Change is afoot for the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild (UKBG) with the appointment of Leanne Ware as its new Marketing Director. The founder of the drinks marketing, commercial and strategy agency Distinctly Aware brings a wealth of experience, both in venues and with brands, not to mention insights gained from ongoing work with Distinctly Aware.
Among Ware’s primary objectives in the new role is to assist the guild in becoming as relevant as possible to all bartenders across the UK, and ensuring that it fully represents this diverse demographic.
In addition, Ware’s many years of experience working with drinks brands will be invaluable as she helps the UKBG develop commercial opportunities and engage with brands. Ware’s aim is to ensure that the guild becomes a foundation for those brands, bars and bartenders, and is as pertinent and trustworthy as it can be.
“The UKBG has the potential to be the optimal platform for brands to engage with bartenders. The way in which we do this has to be adapted to the way bartenders and the wider on-trade perceive their own current and future position in the industry, while ensuring the guild’s programmes and approach are not only engaging, but industry leading,” said Ware.
The UKBG has seen its fair share of changes in the near-century of its existence. Since its first council in 1934, the guild has organised national and international cocktail competitions, is involved with training and professionally-recognised qualifications recognised around the world, and is a founding member of the International Bartenders Association.
“In the past few months, we have listened to our members, mitigated many challenges and taken initial actions towards the retailoring of the guild,” said UKBG President Claudia Carrozzi. “We are a very ambitious and passionate team that is constantly focusing on the growth of the association, as well as the benefits for our members and sponsors. It is important that we are consistently reviewing our structure and strategy, and reassessing our needs.
“We have structured a good team so far, but it took us quite a long time to find the right person to fill the gap within the marketing framework. Leanne’s vision and goals are perfectly aligned to ours, and her knowledge and experience are exactly what the guild needs to become relevant to our trade and grow the amazing talents within our industry.”
Distinctly Aware is uniquely placed to enhance the UKBG’s relevance and reach. In addition to its extensive brand client base, the agency is extending to accommodate hospitality venues too. Combined with Ware’s extensive experience behind the bar, Distinctly Aware has enviable insight into the UK bar industry, and the UKBG’s membership across the country.
With Ware at the helm of its marketing initiatives, this marks the beginning of an exciting time for the UKBG, with the potential to bring the country’s bartenders together more than ever, at a time when the industry needs it most.