MIMS DISTRIBUTING COMPANY
Thought Leadership Campaign
Mims Distributing Company, established in 1964 in Raleigh, North Carolina, is a family-owned beer and wine distributor servicing the entire state of North Carolina. The company offers MillerCoors brands; a wide selection of popular craft beers, including Ballast Point, Coronado, DuClaw, Foothills and Sierra Nevada; and an expanding world-class wine portfolio, including Palazzo, Keever Vineyards, Hourglass, and Arkenstone. These beverage experts also produce “Tales from the Cask,” an award-winning craft beer podcast. For its dedication to beer, sustainability and its local community, Beverage World magazine recognized Mims Distributing as the 2015 Beer Wholesaler Of The Year. “Tales From The Cask” was also named one of the top beer podcasts in the U.S. by the North American Guild of Beer Writers in both 2014 and 2015. A family-friendly company, Mims Distributing was the recipient of the 2013 and 2014 Carolina Parent Family-Friendly 50 award.
PHASE 1 DISCOVERY
In order to sustain corporate growth, including bringing on new brewery and winery clients, and serve a growing number of clients needing full beverage distribution service, Mims Distributing saw the need to expand its reputation as a market distributor of choice for new and established beer and wine brands. The company saw an opportunity to achieve this through enhancing its thought leadership and illustrating to key stakeholders that they maintain a depth of market familiarity that increases business success and profits for all parties involved.
PHASE 2 STRATEGY & PLANNING
Mims Distributing partnered with MMI to analyze its current business situation and examine best practices for engaging in new market growth opportunities. In addition to promoting craft brewery partnerships and moving to statewide distribution, Mims Distributing sought to re-enter the wine business, a division they previously housed from the 1970s to 2000, in order to strengthen the company’s brand image as a wholesale corporation. Through the launch of a publicity campaign we sought to achieve the goal of further establishing Mims Distributing’s industry thought leadership and expand its reputation and brand footprint on a local, regional and national level.
PHASE 3 PRODUCTION & DELIVERY
A key component of all strategic communications initiatives was the message that Mims Distributing paired craft beer and wine knowledge with the ability to seamlessly distribute and sell outstanding products. MMI engaged in media relations through earned, shared and owned channels, promoting Mims Distributing’s sustainability initiatives, civic engagement, award-winning business practices, new portfolio additions and more. These tactics also secured coverage for wineries and breweries that had recently formed partnerships with Mims Distributing, thus driving business for two entities at once. Local and industry coverage included print, broadcast and online mediums, including newspaper articles, by-lined articles, TV segments, blogs, radio mentions and online news sources. In addition, MMI increased key stakeholder engagement through social media account management and promotion of the “Tales From The Cask” podcast, which highlighted current events and trends in the beverage industry, along with other timely topics of interest to listeners.
Throughout all integrated communications efforts, MMI crafted language that showcased Mims Distributing’s thought leadership and unmatched ability to provide the best beer and wine to the right people in its service area by forming strong partnerships with select brewers, wineries and distributors. MMI also focused on sustaining a consistent voice of brand showcasing Mims Distributing’s second-generation ownership, family- and environmentally-friendly business practices, corporate social responsibility and quality and breadth of service.
MMI’s strategic approach that proven to be helpful in securing four new brewery and 10 new winery partnerships in 2014-2015. Communications efforts have also attracted the attention of national beverage organizations, including the National Beer Wholesalers Association, who awarded Mims Distributing Company its 2015 Public Affairs Award. Mims Distributing Company impressed the NBWA with innovative marketing and public relations efforts, including distribution of the award-winning Tales from the Cask podcast, appearances on local television stations, articles in newspapers and magazines covering the company’s story, business innovation, commitment to sustainability, and press releases announcing new brewery and winery partners. Overall, MMI’s work has helped move Mims Distributing closer to its clients and increase name recognition in the beer and wine industries and among the general public. To build upon this success, Mims Distributing Company continues utilize its partnership with MMI to capitalize on its dedication to beer, sustainability and the local community.