How Beavertown’s Creative Marketing Disrupted the Beer Market in the UK

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Welcome to another episode of Scratch. In this episode,  Eric sits down with the brilliant Tom Rainsford, the Brand Director of Beavertown Brewery. Beavertown began its journey as a small-scale brewery and has impressively ramped up to an annual beer production of 5 million litres, solidifying its place in the craft beer world. Apart from his monumental success with Beavertown, Tom is also a co-founder of the Giffgaff Mobile Network. His creative prowess extends even further: he's been ranked among Creative Review's 'Top 50 Creative Leaders' and has held positions as a Director of Brand Engagement & culture @Giffgaff.

Diving into the conversation, Tom unravels the intricacies of brand positioning and the importance of being culture-forward in advertising. Together, Eric and Tom explore the significance of connecting with consumers on a genuine level. Emphasizing the critical role of authentic brand storytelling, Tom sheds light on the challenges and rewards of crafting unforgettable advertising campaigns.

The duo then discusses Beavertown’s distinctive branding approach, showcasing the potency of insight-driven creativity. Furthermore, Tom reflects on the pivotal role of community in fostering brand loyalty and engagement, emphasizing the need for brands to resonate deeply with the cultural zeitgeist for enduring success.


[00:48] Story of Beavertown

[05:00] - The why of disruption

[12:00] - The importance of having a Goliath

[19:50] - What did your learning contribute to Beavertown?

[24:30] - Is creativity dead?

[30:30] - Staying relevant in an ever-evolving market

[39:15] Favorite challenger brand

"Scratch" is a production of Rival, a marketing consultancy and technology company that builds challenger brands, strategies, and capabilities to change categories. In every episode Eric interviews the CMO of some of the world's biggest or fastest-growing brands, exploring their innovative marketing strategies that challenge established incumbents. Immerse yourself in the world of challenger brands and learn valuable marketing lessons from industry experts, as you discover their secrets to success. 

Find Rival online at, LinkedIn, Twitter

Watch the video version of this Podcast on YouTube.

Find Eric on LinkedIn and tweet him @efulwiler

Say hi at, we’d love to hear from you.


Tom: You know, if you're a challenger brand, dependent on your positioning, of course, and what type of brand you are, you should be positively disruptive. Because I think you should add value rather than just kickoff. Right? And I think if you can be positively disruptive, I think it helps tell your narratives. So I remember years ago, there was a guy in a focus group who said, you know, all the classic stuff about, you know, I don't know, advertising and data. And he said, I just wish that if brands gonna take one minute out of my day, I'd rather you tell me what you do well, and tell me what other people do badly by him. And I think in many ways that stuck. And I think that positive disruption helps it feed that right.

Eric: I'm Eric Fulwiler. And this is scratch, bringing you marketing lessons from the leading brands and brands rewriting the rulebook from scratch for the world of today.

Eric: Hey, everyone, fascinating conversation today with Tom Rainsford. He is the marketing director of beaver town brewery. If you live in the UK, I'm sure you know beaver town, they are one of the leading challenger beer brands here. They were acquired by Heineken a couple of years ago, they now produce 500,000 hectoliters, that is 50 million litres of beer annually. But more interestingly, from a marketing perspective, they have one of the most distinctive brands within their category to the point that they actually have the most stolen hub glass in the UK. And we get into that a little bit. Really interesting conversation here. Tom also spent 10 years and was very early on at Giffgaff, which was a very successful challenger telco brand here in the UK as well. So we talk a lot as you would imagine, about, you know, how to build a successful challenger brand, how important finding, and also explaining why you are trying to disrupt a category is how you make sure in his words, that you don't dilute your point of difference as you scale. I love his perspective on really just creativity and marketing. But his point of view that creativity is actually at its lowest point right now, so much of it is actually dumbed down and really lacking depth. And of course, we talk about how he makes sure to push against that and deliver pretty consistently beavertown is out there delivering very interesting disruptive campaigns, some of which we will link to in the show notes. So without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Tom Rainsford of beavertown Brewery. Great. So I'm really excited to talk to you today. As I mentioned, when I reached out to on LinkedIn a few months ago, or whatever it was beavertown is one of the brands that has been on our list for a while. For those that don't live in the UK, maybe not as familiar. And obviously I would have given the introduction about your background and kind of what you do there in the intro. And that's of course what we'll get into the conversation today. But can you please tell us about a challenger brand that you're particularly passionate about right now?

