For this one-week project Highland Park set us the challenge of capturing the brand's true Viking soul - without relying on stereotypes - and using it to appeal to a younger demographic. They wished to attract newcomers to whisky and also increase market share within the existing pool of whisky drinkers.
Capturing the Viking soul
(Edinburgh College group project)
Initial market research told us that many whisky drinkers perceived Highland Park to be a high quality, if uninspiring whisky. Our aim was to bring some excitement back to the brand using the spirit and soul of the whisky.
We found that Highland Park already has a very loyal and active consumer fanbase, who greatly enjoy and care about the whisky. We felt we could use this to our advantage.
After exploring the meaning of 'Viking soul', we came up with the concept ‘For the conqueror’ as a way of differentiating Highland Park from its competitors. We decided to brand Highland Park as the drink of active adventurers; those who go out and do things rather than sitting by the fireplace in an overstuffed armchair. (The latter, of course, being a favoured pastime of the more stereotypical single malt enthusiast.)
Building on this idea we took the three main Highland Park products and gave them each a sub-brand by breaking down key aspects of what it means to be a conqueror.
The 10 year old – Curious
We felt that, as this is the mildest of the three, it is probably the one a beginner is most likely to try. It is the one approached by those literally curious about whisky.
The 12 year old – Visionary
The whisky for those aiming a little higher, wanting to stretch out from their initial comfort zone, discover new things and go a little further than others might.
The 18 year old – Fearless
For the bravest, for those who feel they can stand up to the bolder taste of an old drink... and for those who aren’t afraid to shell out the money for the more expensive drink.
We accompanied each of these with their own unique Viking inspired rune.
In terms of the promotional campaign, we would start by inviting the brand's current audience to take their enthusiasm a step further and become brand ambassadors for their favorite whisky and it would be their job to help run the social media accounts for each ‘tribe’. Throughout the extent of the campaign the Brand Ambassadors would invite their fellow tribe members to take over the social media channels while representing the Highland Park sub-brands. Using platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat we felt we could intrigue people and drive them to find out what was going on, even if they’re not a whisky drinker.
It would be at this point that we'd introduce the EVRT - the Epic Viking Road Trip. Because Highland Park is made in Orkney and promotes ‘Viking soul’, it has strong ties in Scandinavia. So, we felt that a road trip from Norway down through Europe and back up to Scotland would hit all the European countries in which whisky is already popular - and facilitate a lot of fun along the way.
The Brand Ambassadors would become the managers of these events and the events themselves would range from the brave to the silly and fun - there would be something for all capability levels.
During and after the road trip takes place, the brand's web presence would be heavily utilised. The website would feature photo galleries from each tribe, driving a good-natured competitive spirit and encouraging people to take part, as well as intriguing people into trying all three of the Highland Park whiskies.
There would be a competition running along side this road trip, the person, or group of people who are most active on the website, on social media or go to the most events along the way, will win their own dream road trip with Highland Park.