Elixir Distillers

Head of Marketing


Apply by 31 October 2021


About Elixir Distillers

Elixir Distillers is the independent bottling arm of the Speciality Drinks Group, one of the world’s leading drinks companies. Its mission is to create, blend and bottle fantastic spirits from across the globe.

Job Title: Head of Marketing
Line Manager: Business Development Director
Executive Reporting Line Manager: Company Director
Contract Term: Permanent, Full-time
Contracted Hours: Monday to Friday 9am–6pm.
This equates to a 40-hour working week. A high degree of flexibility is required in the role.

About Elixir Distillers

Elixir Distillers is the independent bottling arm of the Speciality Drinks Group (SDL), one of the world’s leading drinks companies. Their mission is to create, blend and bottle fantastic spirits from across the globe. The philosophy focuses on the quality of the liquid and inspiring spirits lovers to drink better. Head Blender Oliver Chilton refuses to bottle anything he wouldn’t want to drink himself. Since 2002, Elixir Distillers has offered some of the finest whiskies and spirits to over 20 international markets. There are four core brands: Port Askaig, Elements of Islay, Single Malts of Scotland and Black Tot Rum. Plans are also in place to develop a new distillery on Islay. A range of new brands are currently being developed across different spirits categories to be launched in the next few years. Our In-house design, marketing and technical teams ensure a highly creative, reactive and innovative working environment.

Job Description

This new role will be responsible for defining and developing the brand and portfolio strategy, defining the stories, identity and purpose of the brands, and building the reputation and popularity of the Elixir Distillers portfolio across the globe.

You will lead the launch and development of all new brands and limited editions from existing brands. The focus will be on achieving significant growth in the core brands of Port Askaig, Elements of Islay and Black Tot, helping them reach a wider audience. You will create an authentic and compelling story for each brand that can be clearly communicated and understood by distributors, sales teams and consumers. You will develop initiatives that give a dynamism and originality to each brand, and a voice far larger than its size, leading to increased consumer pull and awareness.

The role will require strong leadership, creativity and the ability to work independently and get your hands dirty, as well as working collaboratively with other teams

You will work with our in house design and technical teams to develop industry-leading brand websites and digital tools to engage with distributors, trade customers and consumers, and will develop physical assets to support the brands and promote them in all markets.

You will work closely with distributors and the Elixir Distillers sales team to devise plans in line with the marketing strategy. You will work with UK and international distributor PR teams to maximise the coverage for our brands in the UK and internationally. You will put social media at the heart of a digital strategy for all brands and engage in any other appropriate paid media both on and off line to help grow brand awareness. A strong understanding of events and brand activations will be key for all brands, as will working creatively within limited budgets to create innovative activities. This will be supported by partnerships with appropriate third party companies and influencers for each brand.

You will need a natural flair for NPD and will play a significant role in the creation of design and packaging for limited editions, gift packs and other new products, as well as devising marketing strategies and plans for these new brands. Excellent written and verbal communication will be essential to ensure you are able to inspire customers at all parts of the distribution chain, as well as internally.

A key priority will be to oversee the relaunch of the Port Askaig core range, the launch of the new Elements of Islay Cask Edit series and develop a core new SKU for Black Tot. You will be heavily involved in the development of the brand strategy for the new distillery on Islay, including product development, positioning, story, PR, website, digital strategy and all marketing touchpoints including the distillery site itself.

Our key markets are Germany, France, UK, USA, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, Belgium, Holland and Denmark, but we are also looking to develop more new markets in GTR, Asia, South America, Eastern Europe and other areas around the world. You will work with the senior management team to extend distribution into new markets and identify channel strategies and new product opportunities in line with the ED philosophy to drive growth

The role will be based at our head office at Park Royal in London, but will involve some travel including visiting distributors, suppliers and attending events where necessary.

Due to business requirements, it is expected that the role holder will need to have a high degree of flexibility in order to meet the demands of the role. Therefore, it may be necessary to work out of normal working hours due to the nature of the projects, and in order to meet the necessary demands of our client base. The role holder must be able to adjust to a broad and fluid set of tasks as requirements change in this progressive company.

Working Relationships

You will have three direct reports: a Brand Marketing Executive and two Brand Ambassadors - for Whisky and Rum respectively. This is likely to increase in the future as the marketing function develops. The PR Manager responsible for Elixir Distillers will have a dotted line to you but will report to the SDL Head of PR.

This role will report into the Business Development, but will involve working closely with Head Blender, the Company Director, the Creative Director and the Elixir Distillers Operations Manager. You will also work closely with the Elixir Distillers Sales team to formulate plans for our network of distributors. You will also work with the Head of PR and the Technical Director where required.

You will have access to specialist resource in the areas of Social Media and Paid Media/SEO from the central marketing team, and appropriate design, technical and financial support from the SDL teams. You will also be supported by a central Project Management team.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Create, communicate and implement effective and inspiring brand identities, strategies and plans for each brand in the portfolio, centrally and for each key market, to achieve the short, medium and long term business and sales objectives.
  • Define the story, purpose, differentiation, goals and long term plans for the brand portfolio, alongside clear KPIs and targets.
  • Devise and execute a digital strategy for all brands. Ensure that all brands have industry-leading social media platforms, websites and email campaigns.
  • Develop and manage the launch of all new brands, limited editions and line extensions from project inception to go live. Oversee the packaging creation and copy with the Creative Director.
  • Agree and implement activity plans centrally and with all distributors for both trade and consumers in line with business and brand goals to increase awareness and sales of the brands.
  • Create and execute an experiential strategy for all brands alongside a clearly defined programme of events to achieve these goals.
  • Develop strategic partnerships with 3rd party brands and influencers to build awareness
  • Work with the senior management team to define the values and mission of Elixir Distillers and build the reputation of the business in line with this strategy.
  • Develop brand guidelines, POS and any other physical assets required centrally and by individual markets to help them maximise the performance of the brands.
  • Oversee all communication and engagement with trade and consumers.
  • Manage all PR activity alongside the central PR team.
  • Establish a professional marketing structure for the business with appropriate reporting, monitoring and budgeting plans and processes, so that individual brand P&Ls can be established.
  • Support consumer and trade shows and events in-market where required

Key Skills and Knowledge

  • Proven experience of devising and successfully implementing brand plans and strategies to significantly increase sales.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills.
  • 7-10 years’ experience in a spirits Brand Marketing role.
  • Knowledge of whisky and the whisky business is a distinct advantage. Experience in the drinks industry and a passion for spirits is essential.
  • Creativity and an excellent eye for design
  • Experience of managing NPD and packaging projects.
  • Digital expertise – social media, website development, paid media and SEO – is a distinct advantage.
  • Proven success in creating brand activities that make a big impact from a limited budget.
  • Skilled in working collaboratively with a wide range of different colleagues and across a range of disciplines, to achieve objectives with consensus.
  • Well-organised and a highly effective project and time manager.
  • Ability to plan and execute projects to meet required deadlines, while remaining calm under pressure.
  • Methodical with an excellent attention to detail.
  • Equally at home working independently or as part of a team.
  • IT skills: Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
  • Enjoy working in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrate a positive, pro-active, can-do attitude.

Key behaviours

  • Strong organisational skills.
  • Commercially astute.
  • Customer focused.
  • Proactive, energetic and ambitious.
  • Self-motivated and results driven.
  • Flexible, reliable and hardworking.
  • Able to communicate well with others and strong interpersonal skills.
  • Presentable and professional at all times.

A training plan will encompass the following to ensure effectiveness of the employee, and to meet our safety standards:

  • Manual handling
  • In-house systems