Tom: Sorry, I think is an interesting one on whether or not they're a true challenger brand, I think how you think about the market. So go with me on this one. So I'm gonna say, peloton. The reason that I'm inside peloton, is because I think they are both a tech brand, a sports brand and the community brand. And I think that interesting challenge to the traditional ways of thinking about going to the gym, or bike sports equipment or community now, whether or not we always I could always agree with the execution above the line, I think is one thing that we can have a debate about another time. But I think the ability to be able to make the platform and its product which is super premium, sticky, through engaging with the community or instructors that they then want to follow on Instagram. So you then build a personal relationship with somewhat personal relationship where then extending their reach out into books and interviews and getting them on, you know, good morning, USA and all those kinds of things and creating mini celebrity that just keeps that brands super sticky. Right. And I think that's a very different way of challenging the sports market. Then traditional brands have actually looked at doing so I think it's um, yeah, I think I think it's very interesting. I know it has its detractors. But I do think it's an interesting way to think about how you marry up Tech brands. and community.

Eric: Could you maybe start with just a bit of tell us the story of beavertown like the origin story where it's gotten to today give us maybe like a two or three minute overview, and then we'll dig into the chapters that we've set out to guide the rest of the conversation.

Tom: Yeah, great. So, um, beaver town brewery is by its very name, a brewery. And we might be things like neck oil, gamma ray, lathe, garage, and lots of other delicious and wonderful beers. And I guess it comes from the founder that business was called Logan plant. He was in America on tour with his band, he went to this craft beer and feel barbecued Choi at the time, we're sort of talking you know, 2009 Ken similar. There just wasn't anything like that in the UK at all. And he decided to kind of come back to the UK came on tour was started brewing in a rice pan in his kitchen, opened up a restaurant with his wife Bridget was called brew and Q and started brewing beer and cooking delicious barbecue stuff. And, and a beer to cop when people loved it. And that's where, you know, early beavertown beers were born out often the sort of thought okay, this is really working and sort of pushed harder into the into the beard and the food. And that was where BB temporary was born from and very much like, you know, familiar but well known. British craft beer brands is very much a kind of Zeitgeist at the time. And, you know, things like that coil just took off and it very much with an organic growth started to get distribution in regards to things like pubs and shops, and then it just kind of went from there. And it built up this, you know, amazing, wonderful visual brand in the restaurant that was a guy called Nick Dwyer working as a waiter, he just graduated from St Maarten to like, Hey, I could tell your labels. And Nick still draws all the labels and all this stuff today. So it was that mixture of really great beer brought over from kind of, you know, you think some of the kind of flavour them recipe that were born out of the US craft beer market, bringing them to the UK, combining that with Nick thought work and David found brewery.

Eric: So is there like a, is there like a formal set of brand guidelines? Or is it just like when you need something you go to Nick, I'm envisioning him, like sitting at the pub was kind of like a sketchpad. But I would imagine at this point, there's something to make that a little bit more scalable.

Tom: Nick refuses to do brand guidelines, much to the annoyance of quite large way, the marketing community internally, it's a bit of both, I mean, all recently, you know, I was brought in to mature the marketing approach and take it from sort of where it got to, from an organic perspective into into a more mature way to further grow the brand and get to new people that we knew we'd like the product. And in doing that, we've, you know, taken a slightly more structured approach in the way that we're doing marketing, but it's still very much, you know, you've got to keep up, you got to keep the magic, right. And the magic in part, you know, come from Nick and his brain. So it's super important that you continue to do that, even though we might be in lots of different channels, be that you know, traditional media or whatever it might be.

Eric: So you have a lot of experience working in what we would call challenger brands, or disruptor brands, new brands that are coming into a market that's heavily dominated by incumbents. And obviously, you know, the reality of that bill world, although, of course, it's been shaken up a lot over the last 10 years is true. But then also, as listeners would have heard, in my introduction, you spent about 10 years at Giffgaff, which is the Challenger telco brand here in the UK. And so in our prep call, you know, I think one of the first things that you really gravitated towards was making sure that there is a point to the disruption that you as a brand and business are trying to drive and I want to get to that, but I'm gonna take a short detour just to ask you a question about your time at Giffgaff. And really, you know, you have a bunch of different roles there over 10 years and 10 years in the challenger brand in a start up and scale up. That's that's like 30 years in a normal job. But you ended up as Director of Brand engagement and culture. So I think Director of brands that makes sense, but then director of engagement, what did that mean for you and culture and how did those things all fit together? And why? To the question or to the conversation we're about to get onto of the why of disruption, what was the why behind having a role that was titled unstructured that way.

