It’s been a while since we profiled your brand reps – aka business development managers and executives etc. to give them a couple of their official titles.
Some might say it’s been too long. So here’s the fifth of our ten, and we enjoyed catching up with them so much and there are so many of you doing a similarly grand job, we’re going to feature reps every month. Get in touch if you want to be included.
Key Accounts Manager
David, 34, went from kitchen porter to events manager in two years when he worked for Bill Costley in his native Ayrshire. This was his first job. Then he did nine years as Brian Maule’s assistant manager in Glasgow as well as a stint in Australia working with chef Raymond Capaldi before starting at Edrington-Beam Suntory.
His role involves working in unison with his accounts and he’s keen to highlight it’s a partnership.
Says David, “We are very adaptable to what each venue is looking for and work with accounts rather than coming at it from a marketing perspective saying ‘this is what we need you to do.’”
“We’ve got lots of plans for our brands. And they are strong brands. The Macallan, Laphroaig, Maker’s Mark, and House of Suntory so it’s easy to pass on my enthusiasm.”
There have also been structural changes to the business that wasn’t a response to the pandemic.
“Our roles have changed but these plans were in place before the pandemic. We now have city managers and key account managers and brand development managers in each city. Our focus is premium brands so we are targeting premium accounts.”
He feels that despite the challenges the trade continues to face, there’s cause to be optimistic.
“I worked all through the pandemic – bar 9 weeks of furlough – so I have a good idea of how things will fit at the end. There is a sense of disappointment, but the vast majority of operators I speak to are excited that they will open soon and that things will get back on track.”
There’s also a lot of support among brand reps in Scotland.
“Because I worked in the on-trade for ages, I know quite a few brand reps in Scotland and we keep in touch and look out for each other.”
Away from the job, David relaxes with the odd round of golf – plus he’s just taken up bowls. “It’s very relaxing but I’m not very good at it. It’s more about the conversations and the chat between shots, to be honest.”