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Harper Adams University student sets-up premium vodka business

Posted 4 July 2017

“Vodka is my drink of choice, and seeing a market requesting exclusive products, it inspired me to look into setting-up my own brand."

Full-time business student Kiron Phillips, from Daventry, Northamptonshire, has started-up his own luxury vodka brand called RK Vodka.

The 22 year-old said: “The idea for my business came from when I was on my placement year, working near Heathrow.

“There’s a huge luxury market there that enjoy the experience and stories behind the products they buy.

“My parents own their own business, so the prospect of running my own has always been something that’s interested me, plus I study FdSc Business Management with Marketing.

“Vodka is my drink of choice, and seeing a market requesting exclusive products, it inspired me to look into setting-up my own brand.

“I did my placement with BTC Group. They were really supportive of my idea and helped me during the initial steps of starting the business.

“It’s been difficult setting-up and running the business alongside studying full-time. Luckily, a number of the challenges I’m facing are suitable topics for assignments.

“For example, I’m looking at marketing to post-millennials for my dissertation and using myself as a case study. I believe social media will be a key way of hitting my target market. I’ve already got an Instagram account which I’ve put photographs on from a recent photoshoot. You can see the striking black and white packaging, which took 18 months to perfect. I believe the packaging is perfect for the social media platform.

“I’m also using my dad as another case study as he was, and still is, marketing his business to a different audience. One thing that I think is important for a business to do, which I’ve learnt from my dad, is building rapport with your clients. I’m a believer that my product will be successful if I keep it small and exclusive and communicate well with my clients.

“The uniqueness of the product works well with the exclusive market I’m working within. RK vodka is only distilled once; which is based on the traditional vodka making method from the 14th century. We use copper pots originating from Portugal to remove tannin, which is a substance which can cause a bitter aftertaste. This means my vodka has a smoother, sweeter taste, which lets you enjoy it straight; just how vodka is meant to be drunk.

“Currently, we have a limited toffee edition available. It’s a great product for introducing a non-vodka drinker to the spirit. It’s also had additional uses that I hadn’t even considered.

“An ex-Bake Off contestant came across it, and said that they’d be able to do so much with it in their cooking. It was also bought by two local restaurants near to the university around Christmas, and they used it to accompany a seasonal dessert.

“I’m currently looking into other flavours that I want to develop.”


Visit the RK website to learn more.

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