Tom: Yeah, so I, for me and a group of about, you know, super talented, brilliant people launched Giffgaff in 2009. And give gap is no gay at work for mutual give it to the business model was baked on the concept of having deeply involved in the brand. And that's where that engagement element came from, we always wanted to have a marketing mix that brand advocates and people who really, you know, were into what we were doing could be involved in the brand. So therefore, giving it its own sort of focus and team to be able to drive that engagement with really important for the overall manifesto and brand equity of Giffgaff. The culture element came into it in kind of two forms. One was, you know, it's my strong standing belief, the brands that have a engaged, vibrant culture internally will always perform better than those that don't write. And we can always seem to have, you know, a long list of brands that advertise one sort of world. And then if you ever talk to anyone that actually works that business, it's a very different reality, right. And those, I just don't think in today's world, those two things with, you know, the likes of graft or LinkedIn, the reality of people talking about work in a very different way than they previously did, you can't update two things. So those two things need to go together, there's no better way to have that internal culture than to link it to the brand, ultimately, because that brand should be, you know, breathed externally through all the channels that we use, you know, in a marketing mix, but also internally with the people that work there. So there's that element and culture, and also the element. I think that, you know, brand should be additive to culture, right? Advertising and Marketing has been good at stealing from culture. But actually, if we can be additive to it, and adds value back rather than, you know, broad cart or advertising message that people, I think it ultimately made us a stronger brand. Again, that's kind of why that why that element of culture we've we've been, we've been mightily cool.

Eric: Yeah, it's super interesting. And I know you've been heavily involved in actually for a time did oversee the people team at beavertown, as well. And there's always that joint or that integration, connection between marketing and HR people talent, when it comes to cultural values, doing those types of exercises. But actually, it is really interesting to think about, if a brand is really going to be able to deliver on the purpose, the disruption, what it says it stands for in the industry, then the people need to display that, certainly if you're in any type of consumer facing business. But ultimately, the output of both the product and the brand are going to come from how the people orient themselves and think about themselves and work from each other. So that connection, and that consistency between the culture and the brand, I think is a really interesting thing to think about and to see reflected in org structures, sometimes. So moving on to this idea of finding the point of your disruption. So, you know, we talk about this term challenger brand all the time. And of course, with rival what we're trying to understand is what makes successful challenger brands at us, you know, someone who's been now at the helm of two, you're certainly a good person to talk to about this. So I guess I'll just throw that out there and let you kind of unpack it when you say you need to have a point to your disruption. What do you mean by that? And what do you think a lot of Challenger brands are getting wrong on that journey?

Tom: I think come it's very easy to be disruptive, right? You can run into a restaurant and hit the cable over people dining in learn, and that is highly disruptive, completely pointless unconstructive to deliver your point, right. I think when brands truly identify why they exist, and who their enemy is, or what or what they're challenging, it doesn't always have to be we want to take on X brand. It could be an ideology that you you want to change. If you can truly identify that then it gives you something that's razor sharp, that as you grow as a business, and it becomes more complicated and you've got more people that probably don't have that link back into the founder that wasn't there. You know, with the little scrappy bits To paper on the wall, you've got something that you can continuously keep reminding people of why this business exists right? Now, ultimately, you want people to come to a business every single day and be able to do their best. The minute that people start to lose clarity over why they're turning up, and what they're doing, or what they're communicating externally, that it becomes weaker as a as a brand. So you need to have that point, you need to have that reason, right? So if I think about the example of gift gap, right, it was always David versus Goliath, where David and everyone else is a Goliath. And in the story, you know, you outwit and outsmart and that's how you win. Right? That element of mutuality, that, you know, I touched on in regards to what got me that was always baked in. So we always had something come back to just being in a position where you go, I think we can do you know, I don't know, I think we can do this fashion thing better. Right? Well, okay, cool. But why? What's the point that you want people to care about? And I think if you can do that, and have that I think it will ultimately make the brand more powerful, and more successful?

