Sometimes your work is great but it still doesn’t find the traction you expected. Take a lesson from the whiskey industry, and consider altering your target audience. Esquire has a short profile on the rise of Irish Whiskey which, before 1980, had stagnated in popularity. From the piece: 

A little history: 30 years ago, there was only one company making whiskey in all of Ireland, Irish Distillers Ltd, with two operating distilleries.

Its main business was in cheap blends, well made but not very exciting, and it wasn’t going well—domestic sales were anemic and the export market no better. Then, in 1988, the French company Pernod Ricard bought IDL and came up with a strategy: It would take Jameson, the lightest of IDL’s blends, and use it to go after vodka and white-rum drinkers, marketing it not as Irish whiskey, or indeed as whiskey at all, but as what it was—a light, smooth, and pleasant drink that went down as easily in shots as it did mixed with ginger ale or anything else. Whiskey geeks were not impressed. 

Pretty much everybody else was, though: Jameson sales took off on afterburners, growing by at least 20 percent a year for the last decade—and this without the monkeying around with age, proof, blend, or price that other whiskey brands had done in similar circumstances. 

Read the entire article here

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