Advice For Starting Own Vodka Brand
Cape Town Many young South Africans are taking it upon themselves to start their own businesses amid an imminent jobs crisis, but they face one big hurdle: funding.
Fin24 user Mpho’s letter seeking advice highlights this problem, along with the challenge of intense competition he has to face.
Mpho writes: I would like to start my own Vodka brand that will target consumers between the ages of 18 to 35 years old. I have taken time to research the market regarding branding your own alcohol and have noted the market is highly competitive. I would like to get an experts advice on how to start my own alcohol brand.
Sales And Marketing Strategy
Like any industry, food & drink is very competitive. Even with a product that is fairly differentiated, youre unlikely to be moving from Zero to One, as Peter Thiel would say. Thats okay, were not all building billion-dollar businesses. However, you must still look to innovate your sales and marketing strategy in order to get the edge on your competitors.
Below Ive outlined the classic sales channels and strategy that most people take when trying to start a vodka brand, followed by a couple of ways in which we are trying to innovate.
Create A Vodka Whisky Or Gin Brand
R6 Distillery now offers Gin and Vodka Contract Distilling in Los Angeles. If you have ever thought of starting and running your own specialty Vodka or Gin company, but didnt want to build out your own facility and staff, R6 distillery private label distilling could be an option to distill your vodka, gin or even single and bourbon whisky.
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What Steps Are Needed To Start White Label Distilling
We have seen a sizable influx on new distillers that have looked for free lessons on distilling instead of making a hiring decision, it seems like there are a lot of people who want to crack into the industry. Because of this, please understand that inquiries are limited to those with serious interest. private label distilling spirit consultations are free for the first half hour with a fee being charged for any overages.
Both Vodka and gin can be distilled at the facility as well as various types of whisky. At R6, we have out own line of whisky, vodka and gin that is offered throughout regional grocery and liquor stores as well as being the recipient of many awards.
If you are new to running your own business, but have the capital to start running a spirit label, we recommend finding an investor or researching law firms, consultants and intermediaries on Mid-Market List.
S To Starting Your Own Alcohol Brand
Conduct Your Feasibility Studies
One of the first steps to take if you want to start any business is to conduct your own feasibility studies. You would need to get first-hand information about the business you intend to start if you truly want to make a success out of it.
When conducting feasibility studies, ensure that you gather the information that will help you properly analyze your strength, your weakness, your opportunities, and the threat you stand to face with such business and of course how to source raw material and all the licenses and permits needed to fully launch your alcohol brand.
If you are able to effectively conduct a feasibility study, it will make it easier for you to write a good business plan because most of the facts and statistics you need when writing your business plan would have been gathered. Your business plan should not just be a business document that you have in place when you want to start a business, but a blueprint that must guide all your business actions and inactions.
Please note that every business plan requires an executive summary, the executive summary is where you are expected to state the aim of your alcohol business, your sales and marketing strategies, your marketing goals, your target market, and perhaps what stands you out from your competitors. You are also expected to state your companys vision statement, objectives, and the niches you intend to specialize in.
Lease a Facility for Your Business
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Since Launch What Has Worked To Attract And Retain Customers
Our first goal was to be present in high traffic chain stores then , the most important goal was to give consumers a chance to taste our vodka: you cannot build a spirit brand without trial, so we invest heavily in in-store tastings. You have probably seen these in your local liquor store. Alcohol brands cover the costs to make these happen so that consumers can try before they buy. I have executed many, many in-store tastings myself, simply as part of owning the brand, but also to gather direct consumer feedback. Our current conversion rate is about 28%, which we are happy with considering we are a new brand that generally costs $25/bottle.
As a next step, we are growing our distribution in bars and restaurants: while we sell less volume that way, it is truly an even better way to allows consumers to try before they hopefully buy . In this sales channel we also benefit from the halo effect of the great bars and restaurants that carry us, and the fact that the consumer is in effect paying to sample him- or herself. Plus, we make some money, as do our distribution and restaurant partners.
For our web site, we started with just a landing page. As the brand grew, we added the brand backstory and a press page now we are working on the nationwide store locator. Similar to the way the whole company is grown, we focus on lean development when and where it’s needed.
Our One Year Anniversary
Its now been a year since we aligned with our first wholesaler. Its been an exciting year. Weve had the opportunity to brief the entire on and off-premise teams with our wholesaler. Theyve done a great job introducing the brand to their key account. The brand has achieved great success with initial placements. All things are pointed up for the brand.
