Client: Pickering's Gin
Product: Gin Baubles
Title: Gin Baubles
Media: Strategy for NPD/social media campaign
Date Of Campaign: October 2016 onwards
Background: Founded in 2013, Pickering’s Gin has been steadily gaining ground as a quirky, premium and spectacularly smooth product, distilled in the former dog kennels of Edinburgh University’s veterinary school. With 40 new gin distilleries opening their doors in the UK in 2016 alone, the competition has never been fiercer in the craft gin category. We needed a radical strategy to shake up the market – and push our brand to the front of the crowd.Best known for our award-winning range of 70cl bottles of Pickering’s Gin, we decided to use that traditional festive icon, the Christmas tree bauble, to create a new promotional product – not just for the brand, but for the category – to ensure we stood out.The strategy needed to align to our values. Pickering’s has a mantra: be remarkable. And what’s more remarkable than a Christmas bauble full of gin? We aimed to a) increase brand awareness, b) increase membership of our CRM programme – Ginfriends, c) expand our social media presence and d) ultimately sell more gin.
Idea: We decided to pilot the idea, to see if it would fly. Initially we sourced a few hundred baubles, designed the packaging, then the folk at Pickering’s started filling the baubles by hand. But this was taking far too long. So with a background in engineering, (Pickering’s are the Botanical EnGINeers) the founders invented a machine to fill the baubles and set up a mini bauble factory within a distillery. In no time, our elves would have baubles flying off the shelves!To meet our goal of growing our CRM database, we required consumers to become a Pickering’s Ginfriend in order to purchase the baubles. To this end, once purchasers became a Ginfriend they became brand ambassadors through social media, meeting our next objective of increasing our online brand presence. We initially sparked interest in the baubles by emailing our existing small database and posting on our social media channels. Paired with our #Ginbaubles social media competition – which encouraged customers to upload a picture of their baubles on their Christmas trees to win a ‘top up’ bottle. We ignited a frenzy. The campaign went viral (no, it really did!). The story was picked up by CNN, Fox News, The Stylist, the BBC and countless online blogs and websites…the press and influencers descended – American icon Martha Stewart wrote about our baubles on her website and Facebook page unprompted – and by Christmas 2016, our new business problem was demand outstripping supply!So we boxed clever in 2017. We released a film of our Baubles harvest in July then released our baubles in batches, fulfilling demand at a pace we could handle, therefore building anticipation AND growing our database – people signed up to the ‘waiting list’ to ensure they got their hands on our baubles in time for Christmas!This year we have bought a million baubles…
Results: It required a leap of faith to commit to the substantial business investment. But it paid off in market disruption.The press came knocking and the phone was ringing off the hook. One Stylist Magazine’s Facebook post received 153,123 likes alone. The press came knocking and the phone was ringing off the hook. One Stylist Magazine’s Facebook post received 153,123 likes alone.We achieved global reach and picked up admirers online such as Martha Stewart, Jo Whiley, Amanda Holden and Lynda Lopez all endorsing our product to their millions of followers.We picked up admirers online such as Martha Stewart, Jo Whiley, Amanda Holden and Lynda Lopez all endorsing our product to their millions of followers.By November 2016, 31.3% of referrals were from social media. 99.1% from Facebook. Of that number, 85.5% of traffic was new visitors to the site.• INCREASED CRM PROGRAMME: Ginfriends went from a starting point of 2,379 and increased to over 21K.• INCREASED BRAND AWARENESS: Prior to the baubles strategy, traffic to the website was very Scotland-centric. Now it’s worldwide.• NEW MARKETS: International coverage means Pickering’s have opened two new export markets in Denmark and the Republic of Ireland.We saw the potential of the baubles to really boost the profile of the brand. We have plenty of admirers and even some imitators. The strategy changed the shape of the business financially and strategically.So with a remarkable product and a 21st Century strategy, you can change the landscape of a category and the course of a small business.