Eric: How important do you think the role of foil or a enemy is in creating a challenger brand? Because, you know, obviously, that's one prototype. And I think, a very effective one. And just to over communicate, it's actually something I'm thinking about for rival, I think, I hope that we have a pretty clear story of what we stand for in terms of this idea of understanding what makes successful challenger brands but I actually wonder if we miss out on a little bit of the I don't know if interest is the right word, a little bit of the buzz, a little bit of the stickiness a little bit of the appeal. Because we're not necessarily against anything, you know, we talk about kind of being against the traditional way that ad agencies are run in the traditional way that consulting firms are run and kind of, I guess, you could say, just by the nature of what we stand for, and the opposite of that unsuccessful challenger brands and what they're doing wrong, but we don't really lead with that. So, you know, this is also for my own benefit. But I do think it'll be interesting to people listening, how important is that? You know, and even is, is beaver i don't see that's I don't necessarily see beavertown is like against, you know, not in the sense of like, you know, another challenge or be a brand out there being aggressively against something like Giffgaff was, so maybe you could elaborate on that a little bit for us.

Tom: I think, I think there's lots of different ways that you can bring to light your point of difference. And ultimately, that's kind of what what the thing is here, I think there's definitely some ideology around you should have a very clear rival and, and go off that rival, but ultimately, when you beat them, what what do you do now, but pick another one? My viewpoint is, you should all ways if you you know, if you're selling to brand, dependent on your positioning, of course, and what type of brand you are, you should be positively disruptive. Because I think you should add value rather than just kickoff. Right? And I think if you can be positively disruptive, I think it helps tell your narratives. So I remember years ago, there was a guy in a focus group who said, you know, all the classic stuff about, you know, I don't know, advertising and data that other than that. And he said, I just wish that if brands gonna take one minute out of my day, I'd rather you tell me what you do well, and tell me what other people do badly by. And I think in many ways that stuck. And I think that positive disruption helps. Let's see if that right, because ultimately, no one wants someone to just walk in the room and start shouting and stomping and telling, you know, why everyone else is rubbish. And you know, don't just unconstructed. Right? So you can still be a challenge that you can still have a rival or an enemy, you can still have a belief system that goes against the norm, but how you then bring that to life, as a brand, doesn't always have to be angry or aggressive or negative. Right. And actually, I think, you know, for the example of the reef group, I think you can be positive about there. Actually, it can be really beneficial for that brand.

Eric: One of the things that you said in our prep call that I really liked, was there's this challenge that a lot of Challenger brands don't succeed at, which is keeping that point of difference as they scale. And the way that you framed it up is that a lot of these brands become diluted. And you also said you No, there's a lot of those brands out there that you were I would be like, yeah, they were good and cool when they were smaller, but not anymore. And of course, there is that challenge of when you start small, it's called Crossing the Chasm theory, right? You can be more relevant to less people because you can be so sharp because you can be so differentiated. But as you scale, particularly for a mainstream brand, like a telco or like a, you know, a brewery, you're trying to appeal to a lot of different people in theory. And the other element of this is, of course, you know, with beaver town, not now being owned by Heineken. I know, we're going to talk about that a little bit later, as well. I'm sure there is a lot of pressure to kind of scale on appeal to kind of more of the mainstream beer drinker here in the UK, and wherever else you're gonna go with the business. So how do you defend against that? How do you make sure that you stay just as sharp just as differentiated when you do have to scale and appeal to more people? And how do you not become diluted as a challenger brand?

