The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2014

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Page 42 of 108

BEVFORCE HOT SHOT Chauncey Hamlett BRAND DIRECTOR, DOUBLE CROSS VODKA E ach month we check in with one BevForce Mover & Shaker to provide you with some behind-the-scenes insight on the job search process, the beverage industry's most innovative companies and the executives who drive them. This month, we chatted with Chauncey Hamlett, who was recently named Brand Director at Double Cross Vodka. He had been Brand Director at Bacardi. THE TASTING PANEL: How would you define Double Cross Vodka's culture and what attracted you to it? Chauncey Hamlett: It's a culture of collaboration. Everyone has their particular area of focus, but at the same time they are able to build on ideas around consumer messaging, activation, packaging, innovation, etc. The management team welcomes that type of input and encourages it. This is what makes smaller companies special and quicker to market with new ideas. Double Cross has a really interesting story that starts with its founder, Malcom Lloyd, a doctor who along with a few close friends saw a need for a more sophisticated and smoother tasting vodka and ventured out to make one. We have an amazing seven-times-distilled production process, and of course a very attractive bottle which is a breath of fresh air in a category where differentiation is much needed. We have some good work ahead of us, but we have a great foundation and great tools to do the job. TTP: What are your plans to further develop the business over the next year? CH: My plan is to first build upon the solid fan base that the brand has established in key markets. We also have an opportunity to increase focus in several other markets where we are seeing consumers gravitate towards the brand organically. TTP: What was the best career advice you've ever been given and who gave it to you? CH: I believe the best advice I received was that the spirits industry is like one big family, and it's important to understand that booze is the product, but people are the business. TTP: What advice would you give to job seekers looking for their next role? CH: It's important to understand brand "You." This will allow you to fully understand the type of business that will be a good fit for you and will also allow you to clearly articulate what you bring to the table for potential employers. TTP: What are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned from mentors in the industry? CH: There's no such thing as a bad idea. This industry is thirsting for innovation, and big wins usually derive from a few small mistakes. TTP: If you didn't work in the beverage industry, what would you be doing? CH: Most likely something in the creative and content development space. I have always loved to find creative ways to tell stories. TPP: If you weren't drinking a Double Cross Truffle Olive Martini, you would be drinking a . . . CH: A Double Cross on the rocks! It's really that smooth! 42 the tasting panel  / 42  /  the tasting panel  /  january 2014 TP0114_034-65.indd 42 12/19/13 9:27 PM

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