The Cocktail Delivery Company - from pivot company to lifestyle brand

The Cocktail Delivery Company:

Coaching through transformation: from pivot company to lifestyle brand

The Cocktail Delivery Company, now Swygge, started life at the beginning of March 2020 as a spin-off of The 43 Club, the growing B2B cocktail experience brand for high-end corporate hospitality and events. With an MBA and 21 years of experience in the hospitality industry under his belt, owner and founder Rewfus Brode saw the event industry rapidly coming to its knees due to COVID-related closures and cancellations and knew he needed to act fast in order to survive.

“We had been trialling the idea of a cocktail delivery service with the catering and B2B trade prior to COVID, but when lockdown took effect we knew we had a small window of opportunity to pivot our offering. We wanted to put our idea to the test and provide the Great British public access to good quality cocktails despite the closure of their favourite bars, pubs and restaurants. We flipped a switch from our growing B2B brand to a B2C offering practically overnight and The Cocktail Delivery Company was born,” said Rewfus.

“It was a hell of a journey,” he continued. “We built a fully functioning consumer-facing transaction website in two weeks and learned a LOT about packaging, shipping and shelf life in a very short space of time, making improvements and changes as we went along.”

In addition to navigating delivery shipments to ensure every element of the cocktail kits arrived fresh and before its sell by date to each customer’s doorstep, Rewfus and his team realised they needed to include clear, foolproof step by step instructions for every cocktail to ensure consistency and quality of experience.

“Our offering changed from providing fully stocked pop-up cocktail bars to catering and hospitality staff at events to delivering make-your-own cocktail kits to individual’s homes. It was a steep learning curve for us,” recalled Rewfus.

Despite its initial challenges The Cocktail Delivery Company was perfectly timed to provide a sense of occasion, fun and connection for many a virtual celebration during an otherwise turbulent year.

Fast forward to 2021 and with the successful lockdown pivot behind them, Rewfus and his team needed to look to the future to balance The 43 Club brand with the re-opening of hospitality and to grow The Cocktail Delivery Company, soon to be rebranded to Swygge.

“The Cocktail Delivery Company was only ever created as a ‘Ronseal’ brand,” explained Rewfus. “It allowed us to move quickly and did what it says on the tin. We want to create a warmer lifestyle brand that our customers will see not only on their doorsteps, but as they start venturing out and about.

With this desire to create a movement and lifestyle around the new branding, Rewfus understood that he would need support from his team and other experts. Wanting to grow quickly, he needed to shift his mindset from the slow, organic growth model that served him well in establishing The 43 Club toward attracting bigger investors to help fund this next stage.

Preparing for growth

It was at this point that he received a fortuitous call from the ActionCOACH team offering their services to help him focus on driving the business forward. “The call came at the perfect time,” recalled Rewfus. “I knew I needed to take a step back from the day-to-day operations of the businesses and focus on the bigger picture. I understood that working with Natalie Simms of ActionCOACH could help me to structure and manage my time and support me in taking a step back to define the vision, strategy and plan for attracting investors.”

“For me, business is all about relationships and from our first conversation, I had an instant rapport with Natalie. I was impressed with her attention to detail, her experience, qualifications and network. I knew she had the knowledge and connections to help me grow the business and is already proving this in the short time we’ve been working together.”

Time management and letting go

One of their first sessions focused on the all-important skill of time management. Natalie worked through a series of Time Mastery exercises with Rewfus, helping him to analyse how he was spending his time and aimed at helping him to become responsible for his schedule and increase his focus and productivity. By gaining an understanding of how he was spending his time on a daily basis, Rewfus has been able to keep a more detailed diary, set aside time for meetings to avoid constant interruptions – and to let go of some of the tasks better suited to his team, including running The 43 Club events business.

“First and foremost, working with Natalie has helped me to stop making excuses and take more responsibility for my time. It has allowed me to step out of the crux of the nitty gritty of the business and look at the bigger picture,” said Rewfus. “Natalie has served as a reminder that I have a great team behind me who are more than capable of re-igniting The 43 Club brand as events start to open up again. She’s made it easier to let tasks like this go to help focus on my vision for the brand and achieve where we want to go next.”

Working towards the future

When it came to defining the company vision, Natalie encouraged Rewfus to bring his partner Emily into the session to ensure that the couple’s life goals aligned with those of the business. “Emily and I had agreed that our goal is to build the business up so we can sell it in five years’ time,” explained Rewfus. “It is easy to see how all the work I do with Natalie is ultimately aimed at ensuring we reach this goal.

Natalie continues to work closely with Rewfus each week, helping him to stay on track and take actions aligned with the vision for the business. They have focused on managing finances, improving sales and the best audiences to target for new business and future investment. By working through ActionCOACH’s 5 Ways, Natalie has helped Rewfus to understand how small tweaks such as encouraging repeat purchases from his B2C customers can yield big wins when it comes to increasing revenue and market share.

“Natalie provides a layer of accountability that I haven’t had since starting the businesses. She helps me to maintain 100% focus on moving forward – we set goals for me to meet and I report back on my progress each session. Her outside perspective also makes her a great sounding board. She always responds to my questions and new ideas, linking her insights and answers to the overall strategy for the business. Working with Natalie is a huge support for me and a breath of fresh air. She is a part of this journey – and beyond.”

Download PDF version of The Cocktail Delivery Company Case Study