The Macallan is a wonderful whisky. No one can dispute this fact!
With a rich history and heritage and fabulous new distilling facilities the Macallan quite rightly takes its place in the upper echelons of whisky society. The Macallan is James Bonds favourite dram and is often cited as the Chancellor of the Exchequers preferred refreshment during his budget speech. In addition, in crime dramas it is often a bottle of The Macallan which comes out of the bottom drawer of the chief inspector’s desk when a period of late evening reflection is required in order to solve the case.
Despite this track record it's difficult to see just why McCallum has managed to position itself as such a premium brand in the whisky marketplace. I'm sure that I and many other whisky enthusiasts could name their top 10 whiskeys. Many of these lists would include The Macallan but it wouldn't necessarily be in the number one spot.
The marketing effort which has positioned the Macallan in this way has parallels in other market sectors and I’d like to give a couple of examples just now.
Firstly New York City. New York is again a fabulous city to visit. Every time you go around a corner you are presented with a scene from some movie or TV show that you recognise. Some of the buildings, bridges and monuments within New York are fantastic places to visit. it has to be said, however, that the general state of repair of the infrastructure in New York leaves a little to be desired. Many of the footways and buildings are in generally poor condition and it seems to me that the city needs a lot of money spent bringing things up to standard. In many ways, the state of New York City now reminds me of visiting London maybe 30 years ago. London has moved on significantly since then and New York now needs to do the same. New York can, however, do great construction. The area which has been redeveloped around the ‘Twin Towers’ site is absolutely wonderful and the urban regeneration associated with the High Line Park is a great public space to visit anytime.
New York has nevertheless positioned itself as the number one destination to visit not just in North America but possibly in the world. Whilst, as mentioned, it is a fabulous city there are many other cities, for example, London, Tokyo, Madrid, Paris which are every bit as interesting, exciting and vibrant as New York. It just seems that New York has done a much better marketing job which is positioning it at the top of the heap.
My next example is the Apple. The range of products where Apple has positioned its iPhone, iPad and other devices at the very premium end of the market place. Of course, again they are outstanding products but when you compare Apple products against Samsung or some of the emerging technology providers there is sometimes not a huge amount to differentiate between the brands. This again this is often subjective. Some people just like the way Apple operating system works other people enjoy using the Samsung systems. Nonetheless Apple have positioned itself very well in the same way as New York and The Macallan is as discussed above.
It is therefore interesting to note that the power and indeed the magic of marketing. We must never lose the sight of the message mentioned at the start of this article. The Macallan is a wonderful whisky. No one can dispute this fact!