Igniting Bacardi’s next ten years of marketing with the Bacardi Way of Growth

We are pleased and proud that our work with Bacardi has won a Brandon Hall award for excellence in the category of 'Best unique or innovative learning & development program.’ The program was designed to help reignite the 159-year-old company’s approach to marketing across the globe and support a new 10-year business strategy.

Future success required a concerted effort of bringing back a heritage of putting the consumer at the heart of what they do and reinforcing a consumer-driven culture that helped the family-owned company evolve for seven generations. The business was at an inflection point where reigniting marketing as a powerhouse, through being brave in ideas and brave in execution, would play an important role in supporting the new business strategy.

To drive this, Bacardi worked with Brand Learning (part of Accenture) to create the Bacardi Way of Growth, an end-to-end program that would transform what their marketers do, how they do it, and above all, why they do it. Goals included:

  • Revitalising marketers, because involved, engaged employees are critically successful in delighting consumers.
  • Developing and embedding a unified approach and language to ways of working, processes, and skills across Marketing globally.
  • Putting consumers at the heart of the strategy, connecting with consumers when and how they want, becoming part of their conversation rather than forcing them into one.
  • Drive digital transformation, equipping marketers with the skills needed to address a more savvy digital consumer’s needs in a connected, seamlessly integrated online and offline consumer experience.

Explaining how vital the program is, Global Director Marketing Capability Helen Francis shares “The Bacardi Way of Growth is not something you do in addition to your day job; it’s how you do your day job.”

For the initial launch, the Bacardi program encompassed:

  • A new, clearly defined and codified end-to-end process for marketing, encompassing a common framework, language, and tools. It defines ‘how we work at Bacardi’, embedded in ways of working and thinking.
  • Support for marketers in developing their marketing capabilities and career with clarity on the desired strengths for marketers at Bacardi and role profiles, development tools and plans.
  • Face-to-face workshops reaching all marketers globally within the first year. These included deep dives into the most critical marketing skills – consumer-centric planning and consumer-centric execution – and were attended and delivered by the company’s most senior leaders including the global CEO and Chief Marketing Officer.

Toby Whitmoyer, Global Marketing & Innovation Officer for Bacardi reflected “The Bacardi Way of Growth has been designed to empower us to first and foremost put the consumer at the heart of all our decision making, to create a common language, and to drive the capability of our people around the world, to ensure we’re on the cutting edge of marketing.”

Thanks to this program:

  • 98% of marketers are now confident they are in a better position to do their job
  • There has been a 107% increase in marketers believing there are good career opportunities for them at Bacardi
  • Marketing engagement scores increased by 32%
  • New creative campaigns rated in the top 1% of advertising in consumer research *

The Bacardi Way of Growth is now in its third year, most recently delivering a series of virtual “Growth Hacks” that reimagined the way brands in key markets for Bacardi approached planning in a world upended by COVID-19, requiring new agility and deeper consumer understanding.

Cheers to our visionary clients for making this program happen and for the Brandon Hall’s recognition of its role in making the next 10 years at Bacardi, the best 10 years.

*Source: System 1 2018-2019 Research Bombay Stir Creativity, Grey Goose Live Victoriously, Bacardi Dance Floor.


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