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Joaquin Gonzalez Elevating Campari's Icons in Latin America

Photo for: Joaquin Gonzalez Elevating Campari's Icons in Latin America

23/01/2024 Navigating Diverse Flavors, Strategic Horizons, and the Essence of Liquid Innovation.

Joaquin Gonzalez, the newly appointed Brand Manager for Campari Group's diverse portfolio, brings over a decade of expertise, strategic brilliance, and a penchant for crafting liquid narratives. Join us on a journey as we delve into Joaquin's vision for iconic brands like Aperol Spritz, Campari, and Riccadonna, exploring the unique flavors he plans to infuse into the Chilean market and beyond.

Joaquin, congratulations on your role as Brand Manager for the Campari Group portfolio! Can you give us a glimpse into your vision for managing a diverse range of spirits, particularly focusing on flagship brands like Aperol Spritz, Campari, and Riccadonna Italian sparkling wine?

Thank you for your thoughtful wishes. I'm excited to share a closer look into my role as a spirits manager in my career, drawing on the wealth of experience gained from leading premium brands in global companies like Diageo and Bacardí-Martini managing the category leaders of the Chilean industry, and now steering strategic initiatives in collaboration with the distributor DESA (Distribution & Excellence) for Campari Group within the Chilean market.

With over a decade of experience in multinational spirits companies, you have a strong background in marketing, communication, and brand strategy. How do you plan to leverage this expertise in your new role to enhance the market presence and consumer engagement for Campari Group's brands?

My journey in the spirits Industry has been defined by strategic leadership focusing on premium brand management. From orchestrating portfolios such as Diageo's Reserve Portfolio to guiding iconic labels like Patrón, Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire, and St. Germain, among others., I've developed an acute sense of how to position brands for success in the competitive spirits market. These experiences fortified my skills in navigating the intricacies that define premium spirit, this forms the bedrock of my approach and is pivotal as I transition into my role with Campari Group. As a former boss once told me: “Retail is Detail”, and the details make every difference.

Having navigated the Chilean spirits market extensively, what unique insights can you share about the local dynamics, and how do you intend to tailor your marketing strategies to resonate with the tastes and preferences of Chilean consumers?

We must navigate complexity with finesse, and my experience has been a testament to this skill. Whether its understanding nuanced consumer preferences or aligning diverse teams for a common goal, it revolves around fostering synergy and driving results, a philosophy that resonates in our collaborative efforts with DESA. Tapping into the vibrant spirits landscape of Chile and South America is a thrilling venture. My background provides a unique sense of perspective to navigate the dynamic preferences and refined tastes prevalent in these regions. Chile is an innovation market, with a strong development of mixology culture, and a very knowledgeable consumer, with a very sweet palate for cocktails, so these are factors that significantly influence our strategy in positioning Campari Group's portfolio.

Your experience includes leading Integrated Activity Planning (IAP) and strategic planning for Bacardi in Chile. How do you foresee applying strategic planning to elevate the marketing game for Campari Group and foster collaboration with local distributors?

In my current role, collaborating strategically with DESA is a key focus leveraging my expertise to align Campari Group's portfolio with DESA's distribution prowess to have strong communication with wholesalers. The Activity Plan involves all the stakeholders to ensure a strong result. It's about a partnership where our combined strengths amplify our presence in the Chilean market, creating a powerful impact that extends beyond conventional boundaries.  My new role entails a balance of Chilean expertise and also  Latin American markets. The process, techniques, and insights acquired from my previous roles form a strong foundation, while a keen awareness of local preferences ensures a harmonious blend that resonates authentically with consumers. My experience includes forging strategic alliances with key players in the industry. These collaborations have not only expanded market reach but also facilitated a deeper understanding of consumer expectations. By working hand-in-hand with industry leaders, I've been able to leverage their expertise to reinforce the success of the brands I've managed.

Your past roles involved crafting brand stories through sponsorships, events, and digital strategies. Can you share your creative vision on how you plan to narrate and position the captivating stories behind Campari Group's brands?

