Ladybank: Co-creation & open-source business

As promised an update on Ladybank.

GREEN has been appointed to help raise the profile of The Ladybank Company of Distillers - the world's first Single Malt Scotch Whisky distillery to be owned by a unique membership club.

This is a wonderful story. A 'co-creation company', Ladybank has evolved from an on-line community of single malt enthusiasts from across the world with members in the UK, US, Russia and Europe. It is the brainchild of entrepreneur James Thomson, who has worked in the Scottish whisky industry for many years - he is responsible for the online whisky resource and the Islay Whisky Society.

James says: "What has been so exciting about Ladybank is how passionate the membership has been about the whole exercise. Ladybank evolved from an online proposition when we created a virtual community of whisky lovers who could come together via the internet to talk about their passion for good single malt whiskies.

"That community has now turned into a movement in the real world to create a real company in Ladybank. Work has already begun on the construction of the distillery and we now expect to start production in 2007."

As a co-creation company Ladybank enables a group of like-minded people to create a product, service or even a community that is free from the normal rules of commerce, because it is driven by their shared passion and shaped by their lifestyle choices.

Membership, which now stands at more than 340, will be capped at 1250 and thereby guarantee that membership value will increase in time. As owners, members of Ladybank, are entitled to annual allocation of malt whiskies from each vintage and will have also access to the distillery and its reception facilities in an idyllic setting between Gleneagles and St Andrews in Fife.

True enthusiasts will also be able to witness, and even assist, in the entire whisky-making process with the master distillery manager and sample their whiskies from different casks as they mature over the years.

When complete the distillery will provide a range of private function rooms for fine dining and private celebrations to which members will be ably to bring their family and friends - as well as enjoying the myriad other activities that can be enjoyed in the surrounding area.

What excites us - beyond our own membership of Ladybank - is the mash up or new and traditional media in the promotion of our client to a wide range of audiences. We are currently drawing up a strategy to create some traditional media coverage (good old press releases and selling in the story to clearly targeted journalists) and move web-savvy social marketing.

The latter will draw on the blogging community, wikis, forums, e-bullets, podcasts, PRX, YouTube and, potentially, a presence in Second Life. For those of you interested in Ladybank post your comments below - James would love to hear from you.


Wadds Tech PR Blog said...

Congratulations Ian and you've started to do your job already. I've just registered for an info pack. I've been hunting around for a way of investing in a cask of whisky, or some such similar initiative for my son, born earlier in the year.

Ian Green said...

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for this. I'm a member too. I had the same thoughts about my son too - although he is 15!
Great client and campaign to work on too! By the way my colleague Simon Collister recently including you in his blog at Simon Says.