Tom: I think deputy probably the most significant challenge the Challenger brands face, right. And I sort of call it like you can, there's a couple of band analogies, but the one that I always use is like is a little bit like a king to Lille, right, or certainly the UK, which has everyone loved the first two albums. And then the minute that they were playing Wii festival, in fact, some fire, everyone suddenly thought they were completely rubbish. And it's the difficult second album, really. Now, I think, without sort of one thing to sort of go over what we've talked about, but I think if you're really super clear on why you exist, and that has not necessarily universal appeal. But your business position has appeal, which can go beyond the hardcore group of people that are going to initially support it, then you should be able to scale it and grow it, the challenge really is around, you start to bring in people that either don't understand or don't understand the level that is needed for why you are different, right, and it can suddenly become quite vanilla. Equally, the RAW formats and approaches that work immediate channels, right? Better. So when you start to look at, you know, effective advertising versus less effective, but arguably more on brand or more, you know, true to your values, or wherever you start getting into a really difficult situation, because it's like, you've got to prove the money's working, right. And you've got loads, you know, potentially your budgets are bigger than when when you work for the brand or whatever. So there's always this sort of balance between, you know, you're doing the right thing, you spending the money in the right way, or the more effective way to do it, and you compromise and compromise and compromise and compromise. And it's an accumulative factor that all of those compromises start to dilate Brown. Right. And it is a balance, you know, and I haven't got things perfectly right at any of the businesses that I've worked for that, you know, that has had to be to be a compromise. But I think if you're if you have that greater level of appeal, built on a true insight, or a true point of difference, or something that you can hang on to when the turbulence right, then I think that gives you the ability to face that fan in, in a much stronger way. Good. And if you didn't have no thing.

Eric: So you've been at Beavetown now for a little over four years. And I just be curious to the extent that you can remember or have thought about it since then, you know, 10 years at Giffgaff, kind of leading one of the leading challenger brands in the UK, what were some of the learnings that you took to a different category, a different product, a different brand to get started on the brand side on the people side on any of the approach that you kind of honed in your experience there that have now laid the foundation for what you built at Beavertown?

Tom: Yeah, I think there's probably a few things. I think that, you know, to the previous point has been very clear on what's your what's your reason to exist and what are you trying to do and why why are you there? Right. I think being clear on what value you want to add to the conversation to the market to culture or to advertising. think having a having a respect for the creative approach and creative execution, right, I think is really important in both businesses about an in house creative model, right, which I think is in those instances, doesn't see all brand physiques those, those two. And I think having, you know, ultimately super passionate people to believe in what you're trying to achieve, and why are sort of contributing factors to the successes of those brands, really. And I think, you know, we always had a thing at Giffgaff, which was you tried to make the people side of things as important as the numbers, right. And I think that that really helps focus the mind on you know, you get rid of the people you down with business, right? So they are full, they really do need to be focused on in the same way that, you know, the very important number, John,

Eric: it is interesting. I mean, I totally agree. At the end of the day, one needs to be slightly more important than the other. And it's not like in every situation, right? You know, the world of business, as in life is grey, it's not completely black and white. But at the end of the day, I think you could probably go through every company in the world and put them either in a people lead, or a numbers lead bucket, and maybe it changes over the course of their journey. But I think that's interesting. It's like, you know, you either make a decision based on the people and for the people, or you make a decision based on the numbers and a lot of that, and it kind of circles back to what we were talking about before, a lot of that has a big impact on the brand, as well.

Tom: I would say, I think it's interesting. I did this. I did this big, like, global leadership tests. A few years ago, one of the questions in it was you have to prioritise the areas into which you are lead in a business, right. And it was like finance people, marketing, sales, and operations might be could only pick four out of five. Right? And, and it's actually very, it's an interesting exercise to do. Right. It's an interesting exercise to think, to think about, right? Because often, actually, most businesses can be a fine art club business, right, ultimately, would fail what's behind that. And then people behind that, to actually get failed beyond those to number one, or even arguably, at times number two, is actually not as straightforward as it may seem on, on face value. So I think it's a really interesting exercise to kind of ask yourself, but equally, if you've got production in there, production isn't in the top for me not making anything, right. So it's, yeah, it's definitely an interesting one to consider.

Eric: I think that's one of the things once you get to a certain level in your career or certain stages in business, it's not choosing between what's important, it's not and what's not important. They're all important, and yet something usually still has to give. So there's no, there's no easy answer as much as everybody is always looking for one. So I'd love to change gears a little bit. Another quote that I jotted down from our prep call that I really liked, is you said create creativity and marketing, or advertising, I can't remember exactly the word you use. But anyway, creativity is at its lowest point. And you said a lot of it is really dumbed down and lacking depth. So I'd love for you to elaborate on that, and why you have that point of view. And then of course, what you're doing to make sure that you are not contributing to that and that you're actually and clearly you are in some of the activations that we've seen in the brand that you've built, but how are you making sure that you're delivering creativity that is raising the bar within the industry and has depth to it?

