How Andrew Marks’ passion gave Melbourne’s favourite local distillery, Melbourne Gin Company (MGC), a national home.
In many ways, The Melbourne Gin Company’s success is a product of it’s honest branding. The classic bottle and bold, lower-case branding – mgc – has become iconic on bar rails across the country. Even though every bottle abides by simplistic marketing and spartan branding, the brand is anything but forgettable. Every time you see a bottle it subtly reminds you, “Oh, You forgot about me did you? Go on, dabble again.”
AuTT interviews Andrew Marks and gets insight into the road that MGC traveled to go national.
Andrew Marks created the Melbourne Gin Company with one idea in mind – to produce great gin. He didn’t start out with a business plan or any gimmicks to get people on board, he just wanted to produce a gin that he was proud to label ‘Melbourne Gin Company.’ True to his desire, Andrew kept at work and experimented with countless ingredients until he perfected his gin.
Today he offers gin lovers a taste of his passion as MGC, a blend of juniper, sandalwood, orange and grapefruit peel distilates, (as well as a few others!) that make MGC a balanced, earthy bodied gin full of citric aromas and lingering herbal aromatics.
1. MGC is proud of their origins. Was it hard finding recognition outside of Melbourne?
Melbourne is a cultural melting pot, internationally recognized for its cosmopolitan forward thinking lifestyle. People around Australia and further afield understand that and we have found that, along with great production values, everybody is ready to embrace a product that encapsulates the idea of a bringing people and cultures together. We’ve had such a great response across Australia and we couldn’t be more proud of our product and it’s origin.
2. What are some of the more successful support strategies you guys have used to build your brand?
We have an online presence through social media that works wonders at connecting with the consumer. Our team is tirelessly, communicating and giving back as much energy as we receive from our devoted fans.
At the MGC we believe that giving back to the community is extremely important. We have been involved with the sponsorship of many local events, which reach a broad cross section of the community, as well as lots of events and charitable shows. It has been great aligning the MGC with organisations and businesses that share a common ethos and we try our hardest to find worthy partners ready to share in our passions.
3. What do you think it is about MGC that draws the attention of the consumer?
At first, it’s the clean lines of our classic design, and clear strong branding, but the litmus test (pardon the distiller trade talk) really is the taste of the product. We spent a year developing the flavour profile and recipe. If people buy a second bottle it is because it tastes good, not because of the branding.
4. Micro-distilleries, and the craft industry as a whole, have really become popular. What shape do you see the market taking in the next five years and what advice do you have for small and medium sized distilleries trying to find a healthy niche moving forward?
The market is morphing as we speak. It is a very exciting space to be a part of right now. The market will continue to develop and offer many interesting and different products. There will be some that catch the consumer strictly based on the branding and others that offer truly unique varieties. If consumers speak loud enough, there is no limit to where the distillers will go and what they will come up with. I think the main focus for us, as distillers, is to ensure that our products continue to taste good.
The Melbourne Gin Company has grown from a singular beginning. Every bottle proves itself a testament to Andrew’s dedication to his trade and MGC’s growth and popularity comes on the back of his vision to make his passion into a reality. The next time you go and pick up a bottle of MGC, remember Andrew’s credo, “If people buy a second bottle it’s because it tastes good.”
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