CHINA. Glenfiddich has launched a Brand Hall on the fast-growing CDF Member WeChat mini-program. The single malt whisky’s dedicated platform underlines the strength of the partnership between brand owner William Grant & Sons and China Duty Free Group (CDFG), the two companies said.

They noted that the launch underlines the value of the CDF Member WeChat mini-program. The platform enables Glenfiddich to engage with a near-20 million membership base and boosts the brand’s digital marketing capabilities as travel retail’s transformation into an omnichannel marketplace accelerates. Glenfiddich is the world’s best-selling single malt Scotch whisky brand and is now sold in over 180 countries.

To establish a more direct connection with consumers, CDFG leveraged the WeChat marketing ecosystem and officially launched its WeChat-based membership mini-program app in November 2020. This converted low-frequency physical store consumption into “buzzing” daily online activity, CDFG and Glenfiddich noted.

After several iterations and developments, the app has become a functional and informative platform with advanced ecommerce and marketing capabilities. William Grant & Sons said it was attracted by a combination of the impressive membership numbers and the rich engagement potential that a dedicated Brand Hall offers.

A wide array of Glenfiddich expressions is available within the Brand Hall, including recently launched Glenfiddich Grande Couronne 26 Year Old

Evolving consumer habits

CDFG said that it has been pursuing digital innovation in an era characterised by changing consumer behaviour. The launch of its mini-program and the focus on a member-centred traffic aggregation platform not only opens up a new omnichannel marketing space for brands, but also places CDFG ahead of its competitors, the retailer noted.

Glenfiddich said that it recognised the importance and huge potential of CDFG’s membership, notably their high levels of loyalty and engagement. The brand recently launched its latest expression, Glenfiddich Grande Couronne 26 Year Old, on the Brand Hall. As reported, the ultra-premium single malt whisky was introduced by CDFG to the Hainan offshore duty free channel on 2 July.

The Glenfiddich Brand Hall presents pictures, descriptions, animations and live videos to show consumers how the single whisky is produced. From conception to distillation, aging to blending, the entire journey is brought to life in an effort to connect the whisky industry, the brand, and the consumer browsing the contents.

Upon entering the Glenfiddich Brand Hall, the viewer is greeted with the Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whisky portfolio, segmented by categories such as Aged Collection, Travel Retail Exclusives, Grand Series, Rare, or Recommended whiskies.

Towards the bottom of the page, the history of the Glenfiddich distillery and the brand unfolds. Another click brings the viewer to a page about enjoying whisky, where the Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador provides guidance and provides little-known and fascinating details about the whisky.

Upon further exploration, a Master Distiller’s page explains Glenfiddich’s distilling and production process. Finally, the viewer is presented with whisky recommendations, new launches, and special offers at the bottom of the front page which also links to the CDF Member WeChat mini-program purchase page. The entire browsing and purchasing journey, all at the touch of the viewer’s fingertips, is designed to be seamless and enjoyable, the brand company said.

Noting that Chinese outbound travellers have (pre-pandemic) led the tourism and duty free sectors, CDFG noted that the saying “Win over Chinese consumers and the world is yours” is no understatement. As a leading enterprise in China’s duty free industry, the company enjoys extremely strong recognition and loyalty among Chinese consumers, CDFG said.

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William Grant & Sons said that duty free has always been a key channel. With the help of CDFG’s digital marketing capabilities, the company believes it can positively influence Glenfiddich’s brand recognition among Chinese consumers.

The brand plans to deploy targeted marketing and sales services to highly engaged consumers in partnership with CDFG, in the process vastly improving its service quality and marketing efficiency. As one of the first spirits brands to takes its place within the Brand Hall, Glenfiddich has already witnessed the advantages and will invest further in the space, the company said.

The launch of the Glenfiddich Brand Hall within the CDF Member WeChat min-program marks an important landmark, the brand noted. The initiative represents a transition from a single route of purchasing and marketing to a multi-dimensional model that blends purchasing, marketing, and digital engagement between the industry, the brand, and the consumer.

As a brand, Glenfiddich can receive feedback from consumers almost immediately, and generate insights and corresponding action to build a stronger relationship with its consumer base. That spelled a ‘win-win’ situation for all parties, the brand noted.

The companies said that the CDF Member WeChat mini-program will become an increasingly important platform for international brands to access China’s travel retail market. “The launch of the Glenfiddich Brand Hall on the platform is evidence of how digital marketing fuels travel retail in this new era and ushers in travel retail value chain 2.0,” they noted.

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