Tom: So I'm old enough to remember things like the leeboy campaign, the nine tune there's one in the UK which is called like the Spaceman ad. phoney bouncing balls Guinness to me, great advertising should pumped through into all pre COVID We would call water cooler moment postcode with I don't know, I don't know what you call them teen teen conversation so that it should it should punch true. Right? And my ultimate aim is to have one of those moments that that does run it. I don't know if I if I have arguably, probably not, again, some of those, you know, seminal pieces of TV advertising. That immediate makes it much more complicated than it ever has been, you know, just not, you know, people just sit in watching endless TV, you know, we're on our phones and so Chirlane CRM and you know, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Right. So it's much more complicated. But I think that there are still people making amazing pieces of, you know, advertising, you know, you know, nothing beats a Londoner being, you know, obviously a seminal piece of work, you know, that happens in in recent years. But I just feel like there's fewer of them. And I think it comes down to a lot of factors, I think it comes down to an economic factor, which I think then it starts to impact budget, which impacts short term goal setting, which impact quick wins, which impacts the approach that you might want to take creatively. And there's an awful lot of Top of Mind, advertising that happens, you know, the jingle, or the brand, Sonic has never been probably so used ever, in the history of advertising, because we need to keep people thinking about the brands, because we're trying to make some short term wins, are we building brands for the next 510 1520 years? I don't know. Because economically, it's very different people don't think jobs, the amount of time that they are, can be used to stakeholders might say, and new competitors may pop up, it's much more complicated than it ever has been. But I feel maybe more in my heart in my head, that we should still try and have a commitment to creating pieces of advertising that are creative, and loved by people. And if you look at the graph, over, do you do love advertising, hate advertising? People more than ever dislike advertising? And I think it's because we're not adding enough value into their lives, we are thinking, short term wins for lots of reasons. Now blaming anyone for doing that. Right. If I worked on for most brands that probably do the same thing. But I do feel that we could and should continue to try and do creatively interesting things. And is that that's the, that's the most politically nice way I could probably put it, right.

Eric: By the way, you can be as mean as you want, though, no, no needs to be PC on our accounts. But I think it is, you know, there's clearly a red thread. And actually, you summed that up, even as I was thinking it and thinking to comment on it in my head, which I think we very much aligned on, which is it all comes down to value growth of anything, the business, the p&l or the brand comes down to whether or not your ad able to add value and ideally value that doesn't exist already in the market differentiated value. And I think when it comes to advertising, and this is part of you know, we haven't jammed on this, but part of my philosophy of how I think modern brands need to actually think more like media companies rather than traditional marketing firms or functions. Because that comes down to the value exchange, is the focus on adding value to an audience in order to attract and retain attention, or is it focus on extracting value from that audience in order to sell something. And of course, at the end of the day, the role of marketing, every dollar that goes in, should be to drive growth for business, it's a question of whether that is focused on the short term return, or the long term return. So if you're focused on adding value, its long term, if you're focused on extracting value, it's more short term and every business needs to be a little bit of both. The question is where the balance lies. But I think the most successful brands and businesses are the ones that are able to be more long term focus than the other. And I think that plays out as much on the product side and building products that are more customer centric, and and deliver differentiated value, as it does on the brand side. And I'd be curious, is there anything you can share? Like? Is it just as you know, clearly, you have a Northstar. And I'm sure when you're working with your teams or your agencies, you're like, I want this to add value. I'm sure that's part of it. You've already talked a little bit about and it's clear with what you've produced that a big part is understanding what's going on in the culture around your audience and the Zeitgeist and making sure that you can tap into that. But is this you know it when you see it? Or is there any kind of framework or is there anything that you do differently specifically, that other people could learn from in order to produce you know, truly creative breaks or work?

