Published July 2021 in Food and Drink Technology July/August 2021
Brand Relations: branding and marketing
Richard Horwell is the managing director of Brand Relations, a food and drink specialist consultancy that focuses on development, branding and marketing. Prior to setting up Brand Relations in 2007, Richard developed a four minute wine cooler for retail and then a domestic version for the home.
“I set up Brand Relations to work with FMCG but particularly in food and drinks,” says Richard Horwell, managing director, Brand Relations. “We specialised more in drinks but we have been involved in some food products — but I think my heart lies with drink products because I know that inside out,” shares Horwell.
After establishing Brand Relations, Horwell founded a drink called Ibiza Ice, after seeing a market for an alcohol sparkling wine-based drink with flavours in it for the nightclub and festival market. Following a successful six years running the brand, Horwell sold the business.
Entering the drinks market is competitive.
“When people come to us and they want us to help develop a brand, unless we are very confident that it will be successful we won’t touch it because there are more complications
involved,” Howell warns. One of these complications is that people are often using their savings and borrowing money from their friends and family to launch their idea. “I have had people come through my door that have spent well over a million pounds on their brand and gone nowhere,” warns Horwell
Making your business a success
After having its busiest 12 months yet, Richard Horwell details his tips for how entrepreneurs can create a business that gets off the ground and has the best chance of success:
- Research. Understand the industry you are going into. If you have come up with an idea, look at the competition and the marketplace. Prove that your concept, market and timing are correct. Know who your target audience is and where they shop, where your product will fit in, why it is bigger or better than what is already on the market, and why it is going to be a game changer.
- Have a point of difference. Showcase your innovation on that point of difference and market trends too.
- Consider using your seed money to get the brand going and your early production out there. Once you have something tangible to show the buyers, you are in a position to raise money.