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Meet Diageos Gráinne Wafer the global brand director for Baileys

Meet Diageo's Gráinne Wafer the global brand director for Baileys

 August 21, 2018

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Daigeo is a great place to wpork and they have a team of over 30,400 talented people working together to grow their business. And Gráinne Wafer is the Global Brand Director for Baileys at Diageo, which means she looks after one of the most iconic Irish brands in the world. Arguably, an awesome job! 

Gráinne also jointly leads Diageo’s Progressive Gender Portrayal programme and is the Diageo representative for the UNstereotype Alliance, a UN and industry-wide platform which seeks to eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes in advertising. Here, Gráinne explains her role and the things that have inspired her career. 

Breathing life back into a much-loved brand 

"Baileys is a much much-loved – with a great heritage and story," says Gráinne. After a period of decline that has spanned almost a decade, Gráinne and her team have delivered sustained growth; an impressive achievement! So, how did she do it?

"By focusing on the real truths of the brand and the challenges we faced," Gráinne explains. "Firstly that Baileys is the most loved spirit brand in the world, secondly the delicious indulgent liquid, and finally the realisation that we needed a very different content model to cut through effectively at scale given the requirements to make every pound and dollar count. This led us to a strategic reframe & breakthrough – yes we’re marketing a brand in the spirits category, but moreover, we are in the business of marketing “adult treats”. By breaking into the fun, dynamic and exciting world of treating, we realized our strategy needed to focus on reminding people they could have a “treat” with a Baileys."      

Diageo Baileys  

Women represent 50% of Diageo's board and 40% of the executive committee

"I feel both fortunate and proud to work for an organisation where I have always been able to look up and see incredible women in senior positions. Now with women representing 50% of our board and 40% of our executive committee the business and cultural benefits are even clearer. We have the opportunity to use our marketing spend to shape culture and create a more inclusive and diverse society. We have committed to making a substantive change in the industry and were a founder member of the UN UNstereotype Alliance and have signed up to “Free the Bid”.

"But we also recognized that making a change in how gender stereotypes are represented in content needed a deliberate and insightful intervention and so undertook an eight-country cultural insight study which we then used to develop a simple and practical framework to drive change. We can already see the benefits. For example in India, the team used the framework to significantly change a piece of work on Black and White whiskey and on Baileys we also have seen the impact of this framework on our content. We are embedding this framework with our marketers and agencies around the globe so expect to be able to report even greater progress in the coming months."   


Diageo is full of doers and great thinkers 

"Diageo has always had such brilliant people – great thinkers and doers and this combined with such iconic brands means that performance standards have always been second to none," says Gráinne. "The biggest cultural shift I’ve seen over recent years is a greater appetite to learn, be braver and do things faster: How can we make something better? What can we do to move faster? How can we learn from our mistakes? What can we learn from other people who are doing something better? Or who have a different perspective or cultural point of view? It’s pretty informal and very collaborative –both internally and with our agency partners but with a combined will to always push ourselves to deliver something very special that stand the test of time."

Join the talent at Diageo

If you'd like to join a company with diversity and inclusion at its heart and work with some of the world's leading drinks brands, then Diageo is the place for you! Search and apply for your next career move with Diageo today. 

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