Keep it up. Dont rest. Staying fresh and keeping your and promotional events new and exciting is critical. Where allowable, go ahead and run spiffs and incentives and awards for the sales reps and management of your wholesalers. Everything you do is a step in the long process of building a remarkable brand and business. Thats building VALUE!
Now that you have one or two great relationships with wholesalers let that be the model for how you will approach other markets. Feel free to use those success stories as you build and expand. Dont be afraid to focus on the failures too. Thats where true learning and experience live.
Best of Luck and Cheers !!
Look for Part Two, How To Market Your New Liquor Brand, next week.
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Its Almost Impossible To Differentiate Yourself In The Market
Ask Yourself Why? Why does your brand need to exist?
There are so many tequilas on the market these days you really have to ask yourself what niche your new tequila would fill. What would make it different than whats already available?
Great tasting juice and an attractive package, those are table stakes, says Greg Cohen, a Dallas-based marketing advisor who specializes in spirits brands. The challenge is to demonstrate how and why your brand satisfies an unmet need in the market, he adds.
What about a quality, affordable tequila? There are a handful of tequilas that are already doing a pretty good job of that. A luxury tequila for people who like a lot of wood ? That category is overflowing with contenders.
Theres always room for a high-quality, traditionally made tequila with unique aromas and flavors in our opinion, but thats not necessarily the quickest path to mass market success, so if you go that route you have to have passion and patience.
Small Batch Contract Distilling
Have you ever thought about having your own brand spirits, maybe a single malt or brandy distilled from your own wort, cider or wine. Maybe you would like to use botanicals youve foraged or selected to create your own unique gin or botanical vodka? Well, we can help turn that dream into a reality with our small batch contract distilling service.
We have been distilling for other brands since 2014 and our spirits have been rewarded with medals in most major spirits competitions ever since. Despite offering small minimum quantities, our service is fully scalable to match your ambition and we can even help with overseas export.
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Licences And Legal Considerations
This is booze. It is very heavily regulated. Which puts a lot of entrepreneurs off, but if you are willing to do the reading, follow the rules and be a little patient, you can get everything sorted in just a few months. Once its done, its not too much of a headache, and you can get on with the fun stuff.
Below is a list of the licences you will need in the UK
AWRS Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme you have to be a registered alcohol wholesaler if you wish to sell goods to retailers . The process is simple but takes a month or so to get through. Expect customs to ask for quite a lot of detail. I submitted a business plan with information on the product, market research, sales and marketing strategy. And even a three-year sales projections. I dont really believe such detailed business plans have any value in the chaotic world of entrepreneurship, but customs dont care about your opinion.
Duty stamps registration since my company acts as a UK importer, I registered for the UK duty stamps scheme. This means I can order free-standing duty stamps and send them to our supplier to be affixed with each batch. Each stamp has a unique reference number. Most countries will have an equivalent scheme for control of duty payments. If you are making your product for your local market your bottler may be able to handle this.
How To Start Your Very Own Liquor Brand
Have you ever wondered what it takes to start your own liquor brand? Needless to say, news of reality star Bethenny Frankel selling her Skinny Girl margarita company for over $100 million and reports that Diddys Ciroc deal composes much of his net worth has certainly peaked the interest of many a budding entrepreneur.
It is indeed a lucrative business, but not for the faint of heart, nor for those lacking the weighty financial means. It takes tenacity and creativity to produce your brand and get your product noticed to the point of viability in the crowded marketplace.
Building a brand of liquor is very analogous to walking into a bar as a single guy, said Charles Vaughn, Chairman and CEO of Premium Beverage Imports, Ltd. If you see something that catches your eye, a beautiful woman, you tend to focus on it, you may approach her, and you start to talk to her and get to know her a little bit. Its the same thing with liquor, if you see something that catches your eye on the back bar, youll ask the bartender about it, maybe youll try a sip of it, get a taste of it.
To help us demystify the business of liquor, we consulted Vaughn, an expert who consults entrepreneurs on building liquor brands and who launched two vodka brands himself, Atomiq and LeSin, as well as Walter Moore, the co-owner, president & chief evangelist of Campo de Encanto Pisco, to help us understand the steps involved in starting and building a successful product line.
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Clean All Your Utensils And Prepare The Area Properly
Fermenting is the next step when learning how to make vodka. Fermentation is conducted in clean, sanitized vessels that are sometimes open but often sealed from the air to prevent cross-contamination. Fermentation usually lasts for three to five days. It can be done in unsanitary vessels, but is not recommended.
Oxidative cleaners such as B-Brite are available at homebrew shops, as are sanitizers such as iodophor.
