I was recently chosen as one of Scotland's 40 under 40 business people by SBNN
A great honour, and I was delighted to see a lot of friends on the list as well. Setting up a business isn't easy and you need to have some key values at your heart. SBNN asked me to write a blog for them underlining a topic I am passionate about and of course customer service was at the top of my mind.
Since launch, I have made it our mission to ensure every customer is fully satisfied, whether that was hand delivering a bottle to the countryside when an order went astray - to doing our best to go the extra mile to say thank you to our repeat customers. I believe it is vital we work to ensure every time you buy a bottle from us, you receive a top quality service.
To that effect, if there is anything we can do better, any suggestions of improvements or whether you were not completely satisfied with your order, just get in touch. All emails come straight to me and I'll do my best to get back to you quickly.
Anyway here is my blog for SBNN - hope you enjoy it!
The Customer is Always Right – How Consumer Engagement Created Minus 33
When I set out to create our first spirit, I knew two things:
- It had to look great
- It had to taste great
Now, both of these on the face of it seem like simple tasks but as with anything that is sensory, it is often subjective. Therefore to appeal to as much of our target audience as possible we needed to be scientific in our approach.
I knew we couldn’t outsource this job to anyone, ‘ if you want a job done right, do it yourself’ so I set out to find a distiller who would help teach me the art of distilling and help us create the best tasting gin we could. He would sneak me into a lab and we’d work on 10 recipes a night – at the end of each week we’d have 50 recipes that I’d take to customer panels to judge their feedback. We did the same without label designs. (We learnt quickly that our helpers provided more useful design criticism before they were allowed to sample the gin than they were afterwards).
And from each session, we’d return with notes on how to improve each element and after a year of this process, we came to the winning formula. The only hiccup (pun intended) was they decided on a spirit at a 33% strength. As a result, we couldn’t legally call it gin! Rather than compromise what consumers told us they enjoyed we kept it at that level and embraced the challenges that came with marketing a gin, that wasn’t a gin.
There were some upsides though - the lower alcohol content and the absence of sugar in our recipe meant we had a lower calorie spirit and a smoother taste that allowed the lighter, more delicate notes, (the lavender, elderflower and citrus flavours in particular) to shine through leading to a better balance of flavour and a more rounded taste profile.
Since inception we have received rave reviews and continue to keep the consumer at the heart of everything we do, going out of our way to ensure they are happy. The result a 5 star review on our Facebook page, growing sales on our website www.minus33.co.uk and the crowning two achievements a high score from the world’s leading gin blogger and a 19th place spot in the top 50 global spirit innovations of 2015. But I’d like to know what you think, so give it a go and let me know your thoughts.