In the first of a special two-post feature on our Marketing and Society student projects, co-creators of the Gower Gin Company Siân and Andrew Brooks, tell us about their experience of creating a marketing campaign for the artisanal gin sector together with Cardiff Business School students.
Holding up a bottle of (naturally) brightly coloured gin to Cardiff University’s second year BSc Business Management students over a Zoom call and getting an enthusiastic, “I’d buy that” gave us a great insight into the instant appeal of colour to students today. Not only that but, as a small company, many of our gin plans are made over a cup of tea (or glass of gin, time of day permitting) in our kitchen and we need a different perspective; these young and enthusiastic student voices have rejuvenated our thoughts and ideas.
The Gower Gin Company Ltd started in 2017 with a mission to create artisan spirits infused with the flavours of the Gower peninsula – an area of outstanding natural beauty and resources on the South West Wales coastline. We now have a portfolio of 7 of our own products with many having won national and international awards. And we also make bespoke gins on contract for lots of people all over the UK too. Getting to this point over the last three years has definitely been a rollercoaster, but we’ve loved every minute.
But back to those different perspectives…
The Gower Gin marketing project is one of several group projects which students undertake in the Marketing and Society module run by Dr Carolyn Strong as part of the BSc Business Management (Marketing) degree at Cardiff University. We were delighted to be contacted Carolyn to work with the students and have thoroughly enjoyed all the collaboration with Cardiff Business School to date. Their energy is infectious and we’ve been so impressed by how informed they are about marketing strategies and analysis of our market.
Initially, we presented our company to the group and described some of our marketing successes and also some of the challenges we face. We shared our values too: not wanting to promote excessive drinking and wanting a socially responsible campaign.
“When the students presented their ideas back to us, we were delighted. Even details like creating a slogan for us: “GŴYR – a Gin Worthy of Your Recognition” has inspired us.”
The Zoom meetings feel as if we’re collaborating with a focus group who are keen to translate our vision for our company into an exciting and viable marketing campaign.
Key to the success of the project has been establishing a rapport and Carolyn has helped create a positive and informal atmosphere in meetings.
We loved the students’ Instagram stories too where they dressed up in Gower Gin stripes. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has inevitably affected some of our plans, but the students’ resilience and adaptability is of particular note and we’re sure that the campaign launch – moved from St David’s Day to Freshers’ Week 2021 (due to face to face restrictions) – will actually widen the appeal of the campaign.
So, look out for an exciting campaign in the Autumn… and possibly a new coloured Gower gin too!
Siân and Andrew Brooks are the co-creators of The Gower Gin Company.
Developed and delivered by Dr Carolyn Strong, the Marketing and Society module introduces students to the role and impact of marketing in society, and on a variety of stakeholders.