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Customer Focus

Former Chief Marketing Officer at Bacardi & Walgreens Boots Alliance

IP Interview
Published on April 12, 2020

Why is this interview interesting?

  • How to build customer personas and get into detail on the consumer psychology around your product
Executive Bio

Andy Gibson

Former Chief Marketing Officer at Bacardi & Walgreens Boots Alliance

Andy began his career at Diageo in 1999 where he was primed in the Diageo Way of Brand Building and led various different spirit brands across different continents. In 2011, he joined Carlton United Breweries, the leading beer company in Australia, as Chief Marketing Officer where he led the revival of the VB brand. In 2013, Andy joined Bacardi as CMO where he managed the global brand portfolio including Bacardi, Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire generating revenue of over $4bn. In 2015, Andy joined Walgreens Boots Alliance, the $26bn revenue global pharmacy, where he led the Global Brands Portfolio.

Interview Transcript

Taking the first principle then, understanding your consumer. How granular do you get with that?

Very granular. In fact, I believe you should name them. I believe you should give them a name that you can relate to. Demographics are important, but demographics are like the ticket to the dance; they are base level. That will help you in things like media buying, for instance. But that’s about where it ends. What you need to get into is the psychographics of your consumer. What’s important to them, in life? What’s their structure in life? What’s their friend, family, social set up? What are their hopes, their dreams? What do they watch? When I say watch, I don’t just want Netflix; I actually want, which box sets do they get into? Which box sets do they actually talk about to their friends and binge on? When it comes to devices that they use their mobile phone; I want to know which apps are they using and for what purposes. If it’s a 45-year-old female, is she using mumsnet as a network, for instance, to find life hacks, to actually make her life much easier? I want to know what their values are in life. What’s important to them, from a values perspective? Is it honesty, is it integrity? Is it, actually, trust? Is it friendship? Is it family? I want to know, in detail, what those values are. Then I want to know what their unmet needs and motivations in life are. What are their dreams, their aspirations? What is it they hope to be? What is it that they are continually striving for?

That’s as a human. Then the next part of understanding your consumer is, their relationship to the category. When do they use it? Why do they use it? Where do they use it? What are they using, in the category? What are the competitive brands that they’re using? When we pull that picture together – I call that the 5 Ws, the What, Where, When, Why, Who – when we pull that together, we’ve got this rich picture of our consumer.

The first part that I explained, about them as humans, that’s where we position our brands. We position our brands against them, as people. Then when I talk about the second part of that, the what, where, when, why, who, that’s all about execution. Where do I now go, to find those consumers? How do I execute in a place that they’re in? How do I intercept them, on their journey to purchase? My answer is, as much rich detail as you can possibly get. You should know these people like they are a family member.

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