Case Study: Our process in action

2,400% increase in sales in the UK in 2 years

Dingle was the first new independent whisky distillery to open in Ireland for over 100 years when it was created in 2012. Dingle came to us in 2016 to turn the UK into a major export market and a gateway to the European market. They hadn’t found much success doing this by themselves. They didn’t know how the spirits distribution industry worked and their pricing showed that. Their sales strategy was also unstructured, holding their sales performance back at under 7 cases a month. And there wasn’t any commitment to marketing to drive and support sales.


Dingle needed to get a deep understanding of the UK market. Their pricing strategy needed to change to match the market’s structure. They also needed to overhaul their sales approach to successfully launch and grow the brand in the market. As part of that, they needed to put in place a marketing strategy to support the sales strategy, including setting aside an appropriate marketing budget.


Preliminary work

We carried out important groundwork before re-launching the brand in the UK market. We first overhauled their pricing strategy and put in place an appropriate pricing tree. The new pricing strategy made sure that bars bought the SKUs from wholesalers instead of direct from Dingle. That’s how we opened the wholesale channel up for Dingle. We structured the sales strategy to flow from this: we targeted on-trade venues that we knew used certain wholesalers. We also conducted market research to show Dingle how competitive the UK market was. That’s how we demonstrated the level of marketing investment needed to support the sales strategy and their objectives. Once Dingle agreed a marketing budget, we appointed a PR agency to deliver brand awareness campaigns.

Year 1

In the first year, our objective was to achieve listings at targeted high-end on-trade venues and high-end off-trade outlets. We supported this with our large-scale St Patrick’s Day activation event, “Trim and Tonic”, at the Bloomsbury Hotel. Customers and attendees received a free Dingle gin & tonic when they had their hair or beard trimmed. Key off-trade buyers attended a buyer event at the same venue. We also ran 18 special menus across London, which we developed with each venue, to support the event.

The events were a perfect opportunity for PR coverage. It achieved coverage in 9 national outlets, including the Guardian and GQ, with a total audience of 66m in the UK. This opened up opportunities on the off-trade and we supported those with targeting activations, incentives, window displays and in-store tastings.

Year 2

In the second year, we carried on expanding our distribution network into the on-trade. We shifted our sales strategy to high volume, premium gin-focused venues.

In the North of England, we supported this with our “Dingle Supper” event at Atlas Bar, part of our ‘Gin of the Week’ activation. The event consisted of a 4 course meal paired with 4 unique Dingle serves.

Across the country, we supported this with our Christmas “Dingle All The Way” marketing campaign. We delivered the campaign at 60 venues across London, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. 14 of those venues were part of the True Pub Group. We built the campaign around themed special menus that we’d crafted; we developed the menu together with Fever Tree for the True Pub Group. We trained venue staff in person and produced USP reminders for them to effectively sell the cocktails on our menus. We put a sales incentive in place for all venues: staff at the best selling venue went on a trip to Ireland, visiting the distillery.

Alongside this, we carried on our expansion into high-end retailers. We used our successful activations at Borough Wines as a case study to achieve listings. We ran Gin of the Month activations with as well as targeted ‘Introduction to Dingle’ events. During these events, we took customers who’d purchased tickets to the event through the entire Dingle range to educate them about the brand. We distributed free samples of each spirit to encourage them to buy the brand later.

Finally, we continued opening up wholesale channels through training opportunities and marketing support. Our aim for this was to access premium group accounts.


Here’s what we achieved in those two years with our clear plan for the market, coordinated and executed effectively across sales, marketing, PR and social media:





‘Trim and tonic’

Bloomsbury club bar

Year 1

  • Opened 16 wholesale accounts for Dingle from a starting point of 0, including Matthew Clark, Speciality Drinks, Hills Prospect, Nectar and Hammonds of Knutsford
  • Listed Dingle at 93 high-end bars including 108 Bar, Merchant House, Montague on The Gardens Hotel and Corinthia Hotel
  • Secured listings at key premium retailers including Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason’s, The Good Spirits Co, Gerry’s Wines & Spirits and The Whisky Exchange
  • Secured a key regional listing in the North of England at Atlas Bar as a gateway to distributing in the region
  • Secured a regional listing at M&S for an initial 224 cases/1344 bottles. M&S went through those quickly and ordered another 336 bottles within 2 months

Year 2

  • Listed Dingle at 149 specialist gin bars including Graphic Soho, The Distillers Notting Hill, Gin71 and No 97
  • Achieved listings at key premium group accounts including Fullers & Co, The Draft House Group, Urban Leisure Group, Glendola Leisure, The Cinnamon Group, The Doyle Collection and Bar Soba Group
  • Secured wholesale distribution through Hammonds and Knutsford, a key wholesale channel in the North of England
  • Listed Dingle at Booths supermarkets as a result
  • Achieved listings at key off-trade specialist retailers including Nicolas and Laithwaites Wine
  • Total distribution points – 149 accounts
  • Total volume – 13,119 bottles

Curious about how you can grow your spirit sales?