Creative Marketing Strategies … Secrets to Guinness Creative Design

Do you make continuous improvement a focus of your marketing strategy? Most of the best marketing strategies we study and follow certainly do, and that is an awesome way to do marketing. Yes, the innovative Guinness creative marketing strategies are making their messages better and better all the while. And their success has a ton to do with their marketing strategy. Of course, if you are a family that likes good beer you certainly know this.

creative marketing strategies
Creative marketing strategies.

Check out our thoughts on creative marketing.

Have you noticed? It is hard not to notice, isn’t it? Let’s examine the reasons their marketing strategy is so effective:


Creative marketing strategies … brand identity

Creative and unique is what makes this brand identity.


While establishing a differentiated meaning for a brand is tough, perhaps the greater challenge facing marketers today is the growing number of places consumers touch a brand. It’s become incredibly more complicated to execute a brand promise. This is what we call bringing the brand to life.


Consumers are interacting with brands in myriad new ways, but brand organizations have to move much faster. They have to show greater agility and responsiveness to potential followers actions and reactions. This often must be at warp-speed in this rapidly changing environment.


Related post: Digital Storytelling … 4 Ways to Employ for Message Persuasion

Guinness class

One of my favorite types of marketing is the “aspirational” kind — or as the Harvard Business Review defines it, marketing for brands that “fall into the upper-right quadrant.” Think Luxury cars, haute couture, and private jets. Things we aspire to own.

It’s that last one — private jets — that set apart the Guinness Class experience. For a few weeks, ambassadors dressed in Guinness-branded flight attendant uniforms entered bars across the U.K., where they surprised unsuspecting customers with a chance to win all kinds of prizes.

To participate, bar-goers had to order a pint of Guinness. After doing that, they would shake a prize-generating mobile tablet that displayed what they won. They could win everything from passport cases to key chains, but one player per night would get the ultimate prize: A free trip to Dublin — via private jet, of course — with four mates.

What we like about this experience was its ability to associate Guinness with something aspirational, like traveling by private jet. And according to Nick Britton, marketing manager for Guinness Western Europe, that held the brand up as one that doesn’t “settle for the ordinary.

That’s important — and can be tricky — for a brand that’s nearly 257 years old: to maintain its authenticity, while also adapting to a changing landscape and audience. But Guinness didn’t have to change anything about its actual products in this case. Instead, it created an experience that addressed changing consumer preferences — for example, the fact that 78% of millennials would rather spend money on a memorable experience or event than buy desirable things.

Remember this

  • Think about the things your target audience might aspire to, and that you’d like to associate with your brand. Then, build an experience around that.
  • If you do require a product purchase to participate in the experience, make it convenient. In this case, people had to buy a pint of Guinness to win a prize, but they were already in a bar that served it.


Guinness case study
Guinness case study.

Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland

I had heard that what some call the “Guinness Factory Tour” in Dublin was great. Its real name, the Guinness Storehouse, is the largest tourist attraction in Ireland.  That is amazing.

In 2015, it was selected “Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction” at the World Travel Awards.  Double amazing. Though visitors can glimpse at the factory buildings, it’s not a tour of the factory.

It is really about a GUINNESS brand experience, a wonderful melding of history and fresh, new, engaging technology, that takes place in a 7-story building dating back to 1904.  The structure simulates the inside of a beer bottle, so large; it would take over 14.3 million pints of Guinness to fill it.

On the ground floor, is a collection of antique, single-serve beer bottles, attractively displayed, from the days when bottles were filled from large kegs at individual bars.

On the next level are framed portraits of the founder, Arthur Guinness and key contemporaries that come to life through animation, and explain the role beer and Guinness have played in Irish culture and Dublin history. Guinness so believed in the quality of his beer; he had the amazing foresight to sign a 9,000-year lease on the property for a mere 45 British pounds annually.

Another level shows how beer kegs were made and then rolled onto large ships and transported to progressively wider geographies around the world.


One level down from the top is three restaurants, with beautiful exposed white ceramic, Victorian period, glazed bricks from the original factory. One features contemporary Irish food with recommended beer pairings.  Another is more of a pub, with pub fare, and the third, simulate the factory cafeteria, Guinness workers would have eaten in.

Last but not least, visitors wind their way to the top “Gravity Bar,” with its 360° views of Dublin, where visitors can enjoy a pint. “Gravity” is a double-entendre. While in the beer industry it means measuring the sugar in the wort (the starchy liquid that gets fermented), most visitors assume the name relates to its height.  It’s “the highest bar” in Dublin.  Imaginatively, at each viewpoint, etched in the windows are the names of the site’s visitors are looking toward.


Unique marketing ideas … web site

The Guinness web site is the physical center of this firm’s marketing. Their designs are very user-friendly, yet contain the means to integrate all the strategy elements we discuss today. They encompass several ways to allow two-way client engagements, including live chat, email, and telephone.


Again little to no selling, as they let their products do the marketing. Their strategy reflects the belief that pushy sales pitches turn customers off, but personally relevant and interactive engagement switches them on. You can’t help but notice that all the material is put into the language of the client community.



It’s the stories

The story is king – Guinness has figured out that the story was a great way to create customer attention. Many Guinness ads have a story behind them. People relate to these stories. It’s just part of the human condition. They are great for engaging people on a human level. Their stories abound at every turn.



Creative marketing campaign ideas … adapting to change

Guinness branding
Guinness branding.

Guinness marketing is continually focusing on creative change  A very progressive company which keeps up to speed on consumer trends and needs. Certainly always eager to adapt their expertise to new areas. And certainly always looking to try new things, to include marketing.


Social media

Guinness utilizes all the main social media channels/platforms to engage potential clients. All channels are used to engage and conversationally share all their material. They are always looking to engage and learn and serve customers.

Related post: Target Market … How to Target for Best Marketing Campaigns


Short and sweet messages

Most all of Guinness marketing messages are short and to the point. As we said previously, many topics are used to produce many messages so as not to over saturate the market with the same ideas.



Integrating the elements

All of these strategy elements complement the firm’s brand and messages. The integrating elements? The brand and the client educational element. The key is to have a central theme to the brand. In Guinness’ case, the themes are all built around a creative brand identity. Integration of all elements is the most important part of the strategy.



The bottom line


Guinness has been created in many ways. The technological prowess is storied, but it was the marketing genius that set him apart from everyone else.  Use a little of Guinness’ business insight in your content marketing campaign and enjoy renewed and continuous business success.


Here’s the thing, the Guinness creative marketing isn’t just a new way of attracting customers, it’s a new way of running a business. They certainly understand this concept well and are using social marketing to promote their business rapidly.


For a different way of marketing see our article on Marriott Marketing.




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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+Twitter, and LinkedIn.  



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More reading on marketing  strategy from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library:

Marketing Branding … 9 Secrets to a Continuous Improvement Strategy

11 Steps to Media Framing Messages for Optimum Engagement

12 Fundamental Laws of Content Marketing


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Creative Marketing Strategies … Secrets to Guinness Creative Design

One thought on “Creative Marketing Strategies … Secrets to Guinness Creative Design

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