Friday, 29 June 2007

Maker's Mark on Flickr

From drp on Flickr:

I saw this and was amazed. It's not that I haven't seen chatter about brands on Flickr before. It's not the first time I've seen beautiful bottle shots being chatted about on Flickr before.

But it is the first time I've seen people getting genuinely excited about a brand on Flickr in such a way as to develop a cultish following. People love pictures and people love stories. It connects with something deep inside ourselves.

Here's what drp's text said:

"In May of 2005, Maker's Mark celebrated its 47th year of putting its whisky into bottles for sale. When T. William Samuels created Maker's Mark he was already bucking a downward trend in the bourbon industry. Why would any sane entrepreneur build into an industry where there was already excess capacity and the trend was going the wrong direction?

Samuels' conviction was that there was a hidden, unserved market for a different kind of bourbon than was on the market in the 1950s. He saw a market for an elegant whisky. There was, in his thinking, a customer who was not buying bourbon because the bourbons on the market in the 1950s lacked refinement. Instead of the relatively heavy, harsh, minimally aged bourbons so common in the post-Prohibition and post World War II era, Samuels sought to create a more refined, clean, smooth, delicate whisky. After all, why couldn't a native American bourbon be just as elegant as some French brandy? Samuels saw no reason why there could not be such a whisky.

So, he experimented with a variety of formulations and distilling apparati. From the Old Fitzgerald distillery in Louisville he learned how a mash bill that replaced the traditional rye with wheat could produce a whisky that was still full on the palate, but which lacked the coarseness that a heavy dose of rye would add. Although he dabbled with an old copper pot still as part of the process, he chose to go with a traditional copper column still.

And so that the public would understand that this whisky was meant to be elegant, Samuels (with the advice of his wife) settled on the distinctive Maker's Mark shaped bottled dipped in the trade-mark red wax.

Samuels seems to have been right. Not wanting to be a flash in the pan, Maker's Mark has focused on steady, sustainable growth. Without becoming trendy, it has grown every single year of its existence. Indeed, it has now grown to the point where Maker's Mark worries that it will not have sufficient bourbon to satisfy its market."

And here are some of the many comments he got:

"some friends visited the distellery once and brought us back a bottle that they had dipped in the wax themselves

Interesting. I didn't know this story. Cool shot too.

When I want to order something cool and classic, I get a Maker's Mark on the rocks. No frou-frou drinks for this girl!

sealed with wax. vibrant red wax. just elegant. as usual, a great picture.

My drink of choice, I had the "gold" the other day - amazing.

GREEAAAAT macro... that bright red color of the seal is incredible...

and your story, as ever, is very good and good teaching! THANKS!

Oh yeah... a Maker's on the rocks, please. Nice shot, Duane! Cheers.

Looks so real--but could not pry it loose from my screen.
Just last week I convinced my old man to try this (I liked the bottle, my method of shopping) and now we're hooked.
I don't even drink and yet this floats gladly on the tongue--
Just proves my old axiom: when ANYthing edible is made correctly, it's good.

This is a wonderful photo of a wonderful bourbon. (Consider adding Knob Creek to your collection as well. :)

Ahhh... my favorite. The Champagne of Bourbons...

Beautiful shot! I love how sexy the red sealing wax is.

This is so neat - a great story, but an even better photo. If I could drink, I'd want to try this just because of the way you've captured the bottle. :-)

Wow! I'm not a whiskey fan myself, but my guy loves it; single malt from the Scottish isles by preference although we tend to have a bottle of bourbon in the house as well.

I don't think he's ever tried Maker's Mark but I'm going to get him a bottle ;)"

I find it amazing how much love there is for this brand. It distills down to three things:
1. Great product.
2. Great story.
3. Great bottle.

This Flickr page is awash with insights ripe for gathering as you can track the people who are enthusiastic about it. Moreover, you can see that this post has lead not only to buzz, but also directly to sales. Stunning.

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