Two Heads, One Ambition & A New Website

In addition to being a whisky enthusiast I’m also a digital marketer, and I’ve previously written about my whisky personal pet peeves – which you can find in my marketing article. Every now and again though you come across a site which does it well, reminding you that some brands are embracing digital.

Mobile First Whisky

The new Hankey Bannister website by Equator is one such example. although far from perfect it shows how easy it really is to get it right. both the mobile and desktop experience are quick it’s easily navigable and best of all it looks great. We can only hope that Inver House Distillers which also owns and operates five of Scotland’s active distilleries: Old Pulteney Distillery, The Speyburn-Glenlivet Distillery, Balblair Distillery, Knockdhu Distillery and Balmenach Distillery will adopt the same approach across their other websites. Of these only anCnoc is navigable on a mobile. Always one to nit-pic however I do of course have a few bug bears:
  • Navigating the brands history on a mobile requires you noticing it uses a slider, the directional arrows are almost invisible
  • The images are larger than they need to be, and due to the use of query strings are unlikely to cache
  • The blog URLs use query-string rather than more meaningful permalinks
  • The sites headers are far from SEO friendly, in particular the lack of H2s in some instances
Incredibly that’s it! The site is that good, now if I can only source a bottle…

Malt Whisky and the Web

It’s somewhat baffling that the most digitally aware brands are those looking towards overseas markets, the brand view its largest potential growth areas as being mobile traffic from Mozambique, Ukraine, Russia and South Africa. This international outlook may well be reflective of the groups status as a subsidiary of Thai Beverages, more likely though this indicates a level of snobbery still associated with the use of grain whisky in the domestic market. Well while I cannot as yet speak to the quality of the Hankey Bannister offering I’ll be keeping an eye open, any brand making the effort to embrace digital is more likely to end up in my news feed. Let’s just hope their blog becomes more active!