Bemuse non-alcoholic mead was developed during the COVID pandemic and launched when lockdowns and social distancing prevented any on-trade activation or face to face interaction with the brand. From a standing start, and not knowing where its unique proposition would be a hinderance or a help, the challenge was to raise brand awareness, encourage trial and inspire purchase. With a small PR budget, it was essential to create noise that got the brand noticed.
Bemuse was the first range of non-alcoholic meads and therefore created a unique drinks category which needed a clear explanation of why and how the drink was developed at the very start of the communications strategy. To simplify the channel approach, three distinct strands were identified for communication purposes:
- Development of the brand, it’s background and environmental credentials
- The liquid itself – it’s taste, versatility and food pairing potential
- The entrepreneurial journey of Bemuse’s two female founders
A target media list and feature angles were established, whilst also pursuing reactive ad-hoc opportunities identified through regular monitoring of journalist requests. Additionally, research was carried out into a series of events including trade and consumer shows and exhibitions to produce a calendar of sampling occasions to bring Bemuse to life. Receiving independent recognition for the brand was also seen as an integral part of the PR plan, so entries were produced for a series of agreed award programmes which, once again, encompassed each of the three core strands.
- A regular flow of trade and consumer media coverage was generated
- Coverage included being profiled as a delicious cocktail mixer fit for the Queen’s Jubilee Weekend on ITV’s Love Your Weekend and the different brand variants tasted on Greatest Hits Radio
- Testimonials secured from several high profile drinks writers to give the brand independent recommendations
- Gained recognition in over 20 award schemes that represented taste, business development, and entrepreneurial spirit including Food & Drink Federation Brand Launch of the Year, Best Low or No Alcohol Drink at the World Beverage Innovation Awards, and multiple tasting programmes. Founder Anna Chalov was also named in the top 10 ‘Highly Commended’ business people in the Daily Telegraph 100 female entrepreneurs to watch
- In addition to brand awareness content, we supplied commentary on a range of subjects including alcohol-free drinks category, environmental issues, inclusivity and diversity in the workplace that positioned Bemuse as a start-up business leader and innovator
- Persuaded award organisers to create a new category that would accommodate Bemuse and other NPD beverages
- Provided the foundation for a successful and over-subscribed round of crowdfunding