How Bacardi delivers a consistent brand experience across the world

* 3 min read

Every product follows a journey. From initial concept to the customer's hand, an enormous amount of thought and work is put into every stage. And sometimes these journeys can be perilous, especially when you’re working on a global scale.

This is just as true when it comes to packs. Different territories can get shapes slightly wrong, or use branding that’s ever so slightly out of date. Local demands can come into conflict with the global brand, and it's not always clear which side should give way. It's a challenge that all major brands face in their efforts to ensure that every product offers a first-class, high quality customer experience, delivered through a consistent brand promise.

The conundrum all brands face boils down to one key question: how can we make product development and execution seamless across thousands of people, sometimes working in different teams and companies, and in different parts of the world?

One person who has been working on this question is Rickard Antblad, who is the Program Director for Product Lifecycle Management at Bacardi. In our webcast about SUNrise, our product and artwork management software system, he talked about how Bacardi has been unifying people, process and technology throughout the product lifecycle.

Here are some of the key takeaways from what he said:

One Brand, "One Bacardi"

"Brand identity is key to the entire end to end process."

In the day-to-day rush of getting products and marketing materials out the door, it's easy to overlook some parts of the brand. Protecting and clearly defining your brand has to be a priority if you want it to remain stable and consistent. After all, when customers come into contact with your product, what they care about is what is in front of them. What you don't want to do is provide an experience that is jarringly inconsistent or a subpar representation of the brand they know.

To ensure that all your teams are on the same page, you need software that will make communication between them seamless and that will provide a single, authoritative source of truth. One that is visible, updatable, and that integrates fully with the design process.

This way you can ensure that core brand assets are easily accessible and survive the product lifecycle.

Rapidly responding to change

Whether we like it or not, we live in a fast-moving world. New markets are emerging, the economy is fluctuating, innovation is opening up new opportunities, and consumer behaviours are shifting.

Any customer-centric brand owner will know that its priorities has to change as the world changes; successfully managing the speed of that change is about making sure you can get information from, and communicate with, every level of your organisation. To make the right decisions, you need the right data. You need to know what materials are hard to source in Brazil, or what packaging designs consumers are familiar with in Australia. Having every design decision, in every country, on one platform helps you know what is going on. And that means you can respond quickly to change, and communicate it to everyone.

Leaving more time for creativity

Most of all, creating a single, integrated product lifecycle gives us more freedom to be creative.

As product developers, as marketers, and as content and brand managers, searching around for the most up to date logo (no doubt named logo_v4_final_FINAL_ACTUAL_FINAL.jpg) is not what inspires us to get up in the morning. Nor is there much benefit to trawling through old files trying to find that brilliant unused concept we came up with months ago.

Letting go of the need to track and manage all this information frees us to put our best talents to use; to imagine something better than what we or anyone else has been doing so far, to test out new ideas, and to create an experience for customers that genuinely fascinates them. And that, surely, is the most exciting, liberating thing of all.