TASTE OF LONDON’S TOP TEN TASTIEST BRAND EXPERIENCES2018-06-22T10:17:26+00:00
TASTE OF LONDON’S TOP TEN TASTIEST BRAND EXPERIENCES
If you’re keen to be inspired with creative ideas on how you can bring your brand to life with a stylish event area and an engaging consumer interaction that communicates your brand proposition – a visit to Taste of London should be allocated a few hours in your diary. If you didn’t have the chance to pop by Regent’s Park last week, here is my own take on what stood out as the best in class examples listed as a ‘Top Ten’ style count down.
10 LAURENT-PERRIER: In a prominent position right in front of the main entrance, the Laurent Perrier Club House offered a tasting menu from across their range, gourmet meal accompaniments and plenty of social seating areas. What made it pop for me was the eco friendly, rustic style event area that made it look like a display from The Chelsea Flower Show or a well tended allotment – reflective of their newly found eco-agriculture credentials.
9 SEEDLIP GIN: A new contender at Taste of London, their converted classic horse transporter lorry got them off to a flying start in the race to impress.
This vintage truck made for an effortlessly idyllic backdrop, set behind a pop up bar with copper distilling accessories and matching copper seating.
8. KELLY’S ICE CREAM: While I did appreciate a larger than life plastic cow in Regent’s Park, it was the row of Cornish styled, cute little beach huts set behind the main display that offered weary customers a cosy and private seating area to enjoy their ice-creams, set aside from the buzz and heat of the day.
7. CHAIRMAN’S RESERVE RUM: In a development from last year’s sampling area consisting solely of a vintage Morris Minor pick up truck converted into a bar, this year they added an authentically styled Caribbean beach shack as their main bar area. This was undoubtedly executed on a smaller budget than most of the other big name spirit brands there, but by maintaining a keen eye for detail it worked effectively alongside their existing event vehicle.
6. CORNISH ORCHARDS CIDER: In the difficult negotiations of marketing budgets, beautiful design ideas are sometimes compromised by logistical practicality and financial limitations. Not so for Cornish Orchards Cider, who kept to the plan of a pretty log cabin bar, complete with super heavy tree trunk logs stretching all the way across the bar frontage. Ooh arr; there must be some super strong, scrumpy drinking farmer boys in their rigging team!
5. TANQUERAY GIN: Perhaps it’s because I don’t know what a grapefruit tree (or indeed bush) looks like without Googling it; but I was taken in by the Tanqueray Citrus Lounge. Its beautifully arranged citrus fruit plants invited in the eye and communicated a clear message on tasting notes and recommended consumption, to mark it out from the numerous competitors.
4. PIP AND NUT: For those of you who don’t know this new entrant to Taste of London, it’s a rapidly growing peanut butter brand. Actually, as anyone who visited their event area should be able to tell you: it’s not just peanut butter, but its also available in a range of delicious flavours, other nut blends and it’s delicious with ice cream too (who knew!?). Their fun peanut shaped social selfie seat was busy throughout, as was the queue of customers keen to try a ice cream and Pip & Nut sample.
3. KETEL ONE VODKA: Although this event area was largely identical to last year at Taste of London, it’s still in a top spot as arguably, if it’s this good, why change it? The Ketel One Kitchen offered a Bloody Mary making master classes, from an expertly crafted pop up kitchen and creatively designed event area. Quality built event kit like that probably did not come not cheaply, so I actually think they’re doing the right thing to reuse it and get a good few years’ of value from it.
2. SCHWEPPES: Almost at the top spot was the all new, significantly expanded sampling event area for Schweppes. Gone was last year’s mediocre catering trailer bar and in its place was a walk in, sit down, drink and learn experience that really helped event goers to understand the brand and its expertise in the field.
The inviting entrance area created in a steam punk style told the story of the 234 year o brand and inventor. Cocktail mixing master classes were encouraged from mini booth areas and a busy bar team kept people happy with a tasty range of expertly mixed cocktails. In a highly competitive market place where Schweppes has lost ground to more fashionable rivals in previous years, it’s encouraging to see the reinvention of their brand story brought to life so convincingly.
1. SIPSMITH: The top spot at Taste of London goes to the ‘darling’ of the London’s own back street distillery scene. As a very new brand* that’s not even been going for as London as the Taste of London festival itself, it’s now taking a leading role at the event year on year.
This year’s new re-incarnation of their Sipsmith brand experience was split across to distinct areas around the festival. The largest of the two was the Gin Palace, which displayed a pair of giant doors to set the scene from outside, leading into a bustling vintage themed gin bar.
In addition to this incredibly popular bar area was another new creation: of an Iconic London Cab, converted into a Gin Cab, complete with a pop up roof and fold out bar counter. This ideally suited base vehicle for an iconic London brand attracted the eye of both thirsty customers who couldn’t hand over their money quick enough – and envious admirers from the other British gin brands who wished they’d thought of it first!
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*NB: Here’s a 30 second memory that still amuses me about Sipsmith for those who might be interested: When the owners Fairfax and Sam opened their first distillery in 2009, they invited me over for a quick tour and a chat about their launch and sampling strategy. I’m not sure if it was a test or not, but at 10.00am I found myself sitting in front of a double measure of neat gin, followed by another double measure of vodka!
Not being sure of the etiquette for either politely declining their finely crafted products or requesting a mixer in what was a professional tasting session, my university training kicked in, and I saw them both off, maintaining a straight poker face (while my insides were flipping!). I just about remember leaving their office, wondering what hit me as I walked into the cold morning air and slowly meandered my way to my next meeting. …That’s one brand induction session I won’t forget!