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Hardys focuses new branding around “certainty in uncertain times”

Published:  06 March, 2020

Hardys has unveiled a new look for its global branding while also offering customers a 100% money back guarantee with the aim of becoming “a top 10 global power brand by 2025”.

The new branding, which will cross all markets and territories globally, was unveiled last night as part of a major re-think by parent company Accolade Wines to create a clear marketing strategy around a good, better, best hierarchy for its biggest global brand.

Ade McKeon, regional managing director for Europe, said the rebrand has been designed with the aim of plugging inconsistencies in global marketing for the brand, which is still the number one number purchased wine brand in the UK off-trade with over a £100m gap between its biggest competitor in terms of sales.

“If you look at the most well established brands in the world, they have a consistent execution across the globe," McKeon told Harpers. "Coca Cola, BMW, Rolls-Royce, McDonald’s: they have consistent iconography, consistent targets and a consistent look and feel. And I think that’s something that we, as a wine business at Hardys, have lost a little bit over the past few years.” 

This is being backed by a full money back guarantee that is being rolled out in the UK from October to December this year. 

“This is so relevant in a time around the world where consumers are uncertain about what comes next, whether that’s Brexit or Coronavirus. We can now communicate our certainty on a regular basis with our consumers at the point of purchase in stores. We can say you know what? We’re backing this. We’re certain you're going to like this,” McKeon added. 

At last night’s unveiling, Accolade drew various parallels between the uncertainty in the market today and the economic backdrop of the brand which was founded by the “father” of Australian wine, Thomas Hardy, 165 years ago. 

A century and a half later, Hardys has retained its position as the number one wine brand in the UK for a decade. 

Around 300,000 bottles are sold around the world every day – something Accolade is hoping to accelerate with the new approach. 

“We want to become a top ten global power brand by 2025, by making brands accessible, understandable and loved across the world,” a video presentation played to press confirmed. 

There has been less certainty behind the scenes at Accolade, however. 

Despite a long-standing history and remaining a favourite with consumers, a revolving door of chief execs has troubled the outlook of the company over the past ten years. 

The latest movement is due to fall in the coming weeks, when chief executive Ari Mervis will move into a non-executive position within the organisation, relinquishing the day to day responsibility and handing that responsibility in the UK over to Robert Foye, who starts next week in London as COO.

“Ari came in to put in an operating model to transform the business, and he’s successfully completed that,” McKeon told Harpers. “[Foye as COO] is the next phase of our aspirations. We have two main markets in the world, Australia and Europe. In terms of aims, we want to protect those core markets while also rapidly expanding our footprint in Asia, predominantly through China.”

Coronavirus hasn’t scuppered these plans, he said, only postponed them.

The Hardys rebrand will start with its entry level VR label which retails for around £5 in the UK.

The rest of the range will then follow, with new labels for the top level Icons range and also Hardys’ on-trade focused Foodies label to be staggered throughout the year.