When was the last time you had a Bailey’s? 

Want to learn about one of the best brand turnaround's? Look no further; Bailey's truly re-positioned their brand to win, achieving both brand recognition and commercial success.

If you are anything like ‘most of us’, the last time you had a Bailey’s was probably at Christmas, as an after meal indulgence.

Occupying such a huge occasion is certainly a boon for the brand. However, at the same time the brand’s success was also its downfall as sales waned for the rest of the year. 

And it was evident in their performance.

Despite the popularity of the brand, it had been in decline since 2008, according to the IPA Effectiveness Study, 2022.

There were three key issues: 

  1. It was perceived to be between a ‘cake’ and ‘liquor’ so had a very niche ‘moment’ where it was thought off

2. It was associated with the big annual occasion i.e. Christmas, which gave it a healthy spike in sales but fell flat the rest of the year

3. It was consumed mainly by women

Bailey’s was in need of a revitalisation and the team did just that with great gusto. 

They launched a new campaign called ‘The Pursuit of Pleasure‘, which changed the direction of the brand, delivering €250 gross profit, improved ROI and evolved perceptions. 

Let’s explore what they did. 

Re-positioning the brand: Treats all year around  

The first thing they did was reposition the brand to be more suited to everyday occasions. They started with a core insight that their audience saw the brand as part cake, part booze.

They were perceived as being somewhere in the middle. This enabled them to re-think their positioning to be a compliment to desserts, whilst ofcourse still maintaining the booze element.

Rather than an occasional indulgence, they wanted to be a frequent treat that sat with other treats. So they began promoting Bailey’s as the perfect compliment to cakes, ice creams and hot drinks. 

They even created a range of variations to enforce this position and took to social media to showcase how Bailey’s can be your dessert’s best friend. 

No longer was Bailey’s the preserve of Christmas, and by creating greater associations with everyday indulgences they were able to increase brand salience and mental availability. 

They lived and breathed this new position, even developing an annual ‘Treat Report’.

Source: https://www.baileys.com/en/treat-report-2023/

Category entry points 

According to Kantar, there are fives ways to grow your brand. Amongst them is the ability to increase the number of occasions your brand is thought of and consumed. 

Source: https://kantar.turtl.co/story/brand-footprint-2022-p/page/8/1

Rather than being pigeoned holed into an after dinner drink (made for special occasions), they needed to be desired on more occasions. 

To achieve this, they looked at the category entry points, which is to ask; At what point is it likely that our audience will be thinking about purchasing/consuming a product like ours? 

This is where their re-positioning really came to life. They mapped out numerous category entry points to capitalise on, given their “everyday treats” positioning.  

Bailey’s became the perfect way to make every moment that tad bit more special. The category entry points are expansive and range, for example, from thinking about the weekend plans to an impromptu movie, where you nip to the local at the last minute. 

Anytime you were thinking about ways to spice up your treat and make it special was a moment Bailey’s wanted to be present. 

Increasing the audience

As a consequence of their new positioning, they moved the mind away from a women’s only drink to a treat for all. 

In the same way, everyone could enjoy a bit of chocolate sauce on ice cream, there was no reason for everyone not to do the same with Bailey’s. By simply re-framing the purchase and consumption occasions they made the brand more inclusive. And it worked. They were able to increase male consumption of the brand tremendously.

To top it off, they launched a campaign to drive inclusivity further, champion diversity and challenge stereotypes. The campaign featured three of the UK’s most popular drag queens, Tia Kofi, Veronica Green and Asia Thorne. 

One advert saw three witches come together to make a deliciously wicked Baileys S’Mores martini cocktail when their plans are thwarted by the weather.  


The Bailey’s story is a masterful display of adopting fundamental marketing concepts to execute a brand turnaround. Executed to the tee, Bailey’s has become a household item for all occasions and indulgences. 

So maybe, you have had a Bailey’s more recently than Christmas after all! :0)

More from the School Of Marketing

Stay Connected

More Insights


(Are you a LEARNER looking to start an apprenticeship?) Follow this link:

(Are you an EMPLOYER looking to upskill your team members?) Follow this link:


If you have a question or would like to learn more about one of our services, head to our contact page and a member of our team will contact you as soon as possible.

If you would like to reach out to a specific member of our team, please use the button below.

Library of

Blended Learning Programmes

Online-Only Structured Programmes

The Giants Marketing Masterclass

Mentoring Programme​

Mentoring Overview