Beam Suntory

Why Beam Suntory Wants to Educate its Consumers


Beam Suntory has a good reputation, and it’s been busy redefining its marketing strategies. Mixing the consumer’s love for its time-tested-and-true spirit with a little creativity, the U.S. bourbon company created new categories of entertainment and education.

All About the Pop-Up Shop

The brand camped out in John F. Kennedy International Airport, offering providers an unforgettable experience via a wonderful taste campaign. Its Bourbon Legends pop-up in Terminal 4 wasn’t simply a tasting stand. It was an entire experience.

Beam Suntory’s Bourbon Legends program isn’t new, either. It debuted at John F. Kennedy Airport last fall, highlighting the brand’s massive bourbon collection. Among these were its much-loved Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam. The sampling campaign was successful—earning a spot in August for a reboot.

A Record-Number Success

Where pop-up stands are concerned, Beam Suntory couldn’t have struck closer to gold. It hit the airport’s arrival and departure sweet spot, engaging the location’s record-high visitation numbers. Both international and domestic travelers were exposed to the pop-up stand, highlighting their 2016 trips with bourbon-fueled fun.

Much of Beam Suntory’s success is due to its positioning. Within an airport space, passerby have time. More importantly, they have time to kill. Airport denizens may be a hustled bunch, but they’re constantly ready to stop, shop and explore new brand opportunities.

The One-On-One Education Counter

Packed with aged barrels, classic designs and age-old attributions to bourbon culture, Beam Suntory’s pop-up space prioritized a rustic vibe encasing fantastic artwork. Here, the brand’s 221 years of success was the focus. Informing customers about its bourbon collection’s best ingredients, Beam Suntory created an education counter built to last. The “mini master classes,” as they were called, gave brand viewers the freedom needed to explore everything Beam Suntory. The event’s own Bourbon Legends pocket handbook was given out, helping bourbon-lovers with product information.

Of course, no product promotion is without purchasing options. Beam Suntory created a small gift program—a leather bottle protector giveaway—to visitors spending over $75 in the terminal’s pop-up shop.

A Classic Approach to a Classic Brand

Beam Suntory is well-received by its audience. It’s repeatedly been aligned with America’s best bourbon options, and its adherence to classic recipes certainly gives it a leg up in today’s marketing world.

An American airport location is fitting, then, to promote the brand’s constant ability to please bourbon connoisseurs. Sometimes, a truly American experience must take place in a truly American destination. One of the more creative pop-up locations chosen by liquor providers, JFK Airport certainly promoted a positive sales atmosphere. Whether it was the wood paneling or 2016’s dizzying travel months, the brand hit success in little to no time at all.

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