Gin Jar: Marketing Plan

by | Apr 21, 2020


Breaking into the on-trade market on an indie budget. 

Gin Jar has two great brand story attributes; a solid customer niche and a reliable but novel production process.  And it goes without saying, a great range of products. But is that enough to break the on-trade market?

Founded by an extreme sports enthusiast, the ethos that drives the brand is that team-spirited, boundary-pushing, creative lifestyle. When they started, the whole production was done at the family home, from infusion to bottling and distribution. They began trading by supplying drinks at extreme sports festivals and events. However, they launched when a significant percentage of the market was shared (and arguably saturated) between hundreds of micro-distilled gin brands. Although they wanted growth as a company, they wanted to know how best to invest resources into on the on-trade. 


A flexible but definitive five-year plan.

Like many brands that have established a successful sales channel, they did not want to jeopardise their festival income to heedlessly invest in a new channel. Therefore, they needed to plan a stepped marketing strategy that would result in immediate sales from which a percentage of revenue could be levied for further growth. It’s a slow strategy, but it can build unshakable foundations for a fledgeling brand. So I suggested investing in product photography for targeted press and social media, wages for an ambassador to hand-sell and train the on-trade accounts and a stock deal for wholesalers.  I gave them some market research with competitive analysis against parallel brands, a sales progression that included company names to target over the next five years, 25 potential promotions they could do (detailing where and how they could be achieved), a communications strategy and a detailed three-year plan with marketing goals linked to costs and potential for sales, and a broader five-year plan that allowed them to explore and plan how future investment could be spent. I finished with ten motivational tips to reflect on if things became overwhelming.


Bottom line growth

Here is a regional brand scaling with impressively grounded growth. From our initial meetings to the present day, Gin Jar has made several manageable steps towards the on-trade market. They have developed a strong web presence, created a website and three-pronged social media strategy.  They have targeted and accrued listings in independent, regional groups such as the River Cottage Canteen, Butcombe and Thatcher’s brewers and Hyde & Co Leisure Ltd’s cocktail bars. They have used promotional activities such as sponsorship, collaboration, local social issues and recipe development to leverage press and social media coverage. They have placed in reputation building independent off-trade accounts such as regional grocers, garden centres and off-licenses. They have targeted niche market on-trade venues across the South-West and renovated an old jalopy into a cocktail service bar for B2B trade shows and B2C consumer shows, markets and music festivals.  They have used the jalopy to add value to on-trade accounts, offering it as a weekend outdoor additional service bar. Finally, they have created seasonal gift packaging. I take no credit for the graft involved in making this brand what it is: a phenomenal success.  

“Emily’s marketing plan was extremely helpful and came at a time when our brand was taking its first steps into retail and the on-trade. It included a market overview, sales progression, promotional and communication strategies, and a three-year growth plan with targeted goals that we could instantly act upon. Since commissioning her, we’ve grown from a start-up to a well-established business.”