Oak Creative has always loved seeing Kent businesses succeed. As we settle into our ‘new normal’, Oak Creative have been talking to local businesses about their brand’s experience through the pandemic.
Oak Creative has been a creative partner to Biddenden Vineyards for almost 30 years, so where better place to start than by talking to Julian Barnes, from Biddenden Vineyards. The backbone of Biddenden’s brand is their iconic label design, which Oak Creative carefully craft for each of their product ranges. In addition, their e-commerce website is a crucial sales channel which Oak Creative built bespoke to suit their business needs.
Q: What role has your brand identity played during the pandemic?
A: As Kent’s original vineyard, we believe our brand has been a trusted local name. This is testament to the hard work and efforts put in by the family and staff, not just during the pandemic but all year round.
Many people chose to support local throughout the pandemic, which was helped by campaigns such as Help Kent Buy Local. We hope these buying habits will continue and loyalty will remain, to help Kent thrive.
As our Creative Partner, Oak were supportive and proactive throughout. They quickly produced online advertising and social media content to communicate important messages to our customers.
Q: Tell us about your journey through lockdown to now?
A: As a food and drink producer, we worked throughout lockdown with regular deliveries. We took orders via our website and via telesales. We have built some amazing business relationships through conversation on the phone and the road, which have worked well for both us and customers alike.
Although there was a shock factor when the lockdown was officially announced, we had started to get prepared as the pandemic crept across the globe. We had begun considering the items that we might need for production, focussed strongly on our expenses and concentrated on moving stock to generate income.
Gradually as the year has developed we have found our balance. The weather has been very kind to our industry so far this year, which is a huge positive too.
Q: What do next 12 months look like for your business?
A: We have just released a Biddenden Special Ortega from 2018, which is made from the oldest vines on our estate. This has been developing for 2 years and we’ve released just 600 bottles. It’s very exciting and positive for us to be able to release such prestigious wines in the current climate. In addition, we are currently waiting on the production of three new stainless steel tanks to help with the quality of our wine and cider blends, which is a major investment of funds in these times. Both of these items are so important to keep our brand and our business strong.
We are into harvest season now so the rest of the year will be spent working hard and keeping the firm as lean as possible over the coming Winter months. Like everyone, we hope that next year brings something less restrictive.
Q: How important has having a Creative Partner been for building your brand?
A: Biddenden Vineyards has grown from a small diversified farm business into an independent brand over the years. We have been working with Oak Creative for what feels like forever – it must be 30 + years, so they have truly been on that journey with us!
Oak have always been committed to helping us produce designs in a way that works for us, continually allowing us to be part of the process. They are creative, reliable, flexible and committed – which is makes working with them so easy and it means we can focus on what we do best, producing award winning wines, juice and ciders!
Visit Biddenden Vineyards online to learn more about Kent’s oldest Vineyard and order a bottle or two!