How to be a game changer in the spirits industry? Embrace your heritage


Genever is one of the most authentic spirits on the planet. A complex and refined beverage, basis for Gin. Bols is the pionier in promoting Genever as a basis/ingredient for cocktails. For most people, Genever is a rather exotic choice, mostly appreciated by purists and die-hards. A daily choice only for the elderly. Nevertheless, it is still the biggest drink in the Netherlands. Although it’s steadily declining… it’s also totally on trend. Is it happening? What opportunities for Genever can we develop with the new generation of bar owners?

An intensive, compact ‘opportunity identification’ project.

After a kickoff/scoping exercise, we engaged in a Parallel Perspectives dialogue, followed by a ‘Treehouse’ expert co-creation workshop.

We found that the best way for Bols to improve their positioning in the market in a credible way was, on brand level, to embrace their heritage and play up the strengths of the often centuries old brands in their portfolio. While at an organisational level, Bols could act more like a start-up and embrace a clear purpose.

Empowering the typical Dutch brown pubs as the central vehicle of the role-out strategy.

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James Veenhoff