Marketing insight: interview with Emily Laws of Lucky Saint
Following her participation in Retail’s Bulletin’s Retail Customer Marketing Webinar last month, here we interview Emily Laws, Senior Marketing Manager at Lucky Saint, the 0.5% superior unfiltered lager brand.
You could say Emily had a baptism of fire when she joined the business just before the start of the Covid-19 lockdown back in March. But five months on, a revised marketing strategy has enabled the business to take full advantage of new opportunities for growth, particularly online.
Give us some background on how Lucky Saint was founded
The business was established in October 2018 by Luke Boase with the ambition to change perceptions of alcohol-free beer forever. After deciding to take a break from booze, he embarked on a search for a great tasting, refreshing alcohol-free lager. When he couldn’t find one, he decided to make his own.
Luke then spent two years in research and development, working with six different brewers across three different countries, brewing nearly 60,000 litres of beer before reaching the Lucky Saint recipe. Lucky Saint contains just four simple, high quality ingredients and is made using a unique brewing process, following strict German Purity Laws. The result is an award-winning 0.5% Superior Unfiltered Lager with biscuity malts and a smooth, citrus hop finish that’s best enjoyed chilled!
What is your background?
Prior to my current role, I worked with the Fever-Tree premium mixers brand as Brand, Activations and Partnerships Manager. I have also worked in PR and as brand marketing manager at Street Feast.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted Lucky Saint and its future plans?
When lockdown first happened in March and the on-trade closed, we lost 70% of our volume. It was a scary couple of days but we’re a nimble, dedicated team and we quickly pivoted our focus to the ecommerce side of our business. By April we had had our best ever month. It was an incredible turnaround – these past few months have allowed us to focus our attention on online sales, on the user experience of our website, building our CRM database and perfecting our approach to paid social. It’s been invaluable for us as a business – before lockdown, our ecommerce site was more of a ‘nice to have’, now it’s a key sales channel for us moving forward.
What does Lucky Saint do to deliver the best possible customer experience and build loyalty?
We are constantly looking at ways to improve our customer experience – we’re really fortunate to have a loyal customer base and we want them to know that we couldn’t do this without them. We ensure that we speak to them regularly to understand what they want to hear from us, and tweak our content accordingly. During lockdown, we knew that they were looking for at-home recipes, so we partnered with our restaurant accounts to deliver great recipes that could be enjoyed with a Lucky Saint at home. We put a lot of effort into our ecommerce boxes and post-purchase journey to ensure people feel surprised, delighted, informed about the brand and part of the Lucky Saint family.
What do you think a powerful retail marketing strategy will look like in 2021 and beyond?
By expanding our ecommerce business, we’ve opened up a direct line of communication between us and our customers that we weren’t able to have before. In the last few months we’ve been able to speak to lots of our customers, survey them, understand them better and this will help inform our marketing strategy, putting our customers at the centre of everything we do.
Data can feel like a scary word to start-ups, it often feels like something only bigger businesses can afford and have access to, but you have more data than you think – customer surveys, facebook data, google analytics (the list goes on). This data > insight > action approach will help us create a powerful marketing strategy that is based on real insight and not just guesswork.
What is Lucky Saint’s ultimate goal?
Our ultimate goal is to become the world’s defining alcohol-free lager. What Guinness is to Stout, we want Lucky Saint to be to alcohol-free lager. We have lots of exciting plans, and we feel really lucky to have a loyal customer base already on this journey with us – we can’t wait to introduce even more people to our 0.5% Superior Unfiltered Lager.