TRAVEL RETAIL INTERVIEW
Channel Exclusivity Underlines Faith in Travel Retail
Beam Suntory General Manager of Travel Retail Phil Restall spells out the importance of Designed by Aston Martin’s travel retail exclusive status, saying that it underlines the company’s deep conviction about the channel’s role and value, despite the profound challenges posed by the global pandemic.
The Moodie Davitt Report: Phil, this is yet another exciting launch into travel retail for Bowmore, and an exclusive to boot. How high are your hopes for Designed by Aston Martin?
Phil Restall: My hopes are sky high!
Through these innovative limited-edition bottle and packaging designs, shoppers will be able to explore a new visual interpretation of Bowmore as well as gain an insight into the fascinating and intriguing automotive world.
Additionally, it continues our commitment of collaboration and innovation with our long-term partner, Aston Martin.
Phil Restall: “You’ll see communication that will educate shoppers and consumers about Bowmore and this incredible partnership”
We are set to unveil a series of collaborative projects and products over the coming months and years, ranging from exceptional experiences to design-led product initiatives
What’s the launch plan in the channel and how will you be supporting it?
We are executing an impressive 360 plan to support this launch. Without revealing too much information, you’ll see communication that will educate shoppers and consumers about Bowmore and this incredible partnership. Our customers are also very excited unlocking activations in strategic locations across the world including key airport and travel retail locations of London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Hainan, Istanbul and Taiwan. We will reveal the exclusive-to-GTR range, and some airports will have the unique opportunity to showcase the amazing Bowmore DB5. All activations will be supported with engaging digital content and of course you’ll see this coming through social media channels very soon.
What can you tell us about future annual editions?
We are set to unveil a series of collaborative projects and products over the coming months and years, ranging from exceptional experiences to design-led product initiatives with the goal of offering fans of both brands, across a broad spectrum, the opportunities to connect with the partnership.
‘Different from my usual products’ is a key driver that has increased significantly during the pandemic
Bowmore is absolutely flying in Hainan so I suspect that market will be key to your programme?
For sure. Hainan is a strategically important location where we will have a Bowmore-Aston Martin activation and we will reach Chinese shoppers across digital channels that will excite consumers as well.
Your research shows that channel exclusives and gifting are the second and third most important motivations for buying spirits, finding that really drove the creation of this collection. Tell us more please about those consumer insights and what you believe consumers are seeking in terms of exclusivity, rarity and gifting opportunities.
Yes, we’ve seen changes in travel retail shopper behaviour as a consequence of COVID, and others that remain relevant*. Regarding ‘channel exclusives’, we now see ‘Different from my usual products’ is a key driver that has increased significantly during the pandemic, with 24% of respondents saying that this was a decisive variable, vs 16% (average) in previous years. Gifting remains the third-most important motivation when buying alcohol. For this, packaging and aesthetics play a large role for consumers when making their decision so we strongly believe this new range will ‘tick all the boxes’ and be a very successful launch in the channel.
Finally Phil, the most important question… have you got to drive an Aston Martin yet?
No I haven’t! However it is certainly on my bucket list and I’m hopeful that later this year once we have the partnership in market I will get the opportunity to do so.
* M1ndset, TR Shopping Trends in spirits. Q1 & Q2 2021 vs previous years