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Winning at Home

In October 2017, we put on a series of three talks at Bar Convent Berlin - one of which was focused on helping entrepreneurs succeed in their home markets. We talked to four of Europe's most successful founders about how they've created pull and grown the local love in their cities and countries.


In this video we feature four entrepreneurs who share their experience of starting strong in their home market. They cover six topics:

  • Launching a new independent drinks brand
  • Supporting your local wholesalers
  • Hiring a brand ambassador or sales person
  • Finding your first brand ambassador or sales person
  • Training and managing your brand ambassador or sales person
  • Growing love in the trade for your brand

What are the advantages of building a strong business at home first?

In a very competitive marketplace, winning at home is critical to building a strong base to push on from:

  • It’s cheaper. You’ll spend less money on transport and travelling.
  • You have the home market advantage. You can call upon friends and contacts. You also know the local culture and understand what makes people tick.
  • Your local consumers (almost certainly) already like you. People around the world are proud of their local products and are willing to spend more for them.
  • You get direct feedback. Talking directly to consumers and listening to their feedback will help you adjust your product/pack and tighten your proposition before you fly to other markets.

Introducing the four entrepreneurs:

Alex Wolpert founded the East London Liquor Company in 2014. The ELLC focuses on making gins and whiskies that are accessible in flavour and price while being of the highest quality of production. Their distillery – based in the heart of East London – is open for visits and includes a restaurant and bar.

Miika Lipiäinen co-founded Kyrö Distillery Company in 2014. The distillery makes all of its products (single malt whiskies, gins and bitters) from a Finnish rye base in the founders’ hometown of Isokyrö.

Max Wagner co-founded Belsazar Vermouth in 2013. Belsazar is the aperitif of Berlin – produced using quality German wines and fruit brandies from the Black Forest but born in the creative hub of Berlin.

Enno Proff is General Manager for Germany of Cognac Ferrand. He launched a subsidiary of the business in his native Germany in 2000 supplying a variety of spirits to the German market.