Tales of the Cocktail

Brand Builder was a day of talks for people launching and growing independent spirits brands in the USA, featuring experts and successful entrepreneurs from across the industry inc. Simon Ford founder of 86 Co, Brian Ellison founder of Deaths Door, Raj Bhakta founder of Whistle Pig, Rudy Ruiz of Southern Wine & Spirits, Britt West of Plus Consulting, and John Oliver of Breakthru

20th July 2016 10:00 -

Brand Builder is a day of talks for people launching and growing independent spirits brands featuring experts and successful entrepreneurs from across the industry. The sessions will include contributions from seasoned professionals from all sectors of the industry, alongside the Distill Ventures team. If you’re looking for insight into creating and growing a successful consumer brand in the increasingly crowded US spirits market – this day is for you.

Go Deep Not Wide – getting sales traction in a market (10:00)

Planning the rollout of your brand and deciding where and how to sell it, are among the most important success factors for any spirits startup. While you may need quick cashflow, and want to shout about your launch to as many people as possible, expanding distribution too quickly can be fatal to your chances of long-term success. So it’s vital you make the right choices about where you’re going to target, what level of sales traction you’re going to get before expanding distribution, and whether you’re going to drive sales yourself or work with others. This session will include insight from experts with proven track records in helping independent brands launch and grow in the right way.

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Building Business Plans that Win (11:30)

Some brands succeed through luck. But 99% of the time they succeed because they pick the right strategy, and translate that into an effective business plan. Creating a plan which balances the need to create pull as well as push, which includes ambitious but realistic volume targets, and which meets the expectations of industry investors, is no mean feat. In this session, Distill Ventures will talk through the likely costs and expected sales performance targets for the early test years, the period of expanding outside of your home market, and the point where you start hitting national scale. For each of these phases, the founders of some of the US’ most successful independent spirits businesses will share their insights.

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Leveraging your Unfair Advantage – how small independent  brands can beat the industry’s big players (14:00)

There’s a desire amongst consumers to buy brands crafted by real people, where they see a clear mission in the company and have total transparency into how the product is made. This creates a great environment for launching independent brands – indeed, when you combine this with the importance of social media, it’s the unfair advantage independent brands have. This session will explore the consumer and media trends which create the opportunity for independent brands, and show how you can leverage this unfair advantage to punch above your weight and impact the industry.

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Winning the Pitch (16:00)

Hear three entrepreneurs pitch live to a panel of investors – from within and outside of the drinks industry – and get feedback on their proposition and their pitches. The Distill Ventures team will then talk about the important elements of successfully securing investment.This session will reveal what investors are looking for, and how to structure a pitch that can win you the smartest money around.

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Or …

Click here to apply to pitch!