Bacardí is mixing marketing, research, and shenanigans with its third annual Back to the Bar event.
The cleverly designed event will see all 7,000 Bacardi employees, based in more than 100 cities hitting as many bars as they can in order to mingle with consumers and bartenders in the most authentic way possible.
But while extensive field work at Bacardi sounds like fun and games, the event is equal parts employee appreciation, marketing drive, and analytical springboard.
According to Bacardí, the learnings from "Back to the Bar" are incorporated into the analytics team’s data strategy, which ultimately helps inspire the creation of new products and brand positioning across Bacardi’s 200 spirits brands.
As Brenda Fiala, global VP strategy, insights and analytics at Bacardí explained, there have already been insights that would have taken much longer to reveal using more traditional methods.
"Over the past few years, we’d been seeing initial data suggesting that consumers were embracing lighter cocktails," she said. "But we really started to see the trend for low ABV cocktails gain traction when we chatted with bartenders during our first Back to the Bar experience in 2018," she added.
"For example, Martini Fiero, a vermouth that offers a light serve with equal parts tonic, has launched in select European markets and is coming soon to the U.S. We’ve also launched a non-alcoholic Martini sparkling wine in markets like South Africa, the U.K., Philippines, and others," Fiala said.
For Fiala, her love of people made the Back to Bar event a no-brainer, especially considering that she ended up in the spirits industry to escape being stuck in a lab with no regard for how actual people utilize the products she helps sell.
The current global VP strategy, insights and analytics had been in the midst of earning a Ph.D. in organic chemistry before joining Bacardí in 2016- but her love for people led to her taking on a different path.
"I realized that I loved working with people too much to stay in a lab," she said. "I took everything I know about building organic systems and data, my curiosity about people and mapping trends – and embarked on an adventure that has allowed me to live and work around the world."
During her tenure, she helped launch Bacardi Dance Floor which revamped the rum brand and boosted sales. The concept for the campaign was born via hundreds of hours of speaking with consumers, from which Fiala realized that the brand needed to inspire people to get up and move, it’s rum after all!
But what is one of Bacardí’s most creative executives drinking herself?
In the U.S. you can catch her with a Bacardí’ 8 Old Fashion while in Europe, she’s likely to be seen with a Martini Reserva Rubino Sbagliato in hand.
Cheers to that.