Martini wins first place in Best Alcoholic Drinks brand category, once again! How do you feel about this win? Wow, we are obviously very proud of this award for the second year in a row! This award rewards the work of a great team that passionately fights to keep the MARTINI heritage alive and constantly seduce our consumers with innovations, experiences, and perfect execution in a very active and competitive environment. The Best Alcoholic Drinks Brand award is a great recognition by our Belgian consumers and drives us to keep up the pace and make the difference for customers and consumers. What have been Martini’s key learnings in terms of marketing strategy over the past year? It’s above all a question of attitude. Staying close to the consumer and their needs first. The last few years and the very particular context have pushed us to give even more meaning to the brand and closely listen to our consumers. We want MARTINI to be a source of inspiration and connection for our consumers. We don’t sell bottles, we build and sell moments that matter. Our World of Aperitivo concept store in Antwerp (dec ’21 til jan ’22) was fully based on the insight that we, more than ever, value the importance of friendship. The simple act of being together, spending time without limitations or boundaries. With MARTINI we helped consumers celebrate those moments of coming together again with an inspiration and gift shop with drinks, food and accessories from the world of MARTINI. We always keep the consumer at the heart, and that has again proven to be a key perspective to begin with, for everything that we do.
Martini scores higher than any of its competitors in Share of Soul. How do you explain this?
Two factors explain these scores: our brand philosophy and our rich portfolio. MARTINI is a « Love Brand » and an icon in Belgium that brings people together and creates meaningful connections, celebrates good times and friendship. We consistently stay true to our values and our passion in a way that resonates with our consumers. Additionally, the wide range of our MARTINI references offer something from traditional to modern, from casual to more premium. Allowing everyone to find their own MARTINI whatever the occasion and whatever the moment. But we also continuously innovate to bring relevant news news. This all with the craftmanship and quality of MARTINI that Belgian consumers have loved for more than 150 years.
Martini came first and has the highest score in cross-selling potential. How do you explain this? Is this a pillar you have been actively working on?
We are very proud of all our products but have a strong focus on ensuring our portfolio remains super relevant for our consumers. The great thing about MARTINI is that we have a MARTINI for every occasion. MARTINI Fiero is a refreshing and natural aperitif to mix 50/50 with tonic, a great option for the daytime occasion, a negroni to relax on a Friday night after work, or MARTINI Non-Alcoholic for the moments you want to enjoy a non-alcoholic aperitif. For every occasion, casual or festive – when we think of ‘aperitif’ MARTINI always plays a role. This score is again a great confirmation our portfolio strategy is working.
Last year, you mentioned Belgians’ will to drink “Less but better”. Is this still a trend you’ve witnessed over the past year?
Absolutely. We see that Belgian consumers are making choiceful decisions and prefer quality over quantity. The “Less but better” trend is part of the wider surge for balance. Obviously the NoLo trend has been growing in momentum for a few years now. It is no longer a one-off trend that happens in Dry January and Tournée Minérale, but is a new behavior that’s here to stay. Consumers are increasingly looking for products with little or no alcohol without compromising on quality, taste or the conviviality of the moment. MARTINI is perfectly placed here, offering consumers our aperitif drinks that are lower in alcohol, such as our MARTINI Fiero & Tonic and our Bellini ready to serve cocktail.
Is becoming more hybrid a focus at Martini?
This is not becoming a strong focus, it is already a strong focus. MARTINI has always wanted to address its consumers by reaching them where they are. At the right time and in the right context. Brand perception and experience depend directly on the right media balance where digital and traditional have their rightful place. Our core target group, the so-called ‘exuberant’ are active, extroverted and highly mobile, so as a brand we must constantly innovate to optimize connection and relevance to our consumers in this rapidly evolving media landscape.
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