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Creating a small independent brand

Nick Worthington is one of the speakers at next month’s Drinks Symposium. As brand director for Sauvelle, a new French vodka, Nick will be talking about the creation of a small independent brand

Nick Worthington Sauvelle

Presented by The Drinks Report, the symposium, being held on September 17, day two of the Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging show at London Olympia, will see three drinks brands share their ideas and knowledge on how original thinking and imaginative packaging design can create a strong brand identity.

Nick is an exceptional marketer and strategist with an entrepreneurial spirit and over 15 years expertise within the drinks industry.

What is your professional background – how did you become a brand marketing and business development manager?

“I started my career working behind some of the best bars in London, first as cocktail bartender/mixologist then progressing to management. I was then recruited by Allied Domecq to use this experience to manage its new spirits division in London’s West End to build a strong and influential network of bars and people. A couple of years later I crossed over to the newly-formed Champagne division as ambassador for Mumm and Perrier Jouet Champagnes focusing on training, events and trends.

“After Allied Domecq was sold, I moved on to private consultancy projects with five star hotels and bars, prior to setting up my own business – the Arbiter Pub, which was rated in The Times as one of the top five Gastro Pubs in the South East. After running this business for three years, I sold up to move back into brands. Since then I have worked with and consulted for an exceptional selection of small to medium super premium spirit brands.”

What brands have you developed?

“I’ve launched and re-launched many brands in my time but the key ones have been No.3 gin, Crystal Head vodka and Bulldog gin.

“I was first tasked with a range of brands for the historic Berry Bros & Rudd, including the re-launch of Kings Ginger liqueur, the launch of No.3 gin and Pink Pigeon rum, putting in place the launch roll-out and the strategy.  I also launched Crystal Head vodka and re-launched Bulldog gin into the UK market. But my most recent project has been the UK launch of Appleton Estate Independence Reserve 50 year old rum priced at £3,000 a bottle.

“Sauvelle vodka is the first I’ve developed from liquid to launch, and it has been a fantastic journey to get to where we have now.”

How important is the packaging to a brand?

“The Packaging of the brand is extremely important, consumers buy with their eyes first, most consumers will make their minds up whether to buy a brand or not, before they even taste the liquid.

“The packaging of a brand and the marketing behind it, need to reflect the quality of the product inside, it’s all about synergy, if one element isn’t good enough or doesn’t reflect the other’s quality it will struggle to succeed.”

What was special about this vodka?

“Sauvelle is an independent craft brand, with passionate founders.  This reflects in the level of detail we have gone to with Sauvelle, and the small creative team brought together behind it. 

“There’s no corporate one-size-fits all process involved and it shows; every stage and element we do stands out from the competition.”

What do you hope to bring to the Drinks Symposium?

“I’ll be bringing my experience and enthusiasm for developing, creating and amplifying brands, particularly coming from an independent entrepreneurial perspective. I hope to show how ripe the current market is for brands that demonstrate a touch of Maverick out-of-box thinking.


The Drinks Symposium: 17 September 2015, 10:45 – 13:00 Keynote Theatre, Packaging Innovations show, London Olympia

Creating a small independent brand - Nick Worthington, brand director, Sauvelle vodka

No story, no brand - Will Turnage, CEO, 180 East and Chris Joscelyne, creative account director, ButterflyCannon

Refreshing your brand  - Dan Gomme, Trade Marketing Manager, Funkin, how to make it unmistakeably recognisable 


18 August 2015