Tom: I think it's, um, I think if t then I think wanted the personal thing, which is, I've just spent all of my teenage years are fortunate enough to be sitting on a sofa, right? And that mass consumption of endless music videos, bore a hole in My brain sort of tried to make them do I mean, they were always more interested in adverts and all the rest of it. So I think I think a bit of it is, knowing what is happening within broad culture, pop culture, etc, right. And that is to your point around media. That is so much the case now, where, you know, I've got a friend of mine that works for a brand and the CEO came in with a kick up video that his daughter was watching and basically was like, I don't understand what he's getting, you know, 2 billion views or whatever. And we're struggling down 2000 views in our app. And it's like, because it's an app, right? So do, it's never been more important to understand culture and how people are consuming it. So I think there's a personal thing, which is a good kind of map from lean that way. I think the second thing is that if you have to understand it, you have to be insight LED. And you have to understand where those insights are coming from, both in a brand perspective, but also on a product perspective. And each generation now seems to be quite a bit different than the previous one. So if you do want to create things that are going to have some longevity, you truly need to understand people. And that way beyond just a demographic, geographical understanding. It's a head and heart thing, right? Great brands play to both head and heart rational and emotional, you know, when you do need to understand why someone loved the thing that they love, and how your brand either aligned or doesn't align to those things is you want to get in for the heart. Right? So I think it's, I think it's those two things that really, really helped me and hopefully the businesses that I've that I've worked for it, definitely that understanding of culture built on in the time.

Eric: So one of those breakthrough things that you and the brand have created is the visual ID but the way that that manifests or comes to life for most consumers, people that go to a pub is is in of course the tap, and the can but the pipe class, and you you know you are beavertown is part of the cultural zeitgeist in the UK, with these pint glasses, which I know this isn't, you know, isn't isn't validated or anything, but apparently, you have the most stolen pint glass in the UK? So I'm guessing this wasn't a I'm gonna write a brief how do we come up with the most stolen pint glass in the UK? But how did how did that come to life? How do you think about it?

Tom: Now, I just thought it was an interesting anecdote. It's so in, in the world of beer, you know, stuff that happens in your distribution points be that, you know, pubs or shops or wherever, you know, as important as your media, right? Because the frequency that people are going to see it, it's at the point of purchase, you really want to, you know, making make an impact there. The it's not, we're not the first beer brand, you know, to do. Interesting pie graph is, but the wars and it predates me, absolutely no strategy that went into it, it was how do we create an as a prop? How do we create a cool looking pine cloth? Right? And Nick went, Yeah, we, you know, being the town was about skull, which we put, you know, colourful skulls across it, and the logo, and that's it, and naturally, people just went, Wow, this is a wicked graph, I'm gonna stick this in my bag, and, you know, and take it home. And why I love that is because I can't pay to get into people's cupboards to remind them every morning when they're going to get a glass of water about the brand. Right? And it would be weird if, if I were sitting in people's cupboards. So to do that, and have that level of frequency is, is, you know, incredible, equally allowing, if you like, or being opened the fact that people are being a bit cheeky and they feel that, you know, almost got away with why they've got something free, right, is a lovely position to play in to the emotional connection that people have with that with that brands Right. And, you know, we had sort of the similar things that have extended on from the brands, which is yes, we frequently have tweaks or exits, and we frequently have tick tock videos about people stealing pipe offers, right? We ought to have loads and loads of people popping up with beaver town tatties right now. Not everyone is gonna get a beaver town Tati. I want everyone to get a beaver tanks. It But for those people that feel that way inclined, that's incredible, right? They are willing to have a permanent element on their bodies, that is a visual representation of the brand. And we had a pop up shop recently with a tattoo artist, he was booked out, solidly, giving people beavertown patties right. Now, if I think back to my, you know, useful data sitting around, you know, watching MTV band logos were always such an incredible powerful thing. You know, there's there's rock and metal bands, and the aid is still on T shirts sold in mainstream shop. They're all because the iconography is so strong, or iconography strong, like a brand is like a, like a band iconography, right? And that's really punchy. So say the pint glasses play to that. And clearly, you know, those people that want to get tattoos, it clearly placed that as well. So it's just a, it's a wonderful position for us to be in. And, you know, we were in a meeting, you know, recently, and we went to the pub afterwards. And we were standing by the bar and this person, she just picked up a bag, she didn't know we were from beavertown. Obviously, you split up a bag and putting them off the bar in the back, you know, and we were like, Yeah, cool. Go for it.

Eric: Man. That's amazing. My sister has one, by the way. So all right. I think the last thing I've got a note here that says ask about the Halloween campaign. So I'm guessing that Varun is planning on releasing this at some point in October, but what can you tell us about the upcoming Halloween campaign.

