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Inverroche: Maintaining brand equity in craft gin through brand acquisition

Publication date: 8 December 2022


Subject area of the teaching case:

It is well suited for short courses focussed on brand equity or marketing.

Student level:

This teaching case is specifically aimed at postgraduate students completing a management diploma or a professional development course.

Brief overview of the teaching case:

Inverroche, one of South Africa’s first artisianl gins, faces an interesting brand dilemma. By the end of 2016 through a distribution agreement with a large wholesaler, it secures a national footprint and becomes available at all leading retailers, resturants, and bars. The product’s immense growth trajectory attracts the attention of the global drinks conglomerates who see an opportunity to secure market share in the lucrative craft gin segment of the market. Founder Lorna Scott grapples with whether she has made the right choice to sell a majority share of her beloved brand to the global house of brands, Pernod Ricard. In this case, she meets with her sales team to debrief the situation as well as have a heart-to-heart with Alex Farnell, general manager of sales and marketing. The case looks at the Inverroche brand in detail, what it represents, and why it resonates so intrinsically with consumers. However, Scott and Farnell differ in opinion on the strategic objectives of the brand. Farnell seems to think that the sale to Pernod will not harm the brand, but Scott is torn. How does a niche artisinal brand scale? Can a brand remain authentic when it does scale? Is there any commercial sense in remaining artisinal? Is an artisinal brand’s brand equity compromised when it is sold to a corporate house of brands? All of these questions relate to whether a brand can remain authenthically artisinal amidst a corporate acquisition.

Expected learning outcomes:

  1. To identify the challenges of growing an artisinal brand

  2. To identify the challenges of achieving scale as well as the marketing and commercial costs and profits scale represents

  3. To identify how to build a brand that resonates with consumers

  4. To critically assess the link between brand building, distribution, and availability

  5. To analyse the impact of brand architecture on brand equity



Peer, T. and Reyneke, M. (2022), "Inverroche: Maintaining brand equity in craft gin through brand acquisition", .



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