The Absolut Company, Sweden (Pernod Ricard)
Absolut Vodka was born in 1879, and although only launched internationally 100 years later in 1979, it has grown to be the world’s 4th largest spirit brand. The Absolut Company (TAC), still based in Sweden and owned by Pernod Ricard, retains full stewardship of the brand with a passionate workforce dedicated to the Absolut tradition of craft, community and sustainability.
In 2017, TAC commenced an extensive Cultural Branding project, seeking to harness the passion and spirit of the Absolut brand and embed sustainable and impactful values and behaviours within the organisation, where they could act as drivers of change. The ultimate objective was to connect with and motivate employees, inspiring a passion for progression and commitment to growing the business globally.
An extensive exploration phase engaged with staff from all areas to identify the ‘Cultural Web’ of TAC, uncovering the symbols, stories, structures and routines of most relevance and significance to the business, the brand and the employees. These insights informed the Values & Behaviours for TAC, which were identified and evaluated through a series of workshops and managed leadership sessions.
To give these values life and purpose, we designed a unique communications platform for TAC with a visual landscape and tone of voice that clearly demonstrated TAC culture, ensuring the values had resonance for all levels and roles within the organisation. In keeping with the long-standing Absolut association with modern art, an acclaimed Swedish artist was commissioned to illustrate 3 stunning and unique pieces that we then developed into ‘Values Icons’.
An extensive and innovative launch schedule saw the TAC Values & Behaviours introduced to the company at a dedicated conference. This began the process of creating awareness of the values and embedding them into the organisation to ensure sustainable longevity. In addition, all employees were provided with coaching tools to enable them to translate the new values into behaviours for every day.
The TAC values of Together, Audacious & Committed are now each underpinned by three behaviours that are used every day to enable the employees of TAC to truly live their values at work. Staff feel more connected and valued. The brand stable continues to grow and flourish and the company is recognised as one of the best places to work in Sweden.