The rum producer formally known as Silk Road White Spiced Rum has been forced to change the name of its rum due to a conflicting EU trademark just six months after launching.
As the business is still in its fledgeling stages, founder George Agate has devised a creative way to turn what could have been a costly rebrand into an opportunity to connect with the public imagination during lockdown. Temporarily operating as The Rum With No Name, the company has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £5,000 by appealing to consumers aspirations to eventually socialise again while offering the opportunity of becoming involved in the brand’s journey.
In exchange for contributions of £5 to £500 The Rum With No Name is offering a variety of products and experiences, including tickets to the company’s re-launch party, limited edition bottles and a personal mixologist for one night. Every participant in the venture will also have the opportunity to suggest a new name for the brand, with the winner receiving a year’s supply of rum.
Agate’s travels on the Silk Road to Istanbul had inspired the original title and the byzantine design of the label. He is hoping to find a new name that will reflect their “unique brand heritage, which lies in adventure, pursuit of the un-ordinary and celebration of the eccentric”.
The only stipulations for the new name are that it should be four syllables or less, work across many languages and should not offend. ‘Rummy McRumFace’ has already been vetoed. The Crowdfunder campaign will run until June 8.
Sales of artisan rums are increasing having lagged behind other areas of the alcohol sector during the craft boom of the past decade. Unlike other spirits, rum has multiple barriers to entry into the premium market due to a lengthy ageing process, difficulty in producing varieties and weak category standards in the US and the EU. Product innovation and targeted marketing are pushing the market to evolve as producers look to leave behind the spirit’s image as a sickly cheap party drink.
The Rum With No Name hopes to offer a “delicate, light and more refined alternative” to increasingly popular dark spiced rums. It suggests pairing their vapour infused white rum with a subtle, dry tonic instead of traditional sugary soft drinks.
Matthew Coates, consumer analyst at Global Data, said: “Sales of rum reached over £1 billion in 2018, around one year behind gin. The increase is driven by consumer demand for craft spirits, similar to the growth seen in craft beer over the past decade. In 2006, around 50 rum brands were available to the British public, compared to nearly 200 in 2019.”
The upward trend in rum sales looks to be continuing in the current COVID lockdown too. During the last three weeks of March 2020, for example, retail sales data reported an additional £104 million spent on alcohol. While rum only had a £6.4million share of the total sales, this was a 92.4% increase based on the same period in 2019.