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Master of Malt - An Inspiring Export Success Story
by Startacus Admin
Here at Startacus we like nothing better than hearing from passionate and talented people who are determined to make their startup business a success.
So we think it’s only appropriate that we say a few words about businesses which have been through the perilous journey of establishing themselves and still come out the other side a success and smelling of proverbial roses!
So without further ado, I give you Master of Malt - the first in our series of export success stories!
We are definitely partial to the odd tipple now and then...and again...and again... and whisky is quite often our poison of choice. However it's fair to say sometimes the selection available in our local supermarket leaves much to be desired, but since we discovered Master of Malt I am happy to say we now have a whole world of whisky literally at our fingertips.
Master of Malt is an online retailer and independent bottler specialising in whisky but also featuring a variety of other quality spirits with a user-friendly, personable and downright enjoyable website. Their story is one of a real startup success through innovation, having begun life modestly as a postal order supplier in 1985 and opening a shop in Royal Tunbridge Wells five years later. Their website came later in 1997 and by the following year they were trading solely as an online business. Today they enjoy enormous success and export to countries across Europe and North America - an export success story if ever there was one!
Their fantastic growth is due in no small part to the fresh and playful perspective they have brought to what can seem a rather stale, unexciting corner of the marketplace. They have successfully created a range of very distinctive products which appeal to different target markets giving themselves a mass appeal not enjoyed by their more traditionally branded competitors.
You would be hard pressed to find another online drinks retailer that caters to such a broad customer base, from connoisseurs seeking high-end luxury bottles with matching luxury price tags, to someone after a cheap and cheerful treat. The surprising thing behind this set-up is that these products sit quite comfortably side-by-side thanks to the strong distinctive branding which flows right across their web space and product line.
Just a quick glance at their web page will tell you that Master of Malt challenges and reinvigorates the traditional notion of a Whisky Retailer. This pioneering spirit came into its own in 2010 when they tore up the rulebook of online drinks trading and launched a new ground-breaking service called “Drinks by the Dram”.
In an unprecedented move they gave customers the option to purchase a 30 ml dram sample of their chosen drink instead of having to commit to buying the full bottle, the little geniuses! This also meant that customers had the opportunity to sample some of the rarest whiskys in the world which would have otherwise been out of their reach. So successful are these sample drams that the company now offers hundreds of different spirit samples and are adding more all the time - just one in a long line of successful innovations which has added to their mounting popularity.
Master of Malt's innovative and inspiring efforts have been recognised by the industry too with 6 World Whisky Awards going their way, including `Online Whisky Retailer of the Year` to name but a few. Further evidence to the huge success that this once tiny company has enjoyed is that they now export to over 30 countries across Europe and North America!
It just goes to show how with the right branding, quality products and a clear vision of where you want your business to sit in the market, independent ventures have the potential to grow into international enterprises. We’re watching with interest to see what they do next!
Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.