Marketing Vodka with Saisha Singh
Today we’re talking to Saisha Singh, who is the brand and communications director for Laplandia Vodka. As a young entrepreneur, she is in charge of marketing the vodka. But, that title seems like a huge role! What does it entail?
Marketing vodka: a day in the life of a brand and communications director
Ultimately, Saisha leads communications and deals with how people view Laplandia in the market. It started off creating the content – what made the brand stand out?
Also, Saisha’s role includes training brand ambassadors and negotiating contracts. She also works with consumers and influencers to hold vodka tasters, masterclasses, exhibitions and other events. Wow, what a job!
The vodka, unsurprisingly, is from Lapland.
Vodka is 60% water. Therefore, water is a key ingredient. Additionally, the water sourced for Laplandia Vodka comes from Lake Hirsijärvi. This Lake is 200km from the Arctic Circle. It is very pure and clean. The flavours here represent the colours of the Northern Lights.
Overall, the intention is to keep Laplandia vodka natural, clean and pure. At the moment, the market is looking for ingredients that are clean. Laplandia vodka is sweetened with heather honey, so there are no artificial sweeteners (as found in other vodkas).
The artistry of vodka’s craft is spoiled by the idea of knocking vodka down to get drunk. The key strategy Saisha has worked with is hosting vodka tastings, in order that people understand the product. The millennials today are more discerning – what are they drinking and where has it come from?
Laplandia vodka is an affordable luxury. As a result, it is marketed as a premium product. Part of that comes from educating consumers. Saisha works with bartenders to understand their craft. After all, they are the biggest ambassadors for the brand.
Mixer of choice
All Laplandia’s products can be drunk over ice. The target audience is the sipping consumer – someone who enjoys their drink. This is more in line with a luxury lifestyle and good quality ingredients. Additionally, it echoes the idea of understanding what you’re drinking and respecting the craft.
What’s the pricing?
At retail stores, there is a range between £30 and £32. It’s very easy for someone to purchase and less expensive than Grey Goose or Belvedir.
Graham’s lost his sense of smell…oh, heck!
As some readers may know, Graham lost his sense of smell a while ago. Don’t worry, it’s coming back now! But the question is, can you tell the difference between different brands of smell?
What’s interesting is, if you pour a Laplandia Coco shot and, what was, a Xerox Coconut shot, you’ll find their’s is colourless. In contrast, Laplandia Coco is cloudy because of the natural ingredients. You can also smell it. This makes Laplandia different.
Laplandia was founded by two Finnish men.
“Rock and Roll meets diamonds!”
An international, diamond jeweller and a rock and roll club owner wanted to capture nature’s essence in a bottle. Consequently, the blue prints of Laplandia were born. In other words, these two men wanted to respond to the beauty of Finland with an original and authentic product that represented luxury and Finnish beauty.
What are the challenges to marketing vodka?
The key thing is timing. Laplandia is a relatively new brand in comparison to vodka competitors. At this stage, it’s about Stephan Cover’s area of influence. Saisha helps identify who the key people are – bar managers, restaurants, clubs. As a result, the team can focus their time on these people because they are facing the consumer. This is an organic approach in order to reflect their brand values.
When influencing people, Saisha specifies doing it correctly means their contacts are empowered by their own choice. Bombarding subliminal messages in another’s face results in them switching product when the newest thing comes out. In contrast, Laplandia seeks loyalty to the brand when making connections and building their brand community.
In some ways, this links with previous podcasts, such as Jacqui Mann’s, who discusses looking for employees (or connections, in this case) who share similar values.
How do you attract restaurants?
Saisha works with independent wholesalers, who have access to a lot of the restaurants who buy Laplandia vodka. Also, it is part of her role to train the sales reps that go on the road to sell. Contrastingly, there are also venues that come straight to the brand to ask where to purchase it. Overall, Saisha says, sales and attraction is a two-way street.
Although Laplandia is still an understated brand, shall we say, it is slowly slowly making its way up the UK. Hopefully, it’ll make a leap to North Yorkshire soon!
Overall, what Saisha is marketing is a wonderful, thoughtful vodka brand. There’s a huge amount of work to get that right.
Laplandia vodka flavours
Every couple of years Laplandia brings out a limited edition flavour. Last year, it was banana and this year it is the Acaca berry – keeping it natural as always.
One of their most popular vodka flavours is the Espresso vodka; it is an espresso martini in a shot. The current typical age range is the millennial, but on the other hand, there are the older vodka drinkers who really appreciate different vodka flavours and the proper craft. However, Laplandia does not try shut anyone off as they target-market. Laplandia is all about inclusivity.
What are your tips to those wanting to market to the affluent, or to those looking for luxury products?
Timing – sometimes there’s no need to do something that you think will get a lot of traction, because it’s just not right for your product. Way up the timing, your strategy and ask yourself is there a better time for this opportunity?
Visuals – today, visual content is at the forefront of consumer’s minds. Identify what will bring your product to life. What key things do you want to portray visually?
Creativity – don’t be afraid of creativity! Creativity is intelligence having fun. Allow yourself to see what comes out of what you’re trying to achieve.
Drinking is about quality and taste, not the amount of alcohol. If you’re not sure about vodka, why would you start with something that isn’t the best? As an affordable luxury, Laplandia could be your next tipple!