STATEWAYS INTERVIEW


ROBERT SHEA
Senior Vice President,
Sales & Marketing
Hiram Walker & Sons


 


 


StateWays: What marketing challenges are currently your top priorities in the control states?


Shea: The biggest challenge right now is getting more of our brands listed in the control states, especially our single malts and the Hiram Walker cordial line. We’re looking at a number of ways to address that, but one major initiative for Hiram Walker in the coming months is the planned introduction of new cordial packaging, as well as new and exciting line extensions.


StateWays: How does Hiram Walker target the control states in its brand positioning and marketing strategies?


Shea: Candidly, our attitude toward the control states is fairly similar to open states. The consumer is our target, and we have six divisions set geographically around the United States. Each division manages sales in both control and open states. For example, the Pacific Division includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Montana; the Central Division has Michigan, Ohio and Iowa; the Atlantic Division has Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia; the Northeast Division has Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont; and the Southeast Division has Mississippi, Alabama and North Carolina.


By marketing our brands geographically, we have a better focus on consumer trends and attitudes. The consumer doesn’t really care whether he’s in a control state or not, but there may very well be regional “hot buttons” for selling our products that vary from state to state and region to region. We all know it takes a different approach to sell Kahl

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