In this episode of Small Business Celebration, we delve into the world of entrepreneurship with a focus on increasing Yelp reviews organically, fostering collaborations with vendors, and navigating the vodka game. Join us as we explore the insights and experiences shared by Richard Daley, Vice President of West Coast Operations at Plush Vodka.
Who’s Richard Daley?
Richard Daley, a pivotal figure in the West Coast operations of Plush Vodka, brings a wealth of experience to the table. His journey from IT directorships to co-ownership of Plush Vodka, alongside CEO Malcolm Hill, exemplifies his versatility and entrepreneurial spirit. Plush Vodka is not his first entrepreneurial rodeo either. His journey started all the way back when he was a kid washing cars in his free time.
So Where Are We?
Our conversation is not at a distillery but actually at Sports and Spirits. This bar is a hub for enthusiasts of both sports and fine spirits, located at 6636 Ming Avenue, Bakersfield CA. We extend our gratitude to Brian, owner of Sports and Spirits, for his unwavering support in promoting Plush Vodka. He was one of the first bars to promote the drink in Bakersfield.
Journey to the Vodka Game
Richard’s transition from the realm of IT to the world of vodka entrepreneurship was catalyzed by Malcolm Hill’s vision and his wife’s encouragement. His diverse background, including stints at Home Ranch and Cloud Centric, equipped him with the skills and determination to embark on this new venture in life – the vodka game.
How Plush Vodka is Unique
Plush Vodka sets itself apart with its unique plum infusion process, utilizing real organic plums for an unparalleled flavor profile. The meticulous filtration and distillation techniques employed result in an ultra-premium product that stands out in a crowded market.
Market Challenges and Solutions
Overcoming consumer misconceptions about plum-infused vodka posed a significant challenge. Plush Vodka tackled this by creating a cocktail book to educate bartenders and consumers alike, fostering a deeper appreciation for the brand.
Competition and Confidence
Despite competition in the vodka market, Plush Vodka exudes confidence in its quality and appeal. Richard encourages taste tests to understand different notes in Vodka. Just like wine, you have to taste it to appreciate it.
Strategies for Success
Richard emphasizes the importance of establishing genuine partnerships with spirit brands, leveraging social media, and organizing events to promote Plush Vodka effectively. Events serve as invaluable opportunities to market Plush Vodka to a wider audience, provided they are supported by a marketing strategy aligning with the brand’s values.
Lessons Learned and Future Expansion
Reflecting on past marketing strategies, Richard outlines plans to enhance visibility and engagement in the coming year. A shift towards active social media engagement and collaboration with charitable organizations is on the horizon. Targeted marketing efforts and community engagement initiatives are prioritized over blanket sales approaches, with a focus on key accounts to facilitate growth in specific cities and regions.
Turning Rejections into Opportunities
Richard shares insights on the importance of saying “no” to collaborations not compatible with Plush Vodka’s vision. He illustrates how such rejections can lead to unexpected benefits and new opportunities. Every “no” can still be a “yes.”
As our conversation on the vodka game draws to a close, Richard reminds the audience of the significance of strategic collaboration and persistence in building fruitful partnerships and achieving business growth. We invite you to engage with his YouTube video and check out other Small Business Celebration weekly blog posts. And don’t forget Visioneers, a successful business is an entrepreneur and/or team practicing determination, consistency, and never underestimating the power of collaboration.