Brand Positioning: Captain Morgan


Brand Positioning: Captain Morgan

POD (points of difference):  attributes or benefits consumer strongly associate with a brand – cannot find same attributes in another brand

Quality spiced rum, Spiced Flavor, go-to-dark rum for spiced flavor

When requesting a spiced rum, people often simply request “Captain and Coke” as their beverage of choice.

POP (points of parity):  associations not unique to brand – can be associated with other brands

In this instance, the point of parity is the type of liquor – Rum.  We discussed that when regular rum is requested (as in a directive for a purchase at a store), the standard go to would be a Bacardi White Rum [although the Captain Morgan brand does have a white rum, their marketing seemingly markets the Spiced variant the most strongly]

Recognizable rum brand.

Differentiate product: Recognized brand, quality spiced rum, spiced flavor, “THE Captain”

While we pointed out the above features as ways to differentiate the product, the Captain is definitely a defining feature of the brand.  Worldwide, many people recognize the Captain’s stance.

Product life cycle:

–          Calling All Captains

–          Re-vamping captain look – in my previous job, I worked on a large re-branding project for Captain Morgan.  The goal was to make him less cartoon-ish and give him a fresh, slightly updated style but the brand features had to be maintained in order to maintain brand recognition.


The positioning statement that we came up with:

Captain Morgan is calling all those 21 years old and over fun seekers looking for a spiced rum adventure to enliven their crew members; Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, join the Captain and drink responsibly.

Market introduction stage

–          Ty ku sake, skinny girl margarita

Growth stage

–           Ciroc

Maturity stage

–          Jack Daniels

Saturation and decline stage


When performing a laddering exercise, Captain Morgan will probably be one of the first rums mentioned.


As I further research Captain Morgan Brand positioning, I find that the Captain is being used as an actual character in situations rather than simply the brand name and people emulating the brand character in the bar as they are consuming the beverage.  This reminds me of the Dos Equis videos where “The Most Interesting Man in the World” represents their brand.  Diageo uses The Captain as a leader in how to react in situations outside of simply drinking. I thought these were interesting.  Not only does it relate to the information given to me regarding Diageo’s desire to make Captain Morgan more human, less cartoon,bring a higher brand status, and certainly less “meathead” as suggests.

When working with Diageo, we followed their Gate System.  Although the ideal time for my company to become involved was Gate 3, we were quickly working with the Diageo Innovations team at Gate 1 in order to help them present design ideas and concepts to senior stakeholders.  The cycle change and having us work further upstream with the Diageo team meant that our work may or may not continue after Gate 3 if it had been determined that the project would not continue.


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