My mission is to infuse the Campari Group portfolio with premium techniques and strategic brilliance. It's not just about managing brands; It is about creating premium experiences that mark consumers' daily lives and are impacted at all touch points. We must be present in their journey, delivering satisfaction in the On Trade, with the correct distribution and easy recognition of the product in the Off Trade, the visual impact in the media, and marking with iconic experiences that become lifestyles. We must create a distinctive niche in the Chilean and Latin American markets.

You’ve had a successful track record managing premium portfolios for Bacardi-Martini and other premium brands. How do you plan to bring your expertise to elevate the profile of Campari Group's premium offerings, considering the distinctiveness and allure associated with these brands?

As a marketer, adaptability is paramount. Navigating the Chilean-Latin American landscape requires a dynamic and rapidly changing approach. My role involves not only adapting strategies that come from global but also innovating within the local context. This adaptability is complemented by a good eye for the unique opportunities and challenges that this region presents, but beyond that, we must be faithful to our sense sensations since these are what direct the results to have your stamp. The objective is not only to be present but to be a formidable force, understanding local nuances and integrating them perfectly into our strategies, ensuring that the Campari Group portfolio continues to stand out in the market.

Your roles have involved working with renowned global brands like Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose, and Johnnie Walker. Having worked with such globally recognized brands, how do you envision contributing to the global narrative of Campari Group's portfolio? Any thoughts on co-branding initiatives or partnerships that could amplify the international presence of these brands?

We have the presence of leading brands within their segment that have become role models within the industry. Our Campari aperitif, recognized worldwide as the specialist in the classic negroni; and Aperol Spritz, the number one spritz in the world, already leave us with high standards in their wake. What we must achieve is to continue attracting new consumers and maintain the base we already have, this is purely a matter of communication and keeping up with trends. In our case, we approach a new niche together with Aperol Spritz by participating in the most important music festival in the world, Lollapalooza, creating new spaces for conversation with new generations. Our idea is to be the next step in the spirit beverage preference of our consumers when opting for premium products.

Digital platforms play a crucial role in marketing in today's landscape. Considering your leadership in digital strategy in previous roles, how do you foresee incorporating digital channels to enhance the visibility and engagement of Campari Group's brands in the digital landscape?

In the digital sphere, my approach emphasizes leadership and innovation. By collaborating with DESA, we aim to not only embrace digital trends but also set new standards. As a leader, I have the responsibility to ensure that Campari Group brands maintain a cutting-edge presence in the digital sphere, creating a lasting impact on our audience. In the field of digital innovation, the knowledge acquired worldwide with Diageo and Bacardi-Martini constitutes a powerful asset: It is a medium where you can segment, with good reach, direct the correct message to the target audience, create conversation, direct and persuade purchase, with easy and quick measurement at a minimum cost per contact.

What can we look forward to with your new role within the Campari Group? 

In summary, my years of experience in the spirits market have been characterized by strategic leadership, collaborative efforts with industry leaders, and a consistent track record of driving sales of number-one brands across multiple segments. This wealth of experience uniquely positions me to contribute significantly to the success of the Campari Group in the Chilean market honed by managing premium brands globally. The collaboration with DESA amplifies our collective capabilities, marking the beginning of an exciting chapter for Campari Group in this vibrant region.

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As we savor the words and the spirits in this captivating interview, it's evident that Joaquin Gonzalez is not only a brand manager; he is a storyteller, weaving liquid narratives that resonate with the vibrant soul of Latin America. He is the craftsman of Campari's iconic brands, whose vision and expertise promise to leave an indelible mark on the Latin American spirits scene. Cheers to the artistry of Joaquin Gonzalez, elevating Campari's legacy to new heights in the heart of Latin America!

In conversation with Malvika Patel, Editor and VP, Beverage Trade Network

The 2024 Bartender Spirits Awards results are out! View the results here.