King of cool: partnerships

King of cool
King of cool

Though they’re not yet stocked by any major retailers, Murphy is optimistic that this will be a natural progression and is hoping to be in one of the major high street stores by spring 2016…

This is in line with his business strategy, which outlined year one for testing the market at fairs and pop-up venues to canvass consumer opinion, year two for forging links with independent retailers and then year three for signing up with UK-wide chains.

At the moment, the product can be found at venues with a distinctly cool vibe about them that include the Brighton Dome, Backyard Cinema and London’s high-rise events space, Altitude and he’s also in talks with two airlines (both British-owned naturally). Arundel Castle in West Sussex is trialling the product too and he hopes to have achieved a permanent listing by next summer. “I have the utmost respect for early adopters,” he says, referring to those partners, especially within the theatre market where pricepoint is so important, who have been willing to take a chance on a small, unknown brand and whom he feels have “reciprocated [Cream & Country’s] passion and enthusiasm.”

Although pleased to have teamed up with such a great line-up, Murphy cautions against partnering haphazardly with outfits that might not necessarily enhance your business. “It’s a fine line between the commercial proposition and protecting your brand,” he notes, pointing to the example of a convenience store that wanted to stock Cream & Country but which Joanne vetoed as being unsuitable.

Boosting a brand’s profile is a concern for any start-up and Murphy has been savvy enough to balance the need for market penetration with subtlety: “you need someone who will spread the word, but not in an aggressive way, it’s better to try and build relationships instead.” In the social media sphere he is aware of companies such as TribeBoost, which artificially inflate the number of Twitter followers you have, but Murphy shies away from such tactics and prefers a more authentic approach, even if that means taking time to garner a significant following. He finds planned content useful rather than just a scatter-gun approach to tweeting and is currently focusing on a campaign which will look at some imaginative new recipes featuring C&C ice cream, such as the hard shakes (alcoholic ice cream cocktails) they have devised together with the London Cocktail Club, a ‘happening’ chain of bars based in the capital.

In the next instalment of our King of Cool series, we take a look at the importance of surrounding yourself with good people…