Category Archives: Sales & Marketing

Likely not “News” to most in the “Industry” but the stats, even to me, we staggering.

Small Food Business

small business closingThe fact that many independent restaurants start and fail probably isn’t news to any of us, but the fact that they top the list of small business failures is a little eye-opening! Top Business Degrees has put together a great infographic on the most tried and failed mom & pop businesses including information on what you can do to make sure your small business doesn’t end up in this category.

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“You Spoke, We listened” Maker’s Mark transparently reverses it’s decision

Maker's Mark Logo

After a major uproar in the distilled spirits community, Maker’s Mark has “listened” and reversed the decision to change the ABV from 90 down to 84. A classy call by a classy brand. I will admit, I wasn’t going to change my love for the brand, BUT, this move has ADDED to my loyalty. Let’s all be ready for the price hike, and continue to enjoy the delicious 71% corn true Bourbon Whiskey.

As I said before, Maker’s Mark places emphasis on being transparent in an otherwise blurry spirits climate. Kudos to the Samuels Family and showcasing why people really love you {emails at the bottom for Thank You’s}.

Know that I am one consumer that believed you when you said, “You didn’t screw up my whiskey”.

You spoke. We listened. 

Dear Friends,

Since we announced our decision last week to reduce the alcohol content (ABV) of Maker’s Mark in response to supply constraints, we have heard many concerns and questions from our ambassadors and brand fans. We’re humbled by your overwhelming response and passion for Maker’s Mark. While we thought we were doing what’s right, this is your brand – and you told us in large numbers to change our decision.

You spoke. We listened. And we’re sincerely sorry we let you down.

So effective immediately, we are reversing our decision to lower the ABV of Maker’s Mark, and resuming production at 45% alcohol by volume (90 proof). Just like we’ve made it since the very beginning.

The unanticipated dramatic growth rate of Maker’s Mark is a good problem to have, and we appreciate some of you telling us you’d even put up with occasional shortages. We promise we’ll deal with them as best we can, as we work to expand capacity at the distillery.

Your trust, loyalty and passion are what’s most important. We realize we can’t lose sight of that. Thanks for your honesty and for reminding us what makes Maker’s Mark, and its fans, so special.

We’ll set about getting back to bottling the handcrafted bourbon that our father/grandfather, Bill Samuels, Sr. created. Same recipe. Same production process. Same product.

As always, we will continue to let you know first about developments at the distillery. In the meantime please keep telling us what’s on your mind and come down and visit us at the distillery. It means a lot to us.


Rob Samuels Bill Samuels, Jr
Chief Operating Officer Chairman Emeritus

The Icarus Deception and your meaningful art in a new economy.

The Icarus Deception from Squarespace on Vimeo.

the.icarus.deceptionSeth Godin is many things, author, blogger, marketer, speaker and provocateur. Sometimes with less than 15 words, Mr. Godin can cause a wave of thought and emotion with his engaging daily blog. His latest book The Icarus Deception is another artful thought stirring read.

Seth makes the bold claim that we are, for the most part, deceived. The book details the fundamental changes we need to make to create our own success in the new economy.

A little background on the title;

The main story told about Icarus is his attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. He ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall into the sea where he drowned. The myth shares thematic similarities with that of Phaëton—both are usually taken as tragic examples of hubris or failed ambition.

Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Daedalus tried his wings first, but before taking off from the island, warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea, but to follow his path of flight. Overcome by the giddiness that flying lent him, Icarus soared through the sky curiously, but in the process he came too close to the sun, which melted the wax. Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms, and so Icarus fell into the sea in the area which today bears his name, the Icarian Sea near Icaria, an island southwest of Samos{}

How do you interpret the deception?

Are you guilty of listening to Daedalus too often?

Thoughts from another provocateur;

  • After reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, I found this a great “next read” as it continued the learning from that book about Mastery.
  • Seth Godin draws the comparison that we are like ICARUS, in theory.
  • In the Industrial Economy of the past, we fly on the safe path and are sure not to go too high or too low.
  • We are mostly sheep following Daedalus’ instructions.
  • We are in a new Connection Economy, watching the next factory close down is the norm and MAKING ART, a lot of ART, is the new way to drive the economy.
  • “Art” is so much more than what you can put on a canvas, it is everything you SHARE with others.
  • ART must be shared, keeping it in your basement IS NOT ART.
  • Happiness with what you do, ALLEVIATES doubt and makes you a better person.
  • Creating ART that you are passionate about has never been easier, because of the INTERNET Connection.
  • Living inside your “comfort zone” and not experimenting, is a waste of your time.

Get out and make ART,  a lot of it, and don’t listen to the critics.