Maker’s Mark uses community engagement to turn the ordinary into extraordinary

Photo by DRP on Flickr

I’m a proud member of the Maker’s Mark Ambassador Program.  And as a new resident of Kentucky, its a good thing I am because they take their bourbon seriously around these parts.  In fact, I actually think love of bourbon is a requirement for living in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

But seriously, I’m happy to be a member of the Maker’s Mark Ambassador program because it is one of the sharpest relationship marketing programs out there.  First off, it’s the envy of the liquor industry.  Second, one of the perks of the program is that I get a bottle out of my very own barrel (which is pretty cool).  And third, the company has an amazing ability to treat their Ambassadors like they are part of the company with small, little perks.

I was reminded of that simple fact this week when the company posted on their Ambassador blog about an upcoming website redesign (side note: this great blog was spearheaded by Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer).   Now let’s face it.  A website redesign isn’t exactly sexy news.  In fact, most people probably wouldn’t even notice it.  But Maker’s was able to reach out to their Ambassador program and make the community feel special by giving them a peak inside.  Here is what they posted about the launch:

Just wanted to drop you a note on a cool sneak preview (sort of). Sometime between now and Monday, MakersMark.com will look a little different. We’re launching a redesign but aren’t telling anyone but you for now. Certainly, anyone who goes there can see it, but we really want to get your feedback and let you have dibs on checking it out.

So, go to MakersMark.com sometime over the weekend or early next week and check out the new digs. Keep in mind that moving a big ole website involves a lot of complicated technical stuff I couldn’t begin to pronounce, much less explain, so if you see the site is down or something, we’re in the middle of the move. Just be patient and come back later.

Though a simple gesture, it really says something special about Maker’s Mark.  It shows that they understand their community and more importantly they know how to talk to them.  By talking to the community in a real, authentic voice, they are able to turn the simple redesign of an ordinary website into what I perceive to be an extraordinary brand interaction.  Well done guys.

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Comments

  1. Barbara Phillips Lon says

    The question is, is the phrase "moving a big ole website" authentic, as you call it, or just a perpetuation of the stereotype of Kentucky as Appalachian — barefoot, poor, and high on moonshine?

    I lived and worked in Kentucky for nine years, and I have a great deal of respect for Kentuckians. Mostly I heard "big ole" used humorously, so I wouldn't call it "authentic."

    And "new digs" sounds like tired slang from the 1970s. That's fine if the ambassadors are supposed to be people in their 50s, but Internet users in their 20s have posted some critical comments about outdated slang on some of the sites I've been to. As an editor, I would recommend dropping the pseudo-country dialect and the slang, and just writing casually but directly. Maker's Mark is a great product. They don't need to fake cuteness to promote their bourbon.

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