Since the one-brand company does not purchase bourbon from other distillers, forecasting and meeting demand is sometimes difficult. The brand was able to keep ahead of shortages in the past because the age range of the whiskey is 5 years 9 months to 7 years. The recent growth of Maker's Mark and whiskey in general changed this.
Maker's Mark said they tested the watered-down bourbon themselves and validated their own findings with consumer research. Both agreed that "there's no difference in the taste." Customers thought otherwise to the idea and an "overwhelming response" online against the move by customers led Maker's Mark to reverse the decision to dilute its alcohol.
If you want to change your product, create a brand extension or a new brand. If you dilute your product, you dilute your brand. If you do not respect your brand, do not expect your customers to either.
(1) "Maker's Mark reverses decision to lower alcohol content", Reuters, February 17, 2013
(2) "Maker's Mark Won't Cut Alcohol Content", ABC News, February 18, 2013
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