Every brand has a story. From Green Beret soldiers fighting in Afghanistan to award winning bourbon, the team behind Horse Soldier Bourbon uses authentic storytelling and shared values to market their all-American spirits. In this episode, we sit down with Scot Neil, COO of Horse Soldier Bourbon. We talk about the story behind the brand, the importance of unique and meaningful details, and how they use their core values to make their brand stand out.
Munoz: Okay, so we're gonna jump into values. And I recently saw a stat that said 71% of consumers prefer buying from companies that align with their values. That's huge, especially in anything regarding business, 71% of anything is a lot. So what is it? Why do you see and why do you think that people are drawn to companies that share their values?
Neil: Because people buy things they're comfortable with, and what makes them comfortable is that shared value aspect, that kind of identity, right? When we go around the country and we talk about the Horse Soldiers, soldier story, they're fascinated and they wonder if they could do it. But when they buy our product, right, they're making a personal choice, especially in consumer goods, right? And we get to tell what our values are and they decide if they share 'em or not. And the good thing about it is we're very open about our values. We didn't shift and change them for the consumer mindset, as we're trying to attract what the latest trend is. We said this is us, right? We have authenticity, we have integrity. We have family balance and work-life balance, right? All of these things were very open and honest, especially coming from a group that were so secretive and private, right? And when they find out that we share the same values, they can now relate to us. Whereas they don't know if they could relate about our secret past and warrior kind of ethos. But when you share the kind of people we are and our family values and our work ethic, they instantly resonate.
Munoz: Oh, love that it is all storytelling, all communication. So let's get into the nitty-gritty. How do you do that? You've got authenticity, integrity and the journey of the story. How do you communicate that to your consumers?
Neil: Well, one, you start with a platform. So obviously, I giggle every time because you take a group that was the most secret in the world. Nobody really knew about the horse soldiers until Hollywood made a movie, which we didn't even participate in, right? The book, we didn't participate in. So all the stories were told about you, but now that we're retired, we're comfortable enough to share our experiences, right? So we do a lot of storytelling, even in COVID when you cannot travel from location to location and tell why your bourbon's better than this bourbon or that bourbon. We had to do it virtually. And we adapted very quickly and we started hosting virtual speakeasies. We even invite bartenders in that were out of work and we would let the consumers tip them through electronic means, so it got a way and they would talk about how to make their favorite drink. So for us as a group, how do you communicate? There's platforms today and you have to be very savvy, and that's why we have our kids, right? They grew up in this, they could turn it on, they could adapt it, do it. On the other end, how do you speak to your customer? You have to share your sacrifices. You have to share a bit of yourself. So when we do a bottle signing, we have hundreds of people that line up and we actually spend more time listening to their story of service and sacrifice. So we're very good listeners as a brand as well.
Exclusive Bonus Content: After the show, we kept the conversation going with Scott to get real, raw answers. No topic was off limits! Tune in now!
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