Creating a legacy across generations

Brown-Forman is a global spirits business with a large portfolio of brands including Jack Daniel’s and Finlandia Vodka. It is a company with a strong sense of legacy. In fact, its purpose is to enrich the experience of life by responsibly building beverage alcohol brands that thrive and endure for generations. This requires stepping up growth and doing this by growing people and brands.

A collaborative approach to capability-driven growth

We began working with Brown-Forman in 2012, defining the core skills and capabilities needed to achieve its stretching goals and create competitive edge.

Working together, we developed a Capability Framework which defined the key marketing skills and competencies required to deliver against the strategy. We put in place a clear vision of the capabilities that would be required, and created a consistent approach to building brands.

This led to an engaging and inspiring 2-day module called ‘The Brown-Forman Way of Brand Building’ supported by a portal. These workshops help marketers and marketing teams internationally, in understanding the B-F Way of building brands and developing the capabilities they need for the future.

More recently we have added modules, such as Digital Bootcamp. It was developed as a result of a detailed diagnosis of digital capability across Europe and North America which highlighted the areas to focus on. We then created bespoke face-to-face boot camps to lift global digital capabilities.

Other work has included the award-winning Jack's Way - an onboarding experience that created an immersive and entertaining way for new recruits to get to know Jack Daniel's, without having to fly everybody out to Lynchburg USA.

The results? We’re enriching the experience of consumers and employees

Since then, the majority of employees in Europe and the US and Asia Pacific regions have attended the 2-day modules. There is also a schedule of Digital Bootcamp modules that have been rolled out globally. The qualitative feedback we have received from the delivery of both the Brown-Forman Way of Brand Building and Digital Bootcamp modules has been excellent with a high level of interest and engagement from our employees.

Marketing is changing. Media spend patterns are switching to digital. Jack Daniel’s today has over 1m global Facebook fans and has outstanding levels of engagement on YouTube. And critically, marketers’ confidence to select and operate the levers they can use in the digital world has improved considerably.

Watch the below video to hear from Sophia Angelis, Former Global Marketing Excellence Director, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire & JD Brand Education talk about the successful partnership between Brand Learning and Brown-Forman to lift capabilities of their marketing team.


I believe that the solid foundations we have laid today through the Marketing Capability Framework and delivering modules such as Art & Science will enable us to grow our people and, as a result, grow our brands for the long term. Through the partnership with Brand Learning, we have been able to introduce best in class thinking by sharing our own case studies as well as others’ in addition to making learning a fun and inspiring process. Sophia Angelis, Global Marketing Excellence Director

Published with kind permission.

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