News blog below...

Larder House Rum Theme Night - June 2016

Well the team at the Larder House have done it again with another excellent themed food and drinks night - June 18, 2016.

On walking through the door, we stood on a ship's deck that was actually swaying underfoot as you walked across. Made for an interesting first few minutes as you got your first cup of grog and headed into the main body of the restaurant for sure footing. Who the hell puts the effort in building a boat inside their restaurant?

Peter Holland, from the Floating Rum Shack, has been instrumental in raising awareness of rum, and sugar cane based spirits by holding monthly rum tasting nights up in the Library of Liquor. He does this on a national level and even global level via his website, and we are lucky to have him move down to the local area. From the little I have learnt so far, I know that there is a whole spectrum of rums, far removed from the Barcardi and Lambs, that I never knew about. The quality sipping rums do actually rank up there with whiskies from what I have tried.

Read more: Larder House Rum Theme Night - June 2016

English Sparkling Wines - Glass Ceiling

English Oak Vineyards is not too many miles from Poole and definitely worth a visit if you are seeking out some quality vintage sparkling wine for home or a special occasion.

You may or may not have heard, but English Sparkling Wine competes with and beats the best of Champagne.

You've probably heard the saying that the best French wines (those within our budget) are only sold locally and never get exported. I would say that this equally applies to what English Oak produces.

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Marketing events: You Are The Media - Lunchtime Club

I'm not a marketing person, I'm not a sales person, I'm not a creative person, I'm a geeky techie. After 16 years involved in running e-mango I must be doing a few things right, but they are many other things that I could be doing a lot better. That's why events where local business people can meet, gain some insights into each others work and approaches, to learn from each other in an open way and not be all anally competitive about it, are such a useful thing. I also attend the Fastgrowth meetings.

I will give Paul Tansey from Intergage a shoutout as he is someone that I like what he says and more importantly, how he says it. He is one of the nicest guys I have met in business and runs a very successful business with a great team around him. Who says you have to be ruthless in business to do well?

Coming back off the recent Once Upon A Time event held by Mark Masters, having seem him present in a very interesting and likeable way at a recent Intergage event, I decided to book myself to one of this You Are The Media - Lunchtime Club meetings. It only costs a few pounds but that basically covers lunch. You do not get sold to, no one his pitching to you, you listen in and more importantly join in. Take some learnings from it, and try and put something back in.

Mark's mantras are all about "You are the media", story telling with your brand, and being passionate about something.

Read more: Marketing events: You Are The Media - Lunchtime Club

More Rum night insights

Peter Holland held another Rum night in the Library of Liquor, this time focussing on the rums from Guyana. His previous rum nights have been a kind of Rum 101 broad overview to get people into understanding the differences in making rum and the different historical perspectives.

This time Peter made the introduction but settled back stage to allow brand ambassadors Dean MacGregor (El Dorado Demerara Rum) and Stephen Rutherford (Woods Navy Rum) to do the main event of talking us through tasting of the various rums rums from Guyana.

Read more: More Rum night insights

Once upon a time 6 - storytelling brands

Last year I missed out on the Once Upon A Time event that hosts a quartet of speakers who talk about what their brand means to them and how they built it up. Their story, hence the title, is much more than the product or service. It is about where they came from, what they stand for and the future.

The crux of these events, that Mark Masters from the ID Group puts on, is to show the importance of the company story and values, and the content that can be derived from that rather than the dry product information. The marketing approach and content approach has to touch a potential customer in a much more different than your competitors.

I unfortunately missed last year's event but was glad to have made it to this one held once again at the Shelley Theatre. This year there were these four speakers...

The show started off with Ernest Capbert, co-founder of Who Buys Your Stuff and previously co-founder of Finisterre. A colourful character, as they all are, and colourful as his language. It was all real, no airs or graces. Through sheer determination and not a great deal of understanding of their customers, Finisterre built a huge global brand and defined the Cold Water Surf scene. It was through the realisation that when asked who were their customers spending all this money on their products, the management team just didn't know, or had an assumption on a romanticised version of who they think are buying it, or who they would like to be buying it.

Read more: Once upon a time 6 - storytelling brands