By James Atkinson

Independent Liquor Retailers (ILR) has launched an aggressive new marketing strategy aimed at growing its flagship Local Liquor brand in the key markets of Sydney and Northern NSW.

ILR trade marketing manager Corey Leeson said the new campaign – which is underpinned by a strong link to NRL – is the result of an extensive strategic planning process conducted with the assistance of creative agency Coordinate Group.

The outcome is that Local Liquor has renewed its major sponsorship of the Canberra Raiders NRL club and has signed a new broadcast partnership with WIN/NBN for Friday Night Football. 

The banner group has also launched one of the biggest NRL tipping competitions in Australia with thousands of participants set to compete for the chance to win weekly prizes throughout the season and the major prize of a V8 ute.

"Together with our new creative agency partner, we completed a detailed customer segmentation exercise to better understand both who our brands cater to and where there is untapped potential," Leeson said.

"The consumer segmentation identified a strong link between NRL and liquor purchasers in the markets where we are represented so it made sense to further strengthen our ties to the code."

A new beginning

The campaign puts ILR back on the front foot after founder Allen De Costa left the business to join rival ILG in late 2011

De Costa recently claimed as many as 90 Local Liquor outlets had followed him across to join the ILG banners.

Leeson told TheShout that ILR currently has 241 Local Liquor members and 165 Country Wide Liquor members across NSW, ACT and Queensland.

"We are always actively seeking to get new members into our banners but have also made it a priority to service and maintain our current membership," he said.

"Our sales people are all employed as business development managers so they have a thorough understanding of our members' businesses and provide support on helping those businesses grow."

Leeson said Local Liquor's key areas for growth have been identified as Sydney and Northern NSW and it is now actively pursuing business in these areas "with great success". 

"We recently signed up the Gladstone Hotel at Dulwich Hill which gives us a great presence in Sydney and it is a great outlet to take potential new members to show how good our members' stores can look," he said.

Groundbreaking digital strategy

The expanded strategy also includes an investment in the digital channel with an integrated social media strategy and a new website set to launch in the coming weeks that Leeson said will set a new benchmark for independent liquor banner groups. 

"I think it's fair to say that the independent banner groups have been behind the game when it comes to embracing digital so we're excited to be pioneering some new initiatives in this space," he said.

The marketing review has also resulted in a refreshed catalogue program and an expanded retail marketing calendar with a significant increase in media activity across television, radio, press, online and mobile.

Click play on the video below to watch Local Liquor's new television advertisment.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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