#fmbewords: Bitter Twisted flexes for brand success

Liverpool ONE - Bitter Twisted2The speed of COVID meant that my interview with Neil Gazzard, General Manager Operations at Bitter Twisted started too become outdated a week afterwards, but there remains a very good story in it. The interview took place inspired by the relatively positive news of Liverpool’s Tier 2 emergence from November’s sector specific promotions agency Bitter Twisted’s rapidly built but finely conceived pop-up store so ably supported by the Grosvenor team at shopping centre, Liverpool ONE.

Bitter Twisted is an alcoholic drinks and hospitality sector specialist, that has a built its reputation with outdoor events. The pop-up was a foray indoors for the team.

The pop-up championed 3 hero producers ahead of Christmas – local Liverpool brewer Black Lodge, Dutch craft brewer Lowlander and regular Bitter Twisted client, the gin magicians Sipsmith, with whom Bitter Twisted have partnered for a series of events and pop ups across the last 3 years.

Pop-up features included:

  • Black Lodge, the Liverpool-based small-batch brewery, has its ‘Christmas Pudding Porter’ on offer, amongst some of its most popular quirky ales and IPAs
  • Microdistillery Sipsmith’s cocktail equipment and glassware, a ‘Build Your Own Gin Stocking’ and the brand’s limited-edition Mince Pie Gin
  • Lowlander’s botanical beer collection, including the Lowlander Winter IPA, which is brewed with spruce needles, hand-picked from discarded Christmas trees

The winter pop-up followed up a successful summer collaboration in Liverpool ONE’s outdoor space Chavasse Park, where centre facilitator Grosvenor again worked with Bitter Twisted.

The strength of that relationship was lauded by Neil Gazzard for facilitating the winter pop-up at a time when other Bitter Twisted projects had been cancelled. Speaking to Fieldmarketing.com in mid-December he said “It was a case of necessity being the mother of invention. We’d not really done retail before this. We had 3-4 weeks from conception to pop-up shop and our relationship with the landlord was vital. It is such a fantastically run centre and has maintained high footfall.”

Gazzard also recognized that the strategic level of his marketing relationship with Sipsmith had allowed a flexible planning approach to flourish. “Sipsmith trusts us to understand their core values”, he said.

Making this stylish pop-up happen was impressive in the time scales and vital to the brands and businesses concerned, especially given the closure of everything so swiftly after Christmas.

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