The Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Brand is over 150 years old. The trick with the licensing programme, according to Beanstalk which acts as its agent in Europe, is balancing that authentic heritage with its modern rock n roll pop culture.
“The licensing programme aims to broaden the brand’s exposure by entering new distribution channels across a range of products closely associated with the brand,” explains Louise French, associate VP at The Beanstalk Group. “It strengthens relationships with loyal Jack Daniel’s customers and reaches out to new ones who have not yet experienced the brand. Licensed product extends the brand into the consumer’s lifestyle outside of drinking occasions.”
Beanstalk has worked on the European licensing programme for Jack Daniel’s since 2002, refocusing it with high quality authentic products which reflect its key values. Its most successful programmes, says French, support the brand’s promotional efforts and platforms.
Recently signed deals include one with UK food manufacturer Baxter’s for a line of Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauces in four flavours: Original, Chilli, Honey and Smokey. This is the first foray for Jack Daniel’s into the food category in Europe outside of confectionery. Product is available in Sainsbury’s stores and will be added to Tesco, Morrisons and Coop outlets this month.
In addition to this, the brand is also branching into clothing. Fashion company Religion/Buddhist Punk is working on a collection of branded high-end apparel that will sell at the upper end of the market and into fashion independents and department stores.
Says French: “Jack Daniel’s will continue to be very cautious about the categories which they enter. Products will enhance and promote the brand image and help to tell the brand story. Jack Daniel’s believe in a ‘tell not sell’ approach.”
The aim with the new apparel line is to build on the authentic side of the brand. The collection will draw on the history of Jack Daniel’s, using vintage images from its archives. In addition, men’s gifting products will also continue to be developed.
According to French, the UK is the strongest market for the Jack Daniel’s brand outside of the US. “In general, Europe embraces true Americana brands – those that have a heritage that translates into contemporary product,” she says.
However, she’s very clear that Jack Daniel’s licensed products are not sold to the under 18s and all products clearly state the brand’s drinking message: ‘Your friends at Jack Daniel’s remind you to drink responsibly’. Licensed product is also not sold in France, as the Loi Evin law states that you cannot actively promote alcohol and licensed product would infringe this.
“The intent of the licensed programme is to strengthen the bonds that exist between consumers of legal drinking age and the Jack Daniel’s brand by providing them with offerings that fit their lifestyle,” concludes French.