow based graphic design company providing services to do with marketing and companies, logos packaging etc.

So needless to say I suspect this guys company is behind the Benromach redesign and doesn't like customers saying they don't like it. I responded to him saying a big part of companies advertising on social media was so that companies could interact directly with customers and that they should welcome all feedback good or bad.

I think Gordon and Macphail need to do some media training with their employees and contractors. It's no good spending lots of money on viral advertising if you're going to insult customers when you don't like the feedback they give you.

3 months ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Wierdo - Wow! Unsurprising in a way (given how folk use and manipulate social media) but very disappointing from Benromach. When I last met a rep at a festival he was charming, if a bit nerdy, but answered every question I had honestly and in detail. Sounds like someone at G&M towers is in need of more hookers and blow!

No, silly me, they're obviously sleeping with the new bottles relaxed

3 months ago 5Who liked this?

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@RianC@OdysseusUnbound

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