That sxit will never sell


That sxit will never sell –
The real story behind Baileys Irish Cream and other great drinks brands
Prideaux Press – £25.00

One thing that struck me throughout my business life was that, no matter how many seemingly successful wine and spirit brands we developed, whenever I walked into a pub all I saw was people drinking beer. It took a long time for me to actually see someone order a Baileys, while Le Piat d’Or was far too expensive for publicans to offer as ‘pouring ‘wine. The great leap forward in the UK came in the seventies and eighties when warm, traditional English Bitter was overtaken by ‘world beer’ – cold, fizzy, bland lager. Lager even stormed one of the great bastions of traditional beer, Ireland, where Guinness was threatened by the likes of Budweiser from America and lagers from Australia, France and the rest of Europe.

                                                                           ‘Roll out the barrel’

If you’re into the drinking culture; an industry, that over the years has evolved unto something of a social, as well as seemingly intrepid media induced frenzy, then this more than attractive and most exceedingly well put together book is definitely for you.

That sxit will never sell – The real story behind Baileys Irish Cream and other great drinks brands, is attractive and exceedingly well put together in as much that if you’re interested, attracted to, or like something, then this is the sort of hefty book you’d like to see written on the subject.

Indeed, these 331 pages(excluding Thanks and Index) are refreshingly laid-out design wise, come replete with drop-quotes and colour photographs, all of which are chronologically compiled so as to entice any like-minded reader into delving further. There again, it’s author David Gluckman, has spent forty-five years working within the drinks industry, having created such well-known brands as Baileys Irish Cream, Sheridan’s, Le Piat d’Or,Aqua Libra, The Singleton, Tanqueray Ten, Ciroc along with an assortment of others. But perhaps more importantly, it’s the way they came about (that will fundamentally surprise you).

To be sure, it’s ultimately the clarity and simplicity of Gluckman’s thinking, that does so much to provide invaluable guidelines to nigh anyone engaged within the actual business of innovation – of which the following ought to perhaps act as some sort of great shining innovative light: ”A legendary anecdote in the brand’s history is said to have occurred when Anthony Tennant (later knighted) took a bottle of Baileys to Abe Rosenberg, head of the Paddington Corporation in New York. Abe was a titan of the drinks industry and the man who had turned J&B Rare into the biggest selling Scotch in America in the 1960s.

The story goes that he held up the Baileys bottle and looked at it with some disdain. ”The green background on the label reminds me of US uniforms in Vietnam” he said. He sipped at the muddy brown liquid with absolutely no enthusiasm. And then, it is said, he pronounced the immortal words ”This shit will never sell”” (‘Baileys was it – there was no Plan B’).

As chief executive of The Marketing Society, Hugh Burkitt, is known to have said of this book: ”A highly entertaining read, which should be studied by all marketers working on new brand development – especially for the remarkable true story of the creation of Baileys Irish Cream.”

If you’re after a read from which to glean ideas, then these nine inspired chapters could well be the premise from which to excitingly embark.

David Marx

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