Maker’s Mark forced to reverse abv decision

Maker’s Mark has been forced into a u-turn after a public backlash to the Bourbon brand’s decision to reduce its alcohol content

Maker's MarkOnly last week the brand announced a decision to reduce its abv from 45% to 42% abv. The decision represented an attempt to resolve supply shortages after global sales increased by 15% in the year to December 2012 alone.

Following an initial consumer uproar on Twitter, Maker’s Mark chairman Bill Samuels Jr defended the decision with a message on the brand’s website.

“Every batch at 42% abv had the same taste profile that we’ve always had,” he maintained, asking customers to at least try the Bourbon for themselves “and allow us to prove that we didn’t screw up your whisky.”

Over the weekend however, the brand confirmed that it would be reversing the decision in response to customer feedback.

In a joint statement, Bill Samuels Jr and Maker’s Mark COO Rob Samuels conceded defeat, saying:  “While we thought we were doing what’s right, this is your brand – and you told us in large numbers to change our decision.

“You spoke. We listened. And we’re sincerely sorry we let you down.”

Although acknowledging that this decision would lead to ongoing supply shortages, the team described it as “a good problem to have” and promised to deal with shortage “as best we can, as we work to expand capacity at the distillery.”

2 Responses to “Maker’s Mark forced to reverse abv decision”

  1. Bernhard Schaefer says:

    I don’t believe a word. I’d say it was very clever viral marketing.
    First the announcement, a lame “it was tested by our staff and there was no difference”
    Then let’s wait and see..if it would go through, fine 42% more Whiskey. But there was a strong reponse..against it…off course this was foreseeable…
    So what was the result? Everything stayed the same, besides all the Drinks Media reported, the social Media spoke about it, Maker’s Mark was in discussion…all for free..no ad campaign could have done that. And they have a good image “We listen to YOU customer, it is your brand”
    Congratulations to the marketing team!!

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