For everyone around the world, 2020 brought an unprecedented level of change both in life and in business. This was no exception for Aussie brand, Never Never Distilling Co., who have proved their recipe for success is concrete. Founded by Sean Baxter, George Georgiadis and Tim Boast, a trio of mates who shared a love for complex flavour and the science behind outstanding gin, Never Never have succeeded expectations served by the Coronavirus-curveball, coming out the other side stronger than ever. A salute to the fearless, adventuring and pioneering spirit, that saw ordinary men achieve extraordinary things.
Sitting in a market that had just 10 domestic gins in 2013, to now more than 700, the brand is taking a sizeable cut of the global market with outstanding growth and achievements since launching in only August 2017. In just under four years, the brand has sustained the landmark title of being Australia’s Most Highly Awarded Gin thanks to their premium product range, boundary-breaking crossover categories involving new distillation techniques, the use of botanicals and humanised brand ethos.
Managing Director, George Georgiadis, reports that since the crisis put a handbrake on hospitality and travel, both craft distillers and brewers across the country were hit hard by the loss of both markets, while also being mothballed by international travel bans and the crashing duty-free market. Despite these significant disruptions, Never Never Distilling Co have more than doubled their 2020 H2 business revenue in addition to growing their direct-to-consumer sales more than 50%. As for what’s next, the gin brand’s growth for H1 2021 will already see the their distribution network double thanks to forging widespread retail parnerships.
On reflecting how their business pivoted, Managing Director George Georgiadis is incredibly proud of the way his team quickly and effectively navigated the early challenges of the year and managed to stay focused on growth. After having to close their just-opened distillery door in March, paired with their core business of selling gin to bars all but diminish due to venue closures, he realised that rather than retreating to a defensive position, the best thing to do was to re-focus time and efforts on core brand and alternative channels.
“We invested heavily in our e-commerce business, selling gin directly through our website at a time where people started shopping online a lot more. We hadn't really focused on this before, so it was a tiny part of our business. Fortunately, we'd recently completed development of a new website platform, so quickly schooled up on things social media advertising and search engine optimisation. We combined that with a couple of new product launches and some same day delivery, and things really started to take off”.
Through this activity alone, the website sales grew more than 50x, email subscribers tripled across the year and the website traffic doubled in H2 and they started engaging with their customers more than ever, sharing drink recipes, stories and video content.
George also credits their success to supporting their supporters: “We also kept in close touch with our mates in the industry, We launched a ‘Never Never Have I Ever’ competition for bartenders to keep things entertaining while in isolation and partnered with some of our favourite restaurants and bars around the country to supply fantastic meals and takeaway cocktails as prizes. While ‘collaboration is king’ as a trend has existed for a number of years now, it certainly isn’t going anywhere. Whether it’s large global brands looking to promote authenticity or small brands creating meaningful connections with other local businesses, partnerships present a great opportunity for brands to share their audiences.”