Branding: Understand your ‘reason for being’

04 July, 2018

Anthony Biles (pictured), creative director of branding and design consultancy at Biles Hendry gives his insight into how brands can use true stories to stand out from the crowd in today’s saturated market.

The drinks world has seen unprecedented change in the past few years, with the number of gin distilleries soaring, craft breweries beating the beer titans, and rum in higher spirits than ever before. Even blended scotch, which has been struggling to attract the all-important millennial and female fan base, is starting to engineer a turnaround.

But all of this heat and excitement means that brands are having to stand-out on a shelf like never before and work harder to engage target consumers. 

To build that connection, brand managers need to look beyond their products’ face value and drill down to how people feel about them and the role they play in their lives. We are talking here of a brand’s inherent worth, its ‘reason for being’.

Whether you’re a start-up microbrewery or Brewdog, the aim for brands must always be to deliver what people want. And that process begins with developing an acute sense of your brand’s meaning, which in turn will help you understand how consumers evaluate and value it. 

It’s all about tapping into the consumer mind-set. Get it wrong and, at best, your marketing communications will fail to resonate with consumers. At worst, you’ll alienate them. Get it right and you’ll have your hands on a distinctive, meaningful and ultimately valuable brand.


So how do certain brands stay more relevant than others? Why did Sipsmith wake up bright and perky while Qream suffered the worst possible hangover?    

Challenge assumptions and unleash your reason for being

If you are to connect with your target consumer and understand what they’re looking for, you have to be willing to ask the difficult questions and challenge commonly held assumptions – look at every aspect of your business and take nothing for granted. 


In the premium spirits market, the two founders of Warner Edwards Gin were understandably proud of the fact that they had started out by distilling on their beautiful farm in Northamptonshire. They were influenced by the phenomenal success of accessible and down-to-earth foodie personalities like Jimmy Doherty and Jamie Oliver. They’d been capitalising on their ‘farmer founder’ story at trade fairs and had gone all in with this messaging in their branding and marketing.

Keywords: Biles Hendry

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