Since 2012 we’ve launched over 63 brands into the UK. Yet we continue to grow and evolve. In 2020 we successfully grew the number of online retailers we supply by 383%. We also developed our own virtual tasting platform SippingRooms.com as a unique way to activate our brands. Despite a national lockdown, uncertainty in our sector and a loss of £71.8bn in the hospitality industry in 2020, we grew our overall sales 12.98% in 2020 vs 2019.
So, we thought it was about time our branding kept up to speed with how fast our business is growing.
Today’s a big day for us at bbb: it’s our first official and well overdue rebrand! Sure, we’ve had the odd tweak to our branding in our 9 years in business.
But this is different: it’s about more than what our website looks like or a name change. We’ve gone much deeper, to the core of our business.
It’s been a truly fascinating learning experience for all of us.
So why have we done this?
We’ve changed a lot since Don and Phil started the business in 2012. We’ve gone from a specialist beer agency (Boutique Beer Brands) to one also representing independent spirits in 2014. That’s when we became Boutique Bar Brands. We’ve since sharpened our focus and we evolved into a spirits import and distribution agency. But one thing’s remained the same: our dedication to inspiring, cutting edge drinks brands and to helping them succeed in the market.
The world around us has changed too. It’s become even more digital. Experiences have become more integrated, more seamless. We’ve adapted the way we support our brands accordingly. It’s also been turned inside out with COVID-19 – and we’ve seen how the digital focus we’ve taken over the last few years has really helped us. But we’ve still got big ambitions: we want to attract the best brands and the best talent, and we want them to share our ethos. And we want to be better, all the while keeping our enterprising small business mentality.
The brand we had wasn’t fit for purpose anymore. It became clear that we needed to rethink our positioning, our story, our brand image and our communications to achieve this. COVID-19’s been a blessing in that sense: it gave us time to do some introspection to (re)discover who we are, what our mission is and what we stand for.
Say hello to bbb
Blank Design led our rebranding process and helped us (re)discover and (re)define who we are, what we do, what we want to achieve and what we stand for:
We’re a collective of curious connoisseurs
Fundamentally we are passionate about taste, flavour and sharing our spirits knowledge. We get excited and inspired by incredible products and the stories they tell.
We want to quench inquisitive minds with fascinating drinks from around the globe.
Our mission is to discover and share these great stories by the bottle. We’d like everyone to experience the thrill of discovering something new and unexpected. We want to open people’s eyes to new drinks and give everyone access to more independent options.
We do this by working with inspirational and ambitious clients, and asking questions to uncover their individuality. We intelligently advise and care enough to ensure brands are launched in the right way. We build strong, long lasting relationships with partners in the industry to help us share these stories.
And so we’ve got a new name: wave goodbye to Boutique Bar Brands and say hello to bbb. It helps bring our positioning to life. It’s flexible, we can use the logo mark in imaginite and unexpected ways. It’s distinctive, using splashes of colour and bold, crafted lettering. It’s inquisitive: ‘what does bbb stand for?’. We want to spark conversations. It’s what everyone calls us anyway and where our reputation really lies. The ‘+’speaks to our collaborative approach showing there is always more to discover and learn from each other.
Those are pretty big changes that we also needed to convey visually. Blank Design did a fantastic job bringing our new identity to life with:
- A new logo that reflects our collective of individual craftsmanship, obsessions of uncovering real stories, sparking conversations and approachable manner.
- A new look and feel that reflects the authentic, bold, sophisticated craftspeople we want to work with. One that also reflects our desire to be sustainable through a palette that took inspiration from eclectic botanicals.
There’s no better place than our website to see this come to life. Working with GOAT, we’ve overhauled our website to improve your user experience so you can find the right information easier. We’re also bringing it all together through our socials thanks to Solution 17, so you can have a consistent experience across our channels.
And this is only the beginning of our journey. Our plans also involve doing more to help you, our collective. So you can expect to find lots of useful, insightful and inspiring new content on our website and socials in the next few weeks and months.
We love the results of our work with Blank D, GOAT and S17. We’re proud of our new brand, one we feel can take us forward with impact and purpose. It’s been a very tough year for the hospitality industry and their suppliers. We’ve got fresh energy to take on 2021 (and beyond!) thanks to this process.
What do you make of our new brand? Get in touch and tell us, we can’t wait to hear your feedback!