StateWays - May/June 2016

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays n n May/June 2016 46 Larson, our NABCA Chair, was right to call this out and ensure that efforts around it were strengthened across all stakeholders. The compa- nies that make up our industry must continue to find ways to collaborate, individually and collectively, with the control state customers. Further- more, the Industry Advisory Com- mittee reinforces this by inculcating it further as we facilitate dialogue around key topics and issues across the control states landscape. There is also one other "c" word — communication — which is absolutely critical to the success of collaboration. The lines of communication, both formal and informal, must exist and remain vibrant, or the power of col- laboration cannot be fully realized or sustained. Taking collaboration and moving deeper into our com- pany, we have brand obligations to meet before we can even have a seat at the table with the control states. First, we must produce brands that the citizenry desires and then we collaborate, or "labor together," with the various control models to place it for sale to consumers. Take Jack Daniel's, for instance. We have to make great Tennessee Whis- key consistently, with the four ingredients of corn, rye, malted barley and iron-free water. The fifth ingredient, which is not really an ingredient but more of a process, is wood, which is present both within the sugar maple charcoal we drip the whiskey through, as well as the barrels it is aged within - to give it its color, character, and unique taste. Jack Daniel's, however, would never see the light of day within your warehouses or stores without an array of activi- ties on both sides of the fence. Depending on the control state operation, we need listings, approvals, orders, delivery times, authorizations, inventory space, shelf space and display space — just to name a few! That is a tremendous amount of col- laboration between Brown-Forman and each of the control states. Without it, consumers would not be able to purchase Jack Daniel's and it could not help add to those record state sales and tax revenues. Taking collaboration to yet another level, inside Brown- Forman we often discuss among our control state managers the importance of progressing from "vendor" to "partner" sta- tus with the alcohol beverage operations in each state. We think of it as a continuum where everyone begins as vendors because we all have something to sell. However, the desired outcome is to be viewed as a partner. Sales transactions are how we all get paid—but we must consistently strive to be far more than vendors to our state customers. The word "partner" implies sharing, which requires each entity to think longer term as they work toward solutions that are best for both. That is where the real power of collaboration is created, when we have shared goals and collaborate for what is best for both of our businesses. One very important shared pillar where we must continue to collaborate is in the area of responsibility. All will agree that is a high priority, but the manner in which it is approached can be very different. At Brown-Forman, we believe that we need to continually challenge our- selves to reach more consumers with effective messaging that resonates and leads to action. Taylor Amerman is an outstanding resource and has assisted several of the states with their respon- sibility efforts, while working closely with our Brown-Forman sales and marketing leadership. A great example of what col- laboration can produce in this area is the recently announced "Live Free and Host Responsibil- ity" initiative launched within the state of New Hampshire. Jack Daniel's has partnered with the state to assist in engaging its consumers in an interactive and informative manner that helps ensure beverage alcohol products are used responsibly. By creating competitions that are also built around mocktails, as well as the utilization of Tim Laird, we hope to amplify the responsibility message even further within the state. Lastly, we know control states must stock, promote and display other brands, too (Yes, a supplier actually said that!). To be true partners, we cannot think solely about our portfolio and must also balance the state's goals and product assort- ment needs. We are, however, trained to let you know when you are not getting your fair share of what our brands can deliver for you. Luckily, we are experiencing a rediscovery of whiskey, which has been a boon for all of us as consumers rethink their drinks. Jack Daniel's has lived through 146 years — and many "cy- cles" — in its existence. We fully intend on seeing many more years and cycles in the future. This long-term perspective is helpful in being better partners within the NABCA states. Building and maintaining a collaborative culture and approach takes considerable effort, however, no matter how old you are! [Committee Vice Chairman] RICK PRZEBIEDA BUSINESS UNIT MANAGER-CONTROL STATES LUXCO The theme for this year's NABCA Annual Conference, "Col- laboration Creates Opportunity," brings to mind another say- ing: "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts." Often attributed to the philosopher Aristotle, this phrase aptly de- fines the modern concept of synergy. Webster's defines "synergy" as the interaction or coopera- tion of two or more organizations, substances or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. One illustration that has been used is that of a house. Each "part"—the design, bricks, wood, fixtures, paint, the ADVISORY COMMITTEE WEIGHS IN "One very important shared pillar where we must continue to collaborate is in the area of responsibility." —N. Marc Satterthwaite, Brown-Forman

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