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What’s Your Backstory And How Did You Come Up With The Idea
I was born in Italy, schooled in the UK, started my career in France, then entered the spirits industry in Monaco. When I was given the chance to take a lateral transfer to the US in 2003, I jumped at it and moved to San Francisco. By 2007 I knew America was my home and became an American citizen. By the time I started my own company I had worked in marketing for about 25 years, 15 of those with Campari USA, the U.S. arm of multinational Campari spirits.
For the first 24 years of my career, I had marketed products produced by others. Then, in the 25th year, I was tasked with creating and launching a brand for the company, and Espolòn Tequila came to be. I am proud to say that it is often called the Titos of Tequila for its rapid growth, and this success gave me the itch to create my own products, rather than market others. I tried to do this within Campari, presenting many models to show how this could work, but we could not come to an agreement.
So, in my mid-40s I walked away to launchWolf Spirit Distillery, with the mission to live courageously with great purpose to be honest and, frankly, hell-bent on upending the system. Every day, I aim to inspire richer life experiences and to satisfy a literal and figurative thirst for whats real.
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How To Create Your Own Line Of Liquor
Creating a new liquor is an art as well as a business. There’s the art of creating a new liquor good enough to attract customers. Marketing liquor is also an art, crafting a story and image for your line, perhaps designing unique packaging. You’re asking people who probably already have a favorite liquor to try yours instead, so your image and your product have to be appealing.
How To Start A Vodka Brand
When figuring out how a private label vodka would cost here are a few things to take intoconsideration. The first thing we want to think about is your budget.
PACKAGINGThe liquid itself is not the most expensive part of the finished product, the packaging is.Packaging means all dry materials : Bottle, labels, cork, capsule, outer box. There are manydifferent techniques for your design : traditional self adhesive labels, silk printing, coating, frosting, engraving, etc etc. Each technique has a different cost, and a minimum order quantity per order. The choice of your design will make your final price, it is very important to take this into consideration, as sometimes it can be a very costly design, therefore high cost of the finalproduct, which mean high retail price, and hard to sell.
BOTTLEWe do advise to choose a standard bottle, from a glass manufacturer, because creating your own bottle, which means your own mould, will cost a lot of money , and a minimum quantity to run a production which will be very high. When you choose a bottle, try to choose a bottle with the maximum sizes available. Meaning choose a bottle with a least 700ml and 750ml sizes, . Bottles can go from 0.30euros/unit up to more than 2 euros/unit. Once you have chosen your bottle, and made sure the supplier has stock , you can start your design.
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Your Bar Becomes More Efficient
With accurate analytics, you can keep what you need, cut out what you donât, and optimize everything. In other words, if customers consistently request Titoâs in their vodka cocktails, you can change your menu to make Titoâs the default option. Or, if you typically have slow foot traffic on Saturday afternoons, you can use that knowledge to offer a deal on all Titoâs cocktails since you know your customers love them. While youâre at it, you can cut out the other vodka brands you have in stock that donât fly off the shelves like Titoâs does.
Speaking of Titoâs, letâs move now into the real reason weâre here: the most popular vodka brands, according to our clientsâ sales data.
Several companies have produced a hard seltzer in response to the growing demand for hard seltzer.
To get into hard seltzer sales, vodka companies are offering their own variations. Smirnoff has released a Sparkling Seltzer in a stunning array of flavors. It has zero sugar, zero calories.
You can purchase Smirnoffs, naturally-flavored Infusions. Infusions are available in naturally flavored Cucumber/Lime, Strawberry/Rose, and Watermelon/Mint. Add four ounces of club soda to two ounces of your favorite Infusions flavor and youve got a great summer drink.
There Is A Long And Steep Learning Curve Ahead
So, youve figured out why your tequila should exist, do you know how it should be made? There are a variety of both traditional and industrialized processes in use that can radically affect your final product.
Whether you are going to build your own distillery, or contract out an existing one, you need to know about the different kinds of tequila making processes. Dont try to do all your research online. You have to come to Mexico, visit distilleries, meet tequila producers and really see how things work and taste! on the ground.
And a big part of this is understanding the dynamics of the agave price cycle and its relationship to various types of tequila production, Szczech says.
This is because when you make your tequila, and how you make it, not only affect your costs and quality, but also the industry at large. Producers who choose an industrialized diffuser process tend to use younger agaves, taking them out of the market before traditional producerswho rely on mature agaves for their higher sugar content and flavor complexitycan use them.
Which kind of producer will you be? Start by identifying which brands you like, and learning about what it takes to make a quality tequila.
But thats not all. Youll also need to learn about the complicated tequila regulations in Mexico, how to register your brand name, and how to get your labels approved by both the USA and Mexico.
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