Tom: So we have our new Halloween campaign going live at the start of October. We talk it's sort of our focus on Halloween a couple years ago, and the sort of tight knit, you know, it's like building on that foundation, you know, it's a big party weekend, it's a big thing in scaring yourself watching horror movies on Netflix weekend, look at the brand's visual identity it you know, it massively plays into it. So we're gonna have some great content going live across, you know, facial panels, and maybe cinnamal. We're just debating at the moment, we're gonna have a graphic novel, a physical graphic novel that you can, you can get and read built in our world, but with a scary Halloweeny based story, and then we'll be supporting it through an event, a big event that's going to happen in Shoreditch on the Halloween weekend. So whether or not you're staying at home, you can skate yourself watching Netflix and our content. Or if we going out, you can go out to our party in Shoreditch and, you know, get involved and have a great time. So it's a real, it's super fun. It's um, it's a really wonderful way to be able to build the brand and bring it to life for Halloween. So yeah, let's all go live at the start of October. It's the one like, you always know when you're ramping up for a campaign when it's like the majority of your meetings are about it. And that is definitely what's happening at that moment. So yeah, it's so exciting stuff for Halloween coming up.

Eric: It's funny, I just we're recording this September 11. I just came back from six weeks in the US. The Halloween promotions started early August is crazy over there. So I think there's still room for that market to grow here. So a quick lightning round. So quick fire answers. I got a set of questions here. I know that by design, you didn't see them until just a couple hours ago. So no time to prep. Can you tell us about the first job you ever had?

Tom: I had a paper around when I was about 11 or 12 where I live when brown on a Friday afternoon delivering free papers to people that didn't want them and probably didn't read it.

Eric: What's the best piece of career advice you've ever received?

Tom: Hey, I think start by starting I think we can over strategize and procrastinate too much. And sometimes you know what you're asking for it when you ask for it right? So if you want a difficult conversation about either the development or pay what I think four o'clock on a Friday, you're all unlikely to get the response that you want.

Eric: What's the best or worst brand campaign you've seen recently?

Tom: I'm the best is our dollar from a company that we just did. The worth is there's a big bank in UK who above line is quite literally the same as a cold mailman music video is definitely shot and I doubt I doubt the bank know by but they've signed up. So similar from a camera movement and action perspective, it's it's Have you played your rhythm straight down the line?

Eric: So you think the agency just did it and push the past them?

Tom: I do. Yeah.

Eric: It's happened before, that's for sure. What is your pet peeve about the marketing industry?

Tom: I think it's very the the for people to knock each other's campaign. Think whether or not you like it or agree with it, all of them take blood, sweat, and tears. And I don't think anyone anywhere is turning up to work to do a bad job. I think that it's too easy to be like, Yeah, I think that's rubbish. And I would have done X, Y, but I just, you know, show a bit of love in the world, right?

Eric: What's one marketing tool that you can't live without?

Tom: A team? Right? That is that the best tool I have, to my to access is my team, you know, whatever platform, whatever thing you want to do, whatever I just, it doesn't matter, right? What matters is that you've got people that care about what you want to do. And hopefully believe in what you're saying. And we'll get up in the morning and turn up putting skin in the game. You know

Eric: What's one thing people should do differently after listening to this episode?

Tom: challenge whether or not they have total clarity on what their business and brand is trying to stand for? and achieve by that.

Eric: And lastly, do you have a beavertown tattoo?

Tom: I do not have a beavertown or any tattoos. I deal at 40 to live in fear of my mom. So I think she would disown me. I've thought about it many times. I've even I've even decided what they should be. And you know, I really wanted one when I was like 15. And my mom made sure that that didn't happen. So I do all live in.

Eric: I think that's fair. I think if you have no tattoos and you don't have one that's acceptable. If you had tattoos and you didn't have one, I'd have some questions, Tom. It's been a really fascinating and informative conversation. I really appreciate you making the time. Thanks so much.

Tom: Thanks so much. Eric

Eric: Scratch is a production of Ryan. We are a marketing innovation consultancy that helps businesses develop strategies and capabilities to grow faster. If you want to learn more about us check out If you want to connect with me, email me at or find me on LinkedIn. If you enjoyed today's show, please subscribe, share with anyone you think might enjoy it. And please do leave us a review. Thanks for listening and see you next week.

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