How Pernod Ricard is planning to use its employees as brand ambassadors

Pernod Ricard wants its staff to become brand ambassadors and is encouraging them to share more content with one another on social media via its partnership with LinkedIn.

The move is part of the company’s wider efforts to bolster its corporate image that has already seen its chief executive Alexandre Ricard do more on various social networks.

In an extension of this, Pernod Ricard is planning to use its sizeable employee base to act as brand ambassadors and is working with LinkedIn’s employee advocacy platform Elevate to encourage them to share articles of interest across their own networks.

“We have been working with LinkedIn and Elevate and we are now trying with them to create a platform where all the employees will be able to pick up some news and dispatch that to their private networks, which is something that we will put in place in the coming months,” Pernod Ricard communications director Olivier Cavil, revealed. “We created first our own platform insiders with Glenlivit in the States and the results have been amazing, which is why we have decided to do the same with Elevate. So with digital, our savvy employees will become our digital ambassadors as well.”

The world’s second largest drinks company Pernod Ricard could be about to make a bigger splash about its premium portfolio as Ricard reveals that luxury presents a “clear business opportunity” to drive the company forward.

Ricard believes that the provenance of its premium brands, which include Martell cognac and Absolut Elyx, will be key to the company’s strategy over the coming months as it uses its social media presence to target high-net worth individuals and those less able to “transcend geographies”.

“[A] clear business opportunity in terms of business acceleration is luxury, or premiumisation. People really aspire to getting better quality, higher quality products and we are lucky in so far as that our brands all have history and heritage,” he added.

“We have 300-year-old brands with a very authentic approach. They come from specific vineyards like our cognac or our champagne, or specific terroir, or regions like Absolut vodka from Sweden growing winter wheat that can only grow there… Younger adults love storytelling as long as its authentic and true, otherwise they can kill a brand they believe is superficial. Superficial brands can be a trendy brand for 6 months and then it won’t go far.”

Pernod Ricard is leveraging its individual brand’s social channels to ensure that each of their premium qualities resonates with varying audiences. For a younger adult audience around the globe that might be drinking Jameson for example, but they might not be able to travel to Ireland to tour a distillery like a wealthier consumer might. Consequently, it has created an online tour so that such consumers can “discover the story through the mouth of craftsmen”. For high-net worth individuals it is using digital to target those traveling the world. “They stay in the same places across the world; Miami, Las Vegas, Ibiza, Hong Kong, so we have really, from a digital point of view, highly leveraged all of that.”

Like most brands the advent of social media has shaken up how the business operates over the last four years. Ricard himself has boosted his social media presence over the past 12 months in a bid to help glean additonal insights on the business.

His activity is focused on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, to help boost Pernod Ricard’s image and he recently used his presence, alongside the company’s corporate channels, to run a campaign to ‘spread conviviality’. Playing on Pernod Ricard’s tagline ‘creators of conviviality’, the push asked users to take a picture of themselves making a toast and tagging three friends that they do not have the occasion to see often.

The two winners (one was a Pernod Ricard employee) and their three friends all were flown to Paris from across the globe to experience ‘conviviality’, which Ricard explained as different cultures coming together in harmony.

“It is our signature and our call to action,” he said. “I want us to place one of our brands at the heart of every single moment of sharing, every single moment of celebration around the world and turn these moments in to memorable experiences of conviviality.”


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