Blackjack Promotions (a division of ABM) hosted 18 liquor brands in its recently opened Centre of Excellence. The brands joined forces to share their travel retail knowledge and messaging with Blackjack Promotions’ brand ambassadors.
Blackjack staff moved around the brand spaces to learn more about the brands’ travel retail marketing plans and new products in the pipeline for 2020
More than 60 Blackjack delegates from airports across the country met with teams from the likes of Moët Hennessy , Accolade Wines, Bacardi, Proximo Spirits and Diageo.
Claire Brockwitz, Area Sales Manager UK, Brown-Forman said: “We have worked with Blackjack for many years with ambassadors placed across Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. We always look forward to the roadshow as it allows us to connect with these representatives, put names to faces and update them on new directives and products.”
On the importance of brands being involved in the roadshow, Rupert Firbank, Commercial Director, Global Travel Retail, Accolade Wines commented: “With wine being a very fragmented category, Accolade Wines puts a lot of value on being able to inform passengers about what we have on offer and to ensure we are recommending wines that will suit them.
“Being able to deliver training to our partner Blackjack is a key part of delivering that customer engagement. We know that the more people learn about wines, the more engaged they become and consequently the more they buy. From the point of view of Blackjack brand ambassadors, the more they know, the more confident and convincing they can be when selling our wines.”
Currently undergoing a rebrand which is set for completion in June, The Lakes Distillery believes such opportunities are key to communicating its growth. Roadshows like this also give the company confidence that brand ambassadors will be knowledgeable representatives for their products in UK airports. Millie Forster, UK Trade Marketing and Events Manager, The Lakes Distillery said: “As a growing brand, we don’t always have the capacity to get around to all the airports and retail sites where our products are stocked as often as we would like.
“This roadshow makes it much easier to get everyone together and I think this consistency has a knock-on effect with staff retention, as brand ambassadors know they are trusted, invested in through training and are an integral part to our success.”
A Blackjack brand ambassador for around a year, Florencia Schuab attended the previous Blackjack roadshow at the company’s head office. Speaking about the opportunity to attend the training event at the new Centre of Excellence, she remarked: “In the Centre, you have the space to sit down with brands without interruption. As the customer-facing staff, it’s a great opportunity to relay common questions we are asked on the shop floor so that we can offer even better service and product knowledge. It’s also a nice opportunity to catch up with my brand ambassador colleagues!”
Oli Perl, Tequila Educator, Proximo Spirits UK & Ireland said the roadshow was a ‘Genius Idea’, as the new building offers a dedicated training space where brand ambassadors can circulate in small groups and spend quality time with the liquor brands.
“Ambassadors get such a brief time with customers in the airport, we want to ensure they have lots of interesting points they can share to keep them engaged — especially for a category like tequila which shoppers tend to know less about. Customers are increasingly concerned about a brand’s origin, authenticity and ethics, so backing up product knowledge with brand context is an important thing for us to discuss,” Perl said.
Eamon Prunty, Halewood Wines & Spirits, Head of Global Travel Retail Europe concluded: “I have worked with Blackjack for nearly three years and we have integrated bespoke ambassador training during that time, so I am not a newcomer to this initiative.
“However, today I have been extremely encouraged by the enthusiasm of these people who on a day-to-day basis are out there representing my brand. This is also an amazing opportunity to introduce them to the two new Whitley Neill flavours we are launching across Dufry UK in the coming months. One of which, Whitley Neill Gooseberry is a Dufry UK Exclusive in GTR.”
As reported, Blackjack’s Centre of Excellence houses five rooms of flexible training space and a 15,000 sq ft distribution centre, which is utilised by companies such as Halewood Wines and Spirits. Speaking exclusively to TRBusiness last year, Jason Miles, Managing Director, Blackjack Promotions declared the new Centre of Excellence the company’s ‘biggest and best investment.’