Nine out of ten bottles of scotch whiskey is exported out of Scotland at the rate of 36 bottles a second!. The industry supports 35,000 jobs in Scotland and has intricate distributor relationships across the world that provide employment to many thousands more, worldwide.Through vigorous lobbying over a century, the industry has ensured that no one can sell "scotch whiskey" unless it is actually produced in Scotland and aged at least 3 years in oak barrels there. It is difficult to think about any other "country brand" in any other category that is "globalization" proof at least from a competitor country angle.
Important global scotch marketing and distribution considerations include:
- 270 UK Diplomatic posts: These diplomatic posts have been able to successfully keep competitors at bay in 200 world markets. An independant Scotland will have 70 missions to start with and it will take several years a governmental presence will start making an impact. The enormous clout and goodwill of the UK in former colonies via institutions like the Commonwealth, Queen and the English language does help the "Scotch" part of the "Scotch Whiskey" country brand. It is said that Winston Churchill, the legendary UK Prime Minister during the second world war, favored Scotch Whiskey which helped the country brand marketing significantly.
- Currency and trade agreements: The free trade in the European Union and the relative stability of the British pound helps the Scotch industry in Scotland and there is general alarm in business circles about exactly how the currency issue will be resolved should Scotland really separate from UK on Thursday. In addition, all Scottish exports worldwide, including Scotch are now governed by the UK trade treaties and it is unclear about how long the process will take. Years is our guess, even with email and video calls because treaty country governments are by definition, slow as organizations and this kind of secession is not a common occurrence.
- Secession and business: Secession has a long history but examples of economic and business success are difficult to think of except say West Germany and South Korea who had fundamental economic system differences with their counterparts. In any event, just as corporate mergers and spinoffs are time challenging to manage, so with Scotland's proposed secession. If companies take years, countries take decades to settle down with the new governance format.
Whatever way the vote goes on Thursday in Scotland, the relatively amicable nature of the debate is inspiring to the numerous secessionists, worldwide. Check out John Oliver's humorous take on the Scottish independence in this rather long but thoroughly enjoyable video.Contact StratoServe.