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Freedom brewer Steve Wood: brewery looking to hire two brand ambassadors   

 

Freedom Brewery steps up in £3.5m marketing push

Freedom Brewery has raised £3.5 million to fuel a sales and marketing drive for its core range of lagers.

Two brand ambassadors are being hired to take Freedom’s message into the licensed trade, and the company has begun work with a creative agency to plan competitions and events to raise awareness.

The campaign officially launches at the end of the summer and though there are growth targets, according to marketing manager Tim Giles no fixed timescale has yet been decided.

Recruited in February from distributor Hi Spirits, where he was brand manager for American whiskeys, Giles hopes Freedom can learn from the way spirits brands engage with trade customers.

The focus will initially be on the UK on-trade, where the brand is now in more than 2,000 outlets plus more listings with national chains going live in July.

“We believe that it’s extremely important for both our own staff and the on-trade who are selling our product to be knowledgeable,” explained Giles.

“Brand ambassadors will help develop confidence, awareness and enthusiasm for the brand as well as ensure our message is passed on to the people who drink our beer and help them understand our ethos and key credentials such as heritage and sustainability.”

Consumers will get an early taste of the new strategy at Nottingham Craft Beer Week, which starts on 9th June, where Freedom will be hosting an escape room competition.

“We want to tighten up our messaging and make it more engaging for consumers,” continued Giles, adding that the focus will be on the core range, rather than on launching new styles to directly compete with craft brewers.

“We’ve been around since well before craft beer was a thing. Freedom is about consistently good lager, and people don’t really think of ‘craft’ like that.”

Marketing activity, including above-the-line advertising, PR and experiential and extensive social and digital campaigns, will be built around the concepts of ‘Freedom of expression’ and ‘My 25th Hour’ – introduced last year after it was revealed that three-quarters of UK adults felt there were not enough hours in the day.

The fund raising was led by Oakfield Capital and existing shareholders. While most of the money will be invested in growing Freedom’s sales, a “small element” will go towards work on the brewhouse. Giles anticipates that more capacity will be required at the Staffordshire plant if all goes according to plan.

Meanwhile, the company has signed a long-term agreement with India’s leading brand Kingfisher to meet rising demand for craft beer in the UK’s Indian restaurant market. The partnership aims to unlock the opportunity with a series of bespoke beers.

Kingfisher Beer Europe CEO Damon Swarbrick said the collaboration will “ensure we are both at the forefront of developing the craft category within the UK’s 6,500 Indian restaurants.

“We will work with celebrity chefs and award-winning restaurants across the country to give consumers more breadth of choice and allow Freedom’s brands to penetrate this dynamic sales channel.”

Phil Mellows
8th June 2018

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