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Amitava Chattopadhyay

Amitava Chattopadhyay
Emerging Market Multinationals - Amitava Chattopadhyay

Johnnie Walker: Reigniting Growth

Johnnie Walker: Reigniting Growth



The debate of whether to be global or local has been an important strategic issue for the past several decades.  The case describes Johnnie Walker’s efforts to move from a multi-local product focused brand to a global master brand.  It makes the  point that global branding is a strategic business decision. It requires an understanding of a global customer need that the master brand can authentically speak to and position around. The brand then needs to manage the the standardization of marketing activities across markets, which requires significant internal changes in structure and process, to be successful.  The case presents consumer data confronting Johnnie Walker and asks the question: What should Johnnie Walker’s global positioning be? How should the brand be managed? What should be the key next steps to build the Johnnie Walker brand?


Teaching Objectives


The case is best utilized with executive audiences or with advanced MBA students. It has been successfully taught in several executive education programs as well as in the Brand Management elective at INSEAD. It is intended to provide a platform for discussing the issues around developing a global brand in an organization that currently has a multi-local strategy with powerful local chieftains.  It allows for a discussion of:

  1. The pros and cons of building a brand around specific products versus building a master brand
  2. the pros and cons of a global vs a multi-local strategy
  3. potential triggers for change, and
  4. the importance of and the elements of internal realignment that in imperative for such a move to succeed.

The case provides data and raises the question of what should JW’s global positioning be? How should the brand be managed? What should be the key next steps to build the Johnnie Walker brand? The case also allows for a discussion of brand identity and positioning.  Finally, this case also enables a show casing of a systematic approach or process for global brand positioning.

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  Aug 5, 2017 | Cases

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