Glenlivet distils its marketing ingredients

Just as water is essential for life, so a successful content marketing campaign will always need certain ingredients.

Principally these include time, budget and a good story to tell. Other extras may include a loyal and enthusiastic customer base.

You could argue that whisky brand Glenlivet has all of the above. The distillery has around 400,000 of followers around the world, an intriguing story (whisky production is more than a science to its enthusiasts) and a belief in subtlety.

The Dram Diaries

As an example of good content marketing, we picked out Glenlivet’s The Dram Diaries.

Curiously, we found it through The Economist‘s 1843 site. First thoughts: it could not have been cheap to have acquired such a piece of media real estate. And, as all top-end marques well know, you’d be expected to align your brand with such a premium title.

The Dram Diaries are billed as a series of “magical whisky moments”. With a minimum of branding, the copy weaves a story about how the product is created. It is clearly targeted at its core customer base; if you know about whisky you would be interested in product information like this. If you are not there is always Bell’s (our interpretation not theirs).


Additionally, readers are given the opportunity to sign up as a “guardian” and submit their own ideas for posts.

The idea of creating brand guardians is not a new one, but it is seldom done well. In this case, though, it is an excellent fit for the brand.

Whisky is something that enthusiasts feel passionately about in a way that few other fast-moving consumer goods can equal. The marketing focus on the manufacturing process is similar to that used by the premium watch industry.

Furthermore, by bringing brand guardians on board you not only create an extremely loyal customer base, but you can also use them to bring in other enthusiasts.

Content marketing?

Content marketing is a perfect fit for the brand. Most would struggle with the concept of making the manufacturing process interesting. Many prefer talking about the product benefits and would prefer to keep quiet about the dirty end of the business. Whisky, like watches, is effectively a sector where the same story can continually be repeated albeit in slightly different ways.

In short, Glenlivet is playing to its strengths. Heritage, an interesting story, money to spend and a loyal customer base. There are many brands that must be envious of such a platform. Yet this also brings its challenges.

Customer expectations for the brand mean there are only narrow parameters within which it can operate. Some might find that restrictive, but in this case it provides a clear structure on which to build success.

Glenlivet distils its marketing ingredients
is part of Content 24, the online blog for London content marketing agency FirstWord.