... 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 53 - 64

53 - Only drink 'anoraks' tend to methodically attend tasting events, so why not spread the net a little wider and sponsor 'Fusion Tastings', keeping things local. e.g. a local Historian Power-point Presentation and local Deli Buffet along with your Spirit providing a three-way experience, with perhaps a local musician to provide occasional music.

54 - Allow visitors to your Distillery to fill their own commemorative bottle of Spirit straight from the Barrel or Store-jar, at the same time allowing them to sign a visitors book, (take note of their full name and address) then a year later, send them an anniversary card with an on-line order discount voucher.

55 - Offer visitors to your Distillery the opportunity of a smell-test, with several sniff-bottles available providing a variety of common (e.g. vanilla) and uncommon (e.g. geranium) smells.
Keep it fun, and call it something like 'smellology'. Give daft prizes to super-smellers.

56 - Show your pride in your location of Distillation, incorporate your National Flag colours into your labels on some or all of your Spirits.

57 - Offer special Taste-and -Try-the-Range days with your Distillery staff involved in Questions 'n' Answers. This lets people try your produce before committing to buy. Note that people tend to buy more after 'samples'. Provide transport to and from your Distillery so that there is no drink-driving problems.

58 - Offer unique special samples with pre-ordered Bottles and cases.

59 - Provide mini-tasters to your Spirit sales outlets. These mini tasters would be tiny 2.5 ml plastic cups, foil covered, and allow your retailers to let potential customers take a sample away to taste in their own time. This is a very good 'commitment statement', and the retailers will appreciate not having to open a bottle in their Shop if they have drink-licence issues.

60 - Keep things good natured and fun. One of the issues concerning Scotch Whisky is how increasingly anal and snooty some professionals are with talk of 'Exclusive' this and 'Rare' that with 'Limited Editions' scattered like confetti at a wedding.
Promote your Spirit as Inclusive and Available.
Show your egalitarian, One-World sensibilities,
This is a contemporary attitude reflecting positivity.
don't pander to superficial snobbery, it's not big, it's not clever, and not good for long-term Business for when the moment arrives where the hype cannot be backed up with quality.

61 - Never patronise women with dated chauvinism. It's old-fashioned, pathetic, and bad for sales.

62 - Have an 'I-was-here' White Wall in your Distillery where visitors can sign their names and leave messages (of support) Have a wiper ready to wipe off 'bad' stuff.

63 - Have a 'Let-us-know-how-you-got-on-with-our-Spirit' card included with all your Bottles leaving space for open opinions, contact phone number, and with a clear Distillery return address. All returns go into a raffle. Prizes should be worthwhile.

64 - Special loyalty tokens included with each purchase, ... when 5 or 10 tokens collected, the purchaser can claim a free mini of superior Spirit with next purchase. This encourages trading-up of customer.