Brown-Forman taps Sid Lee for corporate assignment

The agency will help the maker of brands like Jack Daniels communicate its history and bring cohesion to ESG efforts.

Brown-Forman Corporation, the parent company of alcohol brands like Jack Daniel’s, Herradura, Finlandia and Woodford Reserve, has picked Sid Lee as its corporate communications and digital strategy partner.

In its new role, Sid Lee will lead efforts tied to corporate-level projects and initiatives, such as environmental, social and governance initiatives, investor engagement or recruitment efforts.

The partnership has already begun, with agency and Brown-Forman’s own marketing team redesigning the company’s corporate website to better reflect its story as a family business that has grown into an international enterprise with more than 150 years of history, says Vincent Ramsay-Lemelin, ECD at Sid Lee in Montreal.

“One of the main goals with this website redesign is to share … the story of this Louisville company that has built a successful international business by keeping their values of craftsmanship and care for the humans working alongside them,” he explains. “For many brands, the website is integral to the connection with consumers, business partners, investors and current and future employees. Moving forward, Brown-Forman aims to attract more talent as well as business partners to be able to elevate its products even more.”

Sid Lee is now working with the company to construct a narrative framework to tell the story of its ESG initiatives – internally and externally.

According to Elisabeth Jamot, VP of creative strategy at Sid Lee in Montreal, the company’s ESG initiatives are built around four pillars: diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, alcohol responsibility and work within its communities.

“They have their four pillars and each of those pillars has a long list of initiatives already in place and its own agenda. But they move forward in parallel more than in synergy,” explains Jamot. “We’re helping them craft the story that will hopefully create more synergy, and in doing so, we’re hoping not just to help them find clarity and cohesion, but also more direction for the future.”

The initiative is an important one for Brown-Forman for a number of reasons, she says.

“We live in a world where analysts will ask you what your EBITDA and margins are, but they’ll also ask you what your point of view on sustainability is,” says Jamot. “For companies, it’s important to have an ESG story just as they have a business story or history. Brown-Forman understand this narrative won’t just enable them to tell their story, it will enable them to write the future of it.”