... this is intended as an open and free List of practical ideas for all Independent Distillers in the World who wish to consider options for developing and promoting Craft Spirits (whatever they may be), bottling at cask or high strength (46%), free of artificial additives, flavour inhibiting chill-filtration and also engaging more deeply with customers whilst supporting local communities in mutually sustainable ways, ... free of Corporate cynicism, extravagant marketing and excessive margins, ... keeping the Banks involvement to a minimum.
... a big job,
... good luck.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Ideas 64 - 100

64 - Create your unique Playing Cards, (e.g. replace the hearts, clubs, spades & diamonds with glass, still, barrel and bottle)

65 - Have an annual re-dedication day for your Stills, make it non-denominational and fun, ... invite local worthies and have a Party. It's good to give.

66 - Encourage your customers to return your empty Spirit bottles in return for free-stuff, it gets people into your Premises, ... in a buying environment.

67 - Commission local artists to create art on a theme of your Distillery, have a Gallery Show and auction lots/items for charity.

68 - Hold auctions/silent auctions on Anniversary days related to your Distillery.

69 - Remember your Garden, green and attractive surroundings help soften the Industrial nature of your Business making it more 'craft'.

70 - Hire a near by hill ! .... then hold a barrel rolling/chasing Competition.

71 - From twin-ups with other, similar Distilleries in other Countries. State this on a sign post at your premises.

72 - Find imaginative ways to be the opposite and different from large Corporate Multi-national Producers, ... and emphasise this difference, as by accentuating your Positives you expose their Negatives.

73 - Once established, show your appreciation to the Community by sponsoring young peoples Business initiatives in different ways. (e.g. providing an 'office', offering your practical experience and help them make contacts.

74 - Sponsor Community micro-loan initiatives. (i.e. Credit Union mini-loans for fledgling Businesses)

75 - Contact Whisky Commentators and introduce yourself with an invite to your Distillery or offer to send an info-pack. Publicity is Oxygen to commerce.

76 - When Large Corporate Multi-Nationals engage in publicity blunders, .... check that you aren't doing anything similar. Bad publicity can be bad publicity !

77 - Always celebrate the Birthday of your Distillery.

78 - Encourage your staff positively in their engagement in the Community, like some time off to prepare for a raft race or charity marathon.

79 - Have a mascot, ... a soft toy cartoon creature that appears on your literature.

80 - Have a characterful Logo, reflecting your individuality.

81 - Get a ghost to haunt the Warehouses, preferably moaning and wafting about the barrels or vats. Visitors love this stuff.

82 - Know in detail your local rock types, fauna, water sources, barrel oak wood source, still capacity, sizes, yeast type e.t.c. ...... some visitors will ask,, and need to be impressed with your awareness level.

83 - Experiment with different yeast types.

84 - Sell appropriate shaped glasses (e.g. Glencairn) at your Distillery so that customers get the best impression of your Products.

85 - Sign post your Distillery imaginatively and clearly for visitors.

86 - Be seen to not just sponsor an aid project, but to follow up with affirmative communications like letters, photos and visits if possible.

87 - If you like what another Distillery is doing, phone them and tell them, ... Competition can be informal and friendly if handled correctly.

88 - If an employee is an asshole ! ... keep them away from the customers.

89 - NEVER get lazy about Tax, Tax collectors can Kill a Business fast if they want to.

90 - Have a Globe of the World in your visitors centre, pin-pointing your location.

91 - Have a clear 'centre' of the Distillery which is an obvious meeting point if people get separated. (e,g, wishing well)

92 - NEVER over-extend your ambitions in relation to your income. Once Bank loans become involved, your getting dis-empowered, and profits are being siphoned off 'elsewhere'.

93 - Don't get too big, ... better two good small successes than one big partial success.

94 - Beware of Speculators making fancy offers.

95 - Get your Spirit into chocolate, jam, sweets, toffee, soap, ... in fact anything that sells and raises awareness. Local produced sauces are a good option.

96 - Make your own Ice-cream with a local Dairy, and don't forget the cream- liqueurs.

97 - Don't slag-off competitors unduly, it makes customers and commentators frown !!!

98 - Create your own Award Scheme to thank local Community volunteers on behalf of the Community.

99 - Host a Community Volunteer Lunch at the Distillery or local Restaurant to publicly thank them for their social contribution.

100 - Remember most of all, Quality, Quality, Quality.