A Week in My Life: Adrian Hipkiss, Marketing Director, Boost Drinks
Boost Drinks is one of the most successful energy drink brands in the UK, and has continued to see growth throughout 2020.
It recently launched its Choose Now campaign, encompassing a complete brand refresh and a marketing campaign worth £1.2 million spanning TVC, digital, social media and OOH. Adrian Hipkiss is Boost's Marketing Director and a leading figure for the ambitious campaign.
We found out what a working week in Adrian's life looks like...
Mondays generally start with my alarm waking me up at 6am. I like to get up early and get ahead of the day. I’m not one of these people who can just get out of bed and jump on a call (despite the temptation during lockdown).
My first port of call when I wake up is to check my phone: Review emails, flick through social media, and check out what’s going on in the world. In a pre-lockdown world, I would then head to the gym before driving onto the office with my coffee in hand. Obviously, that has been slightly different this year, so I’ve created my own gym at home. I like to get a workout in early to make sure I’m feeling on top form both mentally and physically for the rest of the day.
Once the gym is done, I’m outside getting fresh air and feeding the animals. We’ve got chickens and a dog. It’s important that we get them fed early doors, before they start waking up the neighbours! There’s also the added bonus of having fresh eggs for breakfast in the morning.
Once I’m logged on and at work, Mondays are pretty heavy on the meeting front. We start with our weekly marketing meeting where we bring all teams together - from trade marketing to category management and consumer marketing and product development - to catch up on priorities and focuses for the week and ensure we’re all working collaboratively and our communications messages are consistent across the board.
Following our core team catch-up, I head into the leadership meeting where we ensure we’re continuing to push the business in the right direction and make any required business decisions. It’s an intense day, but worthwhile as it means we can get ahead and set ourselves up nicely, ready for the week ahead.
2020 has been a strong year for us at Boost and that comes through in our sales and marketing meeting, that happens on the first Tuesday of every month at 10am. When it comes to reviewing 2020 so far there’s so much to look back on. At the beginning of the year we entered the ready-to-drink coffee market for the first time. Since then, we’ve completely repositioned the brand and launched a 360-degree marketing campaign across television, digital, social media and OOH.
We take great care to align the sales and marketing functions to ensure that we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet. We often use Tuesdays to sign of our volume forecast. Working with the sales team we use a number of internal and external tools to guide the decisions. The outputs of these meetings are vital to managing the business from a stock management, customer service and cash management point of view.
Over the last few months, I have found that the first three days of the week fly by. With so much going on right now Wednesday always seems to creep up on me. I’ll often try to get in a particularly big workout on a Wednesday, and while I work out most days, I like to mix it up on a Wednesday as it definitely helps break up the week while we’re not allowed out and about as much.
Wednesday is often the day for catching up one-to-one with [MD] Simon. As with the rest of the world, these meetings have moved online but that doesn’t stop us grabbing a coffee and catching up on all things Boost. Simon’s knowledge of the independent retail sector is second to none, it’s a real asset to our business and one that I believe sets us apart. Our latest conversations have revolved around tracking how we’re progressing against our annual strategy and challenging that before aligning on the agreed direction.
As part of that strategy, we recently brought on a category controller in Mark Wilford. This is a new role at Boost and Mark brings years of experience to help us better understand what’s going on in our own category but also in a wide variety of different markets. We will be able to use this to support the independent retail sector and really add value.
Thursday is typically where we catch up and monitor the performance in Northern Ireland to ensure we’re making all the right moves over there to continue to perform well and drive brand fame. While Boost Drinks is a Leeds-based business, we’ve got fans of the brand all over the UK. Northern Ireland forms a large part of the brand’s support and in the market we are currently the first, second and fourth best-selling soft drinks within the convenience channel which is a huge testament to our partners over there as well as our team in the UK.
On a Thursday, I also have a catch-up with our Sales Director, Al Gunn, to make sure that the marketing team are continuing to work closely with the sales team. When it comes to relationships with individual retailers, Al seems to know everyone in the industry which is another really strong asset for us as a business. Al and I work really hard in collaboration to ensure we have strong strategies that meet the needs of the shopper and work for the trade.
One of the things I love most about working at Boost is there is a real appreciation for family. We’re an independent business which means we make sure people have the time to do what’s important to them outside of work. On a Friday I will often take my four-year-old daughter to school. She’s just started and absolutely loves it! I love being able to spend a bit of extra time with her and Boost is supportive of anyone who wants to do the same.
Once I'm at work, Fridays are a day for my one-to-ones with the whole team where we chat through what’s happened that week, what’s coming up and where we can support or help each other. We’ve got such an exciting group across both our consumer and trade marketing teams and our product development team. I always feel refreshed when I come out of those meetings after listening to the great work that’s going on.
Just like everyone else I look forward to finishing on a Friday but before I go, I try and get myself ