As recently announced, Debra Kelly-Ennis has resigned as head of SAAB Cars USA. She has taken a position with Diageo, a premium wine and spirit maker. Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines. As part of the news conference announcing her appointment, Ms. Kelly-Ennis outlined her plans for several of Diaego's brands:
Johnnie Walker will expand its product line by selling a new line of less-expensive, premium Namibian-made whiskey. The new whiskey will be given a label that looks like a normal Johnnie Walker label, but the quality of the spirit will not be quite the same. This will increase volume for Johnnie Walker and its retail network. Some will notice the Namibian-made whiskey bottle looks a lot like the original Namibian whiskey bottle, despite the new label.
Tanqueray will announce that they are ceasing gin production for the next year because "the market for gin is not large enough." Tanquery had made its name with the production of nimble gin spirits in the past. However, in quest for larger market share, Tanqueray will become "more mainstream" as it switches to vodka production for 2006. Ms. Kelly-Ennis, new product manager for the brand, was quoted as saying "Vodka is the new 'hot' spirit now. We intend to produce a spirit that is similar to the industry leaders, such as Absolut, Belvedere, and Grey Goose, but that still retains the core Tanqueray values."
Bailey's will begin to sell a new line of SUS (Sport Utility Spirit). Bailey's has traditionally stood high in the smooth, creamy spirit market. However, baby boomers and suburban dwellers have begun a massive push towards spirits with a substantially larger presence and more power. According to Ms. Kelly-Ennis "Suburbanites, especially women, like the feeling of security that comes from a spirit with increased size and power." The new Bailey's SUS will also stress the sporting aspect of the new spirit by ad placement in sporting situations, such as on the rugby pitch, on NFL sidelines, and in a promotional deal with the Turkish Wrestling Federation. While Ms. Kelly-Ennis admits that most of the targeted users of the new SUS are not participants in Rugby, American Football, or Turkish Wrestling, they do appreciate the connotations of association with such sports. In order to continue the impression of security, the new Bailey's SUS will have a substantially higher alcohol content. "Increased power is another value that our targeted consumer appreciates," adds Ms. Kelly-Ennis.