Glenfiddich and Hendrick’s Gin’s owner William Grant & Sons is pioneering a two-year in-house training programme to equip its marketers with new skills and raise the profile of marketing across the business.

William Grant & Sons (WG&S) is not a company that many people know about, admits its UK marketing director Gary Keogh. However, many of its brands are household names – think Glenfiddich, Hendrick’s and Monkey Shoulder.

And it takes building those brands incredibly seriously. The company’s approach is done through a programme called ‘dram by dram’. It is a set of five principles that have been designed to drive business growth, and are “unique” to the culture and the history of the business. The principles include distinctiveness, deep roots, consistency, insight and driving trial.

A recent campaign example includes The Balvenie Craftmen’s Dinner, which sees chef Michel Roux Jr discover the “true meaning of craftsmanship” in a six-part video series. The series concludes with Roux Jr preparing a ‘craftsmen’s dinner’ for the individuals, using contributions from each artist.

This focus on long-term brand building is done despite the current trend among businesses to try and please impatient investors, who want to see instant results.

“We’re comfortable seeding brands in the long term to ensure we have a brand that has strong trade and consumer advocacy. If that means we don’t make money for a couple of years, that’s fine,” he says.

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