Never did we imagine a time when brand ambassadors would be grounded and kept out of the bars they frequent. When coronavirus set the bar industry (and the world) on fire, brand ambassadors, like their bar industry brethren, had to come up with new ways to stay relevant. We all want to be here on the flipside of this, so how does that look? In our September issue, we asked nine of our industry’s brand ambassadors to talk about how their lives have changed since coronavirus.
In this, our fourth interview of the series we hear from Trish Brew, Fever Tree Brand Ambassador.
This year has thrown a massive curve ball at everyone in our industry, and the world; how have brand ambassadors maintained their relevance? With many hospitality businesses pivoting toward the takeaway/cocktails-to-go, we have tried to be as supportive as possible to their programs by providing stock support as well as helping with social media presence. Many brands have also allocated a certain portion of their marketing budget toward purchasing gift vouchers to help with cash flow of the venues which is fantastic. As online tastings and trainings have become more prevalent, we have also been trying to keep up and provide face-to-face (online of course) support wherever we can by being available to present to their customers and supplementing information to their events. It helps keep the discussion in online tastings interesting but also helps the venues and the brands supporting them relevant in the consumer’s minds.
In your role specifically, what do you miss the most about life before COVID?
Definitely sitting at a bar and enjoying a drink with great company! Also the opportunity to travel interstate and visit the wonderful venues around the country, doing trainings, and checking in on the industry as a whole, it’s not quite the same over the internet on zoom!
It has been said that this pandemic will change the hospitality industry forever. Do you agree with this or not? Explain.
Yes, the industry will change for sure! Seeing the success of some online platforms and the way the market responded to online events, I think we will see the industry as a whole move somewhat toward a new style of consumer engagement, maybe half in person and half online to have greater reach. The ability to have guests chime in and present from interstate and overseas (people like Dave Broom and Jarred Brown for example) is a big bonus to have a prominent industry figure as a drawcard for events sans the hassle and expense of the travel! It’s a great step forward in our industry.
What are your hopes for 2021?
My hope is we can get back to some semblance of normal life again! I want all of Australia’s great venues to thrive once more. But most of all I just want to be able to sit at a bar and enjoy a gin and tonic!