Tradition and digitalization.-The digital activation of a centenary brand.

González Byass.

González Byass is one of the largest winery groups in the world, being active in more than 100 markets. The company has been running for more than 185 years, so it needed to rethink its position in the digital environment. To achieve this goal, they contacted Good Rebels, an international partner that would boost their entire digital ecosystem and increase their conversions.

A brand with history.

1835 was a memorable year. It’s the year in which González Byass was founded in Jerez de la Frontera, Samuel Colt patented the first modern revolver, Charles Darwin reached the Galapagos Islands, Mark Twain was born, Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor, died, the first Carlist War was in full swing, and a locomotive reached, for the first time in history, 100 kilometres per hour. It was, without a doubt, a radically different world.

Fast track to 185 years later, González Byass is a leading multinational company in both the production and marketing of wines and other alcoholic beverages. It operates in over 100 markets with over 1,000 workers at its headquarters in Spain, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Chile, as well as in other subsidiary branches (Germany, China, and the U.S.A.).

Finding the perfect partner.

A couple of years back, the company believed it was time to rethink its position in the digital environment: what does digitalisation imply for a company born in the 19th century? What opportunities are opening up, and what are the threats in the complex digital economy? How does the current consumer relate to González Byass? What’s the brand image? Is it still anchored to the Tío Pepe sign that has presided over the Puerta del Sol for almost a century?

The presence of Good Rebels in three of the four main markets in which González Byass operates (Spain, United Kingdom, Mexico) was a significant factor for the multinational company to entrust us with its digital redefinition plan, as we would be directly involved in actions aimed at understanding and refining the local knowledge of a portafolio of 12 brands.

We worked alongside the CEO and the management, as well as with a multidisciplinary and global team created specifically for the company, coordinated with teams across the Good Rebels’ offices. Everyone involved in this project worked towards the same goal: the development of a global strategy, which aimed to strengthen, support and optimize the operations, widen the strategic vision and coordinate both local and global teams more efficiently.

The high dispersion of the organisation was a transcendental factor to consider when programming and executing any action.

Assessing the situation.

Based on this approach, we defined the main courses of action on which Rebels worked together.

First, we needed to identify the different elements of the brand experience. In this way we analyzed: the type of digital interactions, the channels used, and the images and messages that were communicated.

In terms of audiences and communities, we monitored digital positioning to find out who was talking about the group’s brands and what they were saying. We asked ourselves several questions: What type of digital audience interacted with González Byass? What was the buyer persona like? Was there a relationship with influencers?

We focused on finding out where the digital shopper was and what their behavior was like when it came to buying Gonzalez Byass brands. In order to optimize sales channels, we also evaluated which eCommerce platforms and channels worked best.

Finally, we estimated the organization’s suitability to face the digital competitive environment:

  • How do the organization’s internal processes work?
  • Where do decisions come from?
  • Are best practices and knowledge shared?

Working with the brand.

For five months, we worked side by side with González Byass to complete an assessment of the state of the company’s digital environment. To do this, we conducted personal interviews and face-to-face workshops over two days with local teams in Madrid, Jerez, Chicago, London, and Mexico City.

In the workshops, we applied the design thinking methodology intending to extract divergent thoughts and ideas (“what could we do?”) and turn them into concrete initiatives (“let’s do this”).

These workshops were complemented by a series of talks on the impact of digitalisation, from both a practical and formative point of view (“what is the impact of digitalisation on the organisation as a whole?”) and an inspirational one (“why is digitalisation good for employees and why is it good for the organisation?”).

It was crucial to reinforce the commitment of the teams involved in the change and make them participants in the transformation process.

Our diagnosis.

After the first assessments, we found a situation far from ideal standards, mainly due to the scarcity (or absence) of internal communication, the dispersion of processes and procedures, and, in general, the need for a genuine digital culture.

To solve this, we designed a comprehensive plan for digital excellence in the field of brands, business, and organisation, and from Good Rebels, we coordinated the different courses of action.

First, to unify the message and brand experience projected from any delegations or markets, we created a series of standard repositories to facilitate access to digital assets for all employees.

Additionally, we established advertising guidelines, creating a standard campaign labelling and nomenclature system for all markets and centralising accounts to control investments and ROI.

To assess the local positioning of each of the group’s brands, we devised a digital performance indicator developed by weighing different metrics and factors.

We gave González Byass exactly what it needed: a starting point from which to build a digital environment adapted to the reality of the market and the company.

We also pay attention to data, establishing guidelines for its capture and subsequent generation of operational dashboards to improve marketing actions’ results.

Finally, at the organisational level, we recommended the creation of a digital specialist team reporting directly to the CEO, which would act as a digital reference within the company for the first time. We promoted the selection and configuration of an internal communication platform from HR to capture and flow digital knowledge.

Thus, we laid the foundations for the work of consolidating the digital experience that González Byass needed to achieve another 185 years of success, at least.