The Lauder Institute French Program’s Class of 2017 learned firsthand about how digital innovation is transforming Paris-based wine- and spirit-maker Pernod Ricard and helping it respond to global supply chain, marketing, and sales challenges.
Students met a number of executives including CEO Alexandre Ricard (G’01 WG’01), Chief Learning Officer Alban Marignier, and Global Digital Acceleration Director Antonia McCahon. Each underlined examples of how Pernod Ricard, known worldwide for infusing convivialité into social gatherings, is infusing creativity and technology into its products and business processes worldwide.
In order to combat the challenge of alcohol counterfeiting in China, Pernod Ricard introduced the world’s first smart bottles with QR-coded seals. Customers can scan the QR codes to trace the bottle’s journey from the distillery to the store shelf; this process also produces countless data points for the company’s sales and marketing team to better understand customer habits at the point of sale. Since the technology’s initial roll-out in China, Pernod Ricard has successfully introduced it in South America and Africa as well.
Understanding that different markets have different customer habits, Pernod Ricard has launched Chivas Home Parties in Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil. Through direct marketing channels on Facebook, customers are able to sign up for parties thrown by top local bartenders to take place in their own living rooms. The company conceived the idea recognizing that Latin American consumers in some areas prefer to have friends over to their house for entertainment compared to going out to bars and clubs.
Additionally, Pernod Ricard created Wispr Society – short for Wine and Spirits Society – a social networking platform for bartenders to exchange recipes, share job postings, and network. The company designed this as unbranded content, meaning that no mentions of Pernod Ricard appear prominently on or throughout the website. Nonetheless, Pernod Ricard is able to leverage this asset for “qualified lead generation,” granting it a detailed database of mixologists and greater insights into their work, a crucial influence point for reaching end customers.
These are just three of the dozens of examples of dynamism we witnessed at Pernod Ricard this week. Reflect on that when you are playing pétanque this summer with a cocktail in hand; the recipe calls for half a glass of pastis, two ice cubes, and a dash of innovation.