Raising the profile of Cranes Drinks

Cranes Cider product sampling

British cider, gin and liqueur brand Cranes Drinks has rapidly established a reputation for the quality of their products and range of all-natural, original flavours. Founded by identical twin brothers Daniel and Ben Ritsema in 2012, Cranes Drinks have been featured in Stylish, The Daily Telegraph and Vogue – and is now on sale in Asda, Morrisons and Co-Op.

However, like many food and drink brands, they’ve faced challenges in raising brand awareness and getting their products into customers’ hands. For a company like Cranes, the best way to boost both is to get people tasting, liking, buying and talking about the range.

A sampling event is a great way to shout about a relatively unknown brand, and to give potential customers the chance to taste it for themselves with no initial financial commitment. That’s why, earlier this year, the brothers decided to take the Cranes brand on a series of Costco special events, showcasing and sampling their products for their target market.

However, they couldn’t do it alone. While Cranes were previously running all their own events, they struggled with finding the resources to be in two places at once. They needed a team who they could trust to run an event concurrently – as well as successfully and on-brand – and that’s where WDS came in.

Planning and delivery

For Cranes, it was vital that the look and feel of the Costco events replicated their existing sampling campaigns. To ensure that this was the case, Daniel and Ben created a nine-minute video for the sales consultants involved, talking them through:

  • What would be sent to them for the sampling campaign
  • How to set up the sampling bar
  • How to arrange the products on the stand
  • Important information about the sampling stock
  • Sample sizes
  • Product USPs
  • Packing down

This ensured that our sales consultants were aware of Cranes’ requirements at the start of each event, but also gave them a guide to refer back to whenever needed throughout the event.

Cranes Cider Product Sampling

In any product sampling campaign, ensuring that our sales consultants are thoroughly and accurately briefed is key. While a client will know their own product inside-out, it’s important to remember that our sales consultants will not have the same level of knowledge. We worked closely with Cranes to overcome any challenges that arose during the campaign and strove to learn from each roadshow, ensuring continuous improvement.

The outcome

The Cranes sampling campaign is continuing throughout August and September, with locations spanning everywhere from Southampton to Glasgow. And the initial feedback is positive.

The brothers have seen a definite increase in sales since the series of Costco roadshows began – and with a variety of Cranes products demonstrated at these events (their cranberry and lime cider, their raspberry and pomegranate cider, their cranberry gin and their cranberry and blood orange liqueur), they know that their drinks are making it into people’s homes – and that if they’ve liked it enough to buy it once, they’re likely to buy it again.

Cranes Drinks have also been impressed with the WDS sales consultants (take a look at the testimonial they gave us below!). Thanks to a combination of detailed briefing instructions and choosing the right consultants for the task, the WDS team has built up a solid understanding of how Cranes’ drinks are made, the provenance of their ingredients and what makes them unique. This has meant that every potential customer that has attended one of the sampling events to date has gained a thorough understanding of what the brand is all about, helping Daniel and Ben to raise the Cranes Drinks profile. We’re looking forward to the rest of the roadshow events in this campaign!

WDS is a very professional set up, and with their strong relationship with Costco it makes it a great platform to showcase and sample our products. With a detailed brief, some of the WDS team were even out selling the actual Cranes sales staff.

– Cranes Drinks


If you’d like to raise your brand profile through the medium of a Costco roadshow, contact us to find out how.