How to create strong businesses & brilliant brands

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  • How to create strong businesses & brilliant brands

    Dan Gasper - ACSA, Chicago, March 2016

  • We believe that best entrepreneurs spend their effort on the things that really make a difference while simultaneously ensuring smooth operations.

  • Getting the right balance is crucial, and to help entrepreneurs get the right

    balance, weve come up with a simple structure for how to manage time to

    ensure you are doing all the things you need to do to ensure success.

  • The middle 3 bricks are the spine of a strong business and the 2 bricks on the

    side are the supports required for success.

  • Good information allows you to make good decisions - so have easy access via a

    dashboard to all the essential numbers in your business - your costs of goods,

    your sales prices, your margins, your sales and production forecasts.

  • Cash is king, good cash flow management is essential - always know how much

    money you have in the bank and what that bank balance will look like 6, 12 & 18

    weeks ahead.

  • Ensure you can work efficiently by having the right professional support from lawyers, accountants

    and IT providers. Find those specialist who have experience of working with small businesses and

    better still drinks businesses. Working with good lawyers to get IP, corporate structure, contracts

    with brokers and compliance, right from the get go will save you loads of time and money.

  • Manage your investors well, continually build belief in the opportunity, and

    your teams ability to deliver.

  • Strong scalable supply chain - this is a Chip Tate quote from our talk at Tales of

    the cocktail last year, make sure that if your camp fire becomes a forest fire, you

    are prepared!

  • The second brick is Being a Great Entrepreneur. There are many elements to being a great entrepreneur, but this presentation focuses on TEAM.

  • The drink business is one of the toughest industries in the world so you need to

    always be upping your game. You have entrepreneurial qualities that have lead

    you to create the business you are running today but continuing to develop

    yourself is key.

  • Being honest about your personal strengths and weaknesses is crucial. Knowing what you are bad at

    allows you to hire people better than you at certain things - this will make your business stronger.

    Consultants - they are very useful and can help greatly but they are not to be confused with a team

    member - building team members over the long term will pay higher dividends than any long term


  • Even the best tennis players have coaches. So no matter what youve done so

    far, other smart perspectives from experienced mentors can be very helpful.

    When choosing investors, try to find investors who bring smarts and experience,

    not just cash.

  • You have hundred of bars and retailers near your HQ - make sure they get

    your love first and continued support.

  • Focus on your state and learning what gets bars and stores selling your product -

    you have plenty of time to go national/international.

  • They are looking after your child, so make them want to do it right - having a

    great relationship with them will make your life so much easier - find the guys

    and the girls who are focused on the accounts you want to be in - love them and

    make them want to take your call.

  • Train their sales team, go on ride alongs, hire a sales manager or brand ambassadors who will work

    with their team and develop a great relationships with them and your accounts, have a trade

    marketing budget and keep them engaged with your sales successes always have new news - we

    believe that success with distributors, comes from the value you add, to the value they are marking.

  • These pies are total volume of sales in USA in each category, split by price (IWSR 2015 off trade sales totals by value). If your business model is to sell small volumes at a high price thats great - but selling large volumes at a high price, rarely happens.

  • Be generous. If everybody in the chain is making good money, then your hard work will be twice as effective and if you start with a compelling margin story and your accounts will be all ears about your great liquid and brilliant brand.

  • Deaths Door is a gin from Washington Island and all the grain is grown on that Island. What is distinctive is that Brian decided to call it Deaths Door gin, instead of Washington island gin. When people ask whys it called Deaths Door, they can read the bottle and understand very quickly the story linking the provence of the ingredients and liquid. This is a great example of combining a great liquid story with name and bring it to life on the pack.

  • Texas whiskey is already quite a distinctive idea, so to bring Texas to life on pack, you see items like the Lone Star (synonymous with Texas). Then to make it even more distinctive, they use of the blue colour and picture of corn to bring to life the distinctive base ingredient, on pack. All of this make this pack really stand out in the whiskey world.

  • Distilled from honey, which is pretty distinctive in a category made predominantly from industrial GNS. To ensure that the distinctive message is understood by people, the founders decided to call the product Comb, using the golden colour of honey for the cap and also using a honey comb pattern for the label. The importance of bring the story of product to life on pack is enormous as it gives the trade and consumer a really concise way of telling people what you are about.

  • This is how people used to let the world know about their brands

  • The new world is about conversation and being interesting is what wins in this world

  • We have tried to give you a structure to create a strong business and brand - we recommend you use these bricks to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business and strategy. If you and your team have the right balance covering all the parts of the 5 bricks, we believe youll have a business that lasts.