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Makers Mark gift to the Craft Industry


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I have spent my entire adult life in manufacturing and marketing, and every once in a while a competitor does something that is so blatantly ridiculous, that it help you while harming them. Thus it is with Makers Mark's new "Less is Better for More" campaign. Their new marketing concept is actually so absurd that one would I assume have to be drunk before you would actually believe it !

In essence it says, "because you like what we have been selling to you, we have decided that we will change it, and then bring it to you and even more people (at I assume the same old price)". "So we are sorry if you have been a loyal customer who has helped us become a multimillion dollar corporation, but we are now not even going to sell you what we always have, because we want to charge the same amount for less, to even more people".

This is even worse than those deals where your bank gives preferential interest rates to acquire new customers, while you as a long term customer have to get the old rates. Because even in that situation the "new" customers at least receives a better deal. With Makers Mark, even the new customers get less!

For anyone who is bottling Bourbon or Whisky at 90 Proof, you have now been given a competitive marketing advantage if used correctly, by advising your current and new accounts that you will not sacrifice the quality, integrity and content of your product, because you refuse to expend the capital to increase your production to meet demand. And you don't have to. You just don't buy a corporate jet, and you can continue to provide your customers with more for less.

Markers Mark: The gift that keeps on giving, albeit less each time.

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For sipping neat, I think it will be OK. But it will mean more dilution if making a cocktail, for example. And certainly won't stand up to any ice (not that I drink it that way). But they may also figure they have other bottlings, cask strengths, etc., for that.

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And even at a lower proof, there is still way more craft that goes into MM than into 95 percent of the mirco distilleries.

I suppose it's all in how you define craft. In a large automated operation that makes the same old thing over and over again, you could more than likely reengineer the auto feed control panels that occasionally have a human push the green button when the green light comes on, yellow when the yellow come on , etc... instead have a little feed tube that drops a kernel of corn onto the button when the light changed, and a chicken could peck the button to throw the valve. Viola, automation and repetition masquerading as "craft". So easy a trained chicken can do it.

Speaking of chickens, I really like Campbell's chicken noodle soup, but I dont often hear people wax poetic about the craft of filling the same old can, with the same old soup.

Products like MM are fine, but they no longer completely define the industry. The industry was defined by large companies lobbying for barriers to entry. Now that "that's" over with, the true Artisan/craft industry will innovate, and the big companies will see what works, then just change which button the kernel of corn drops onto, and sell the same things on a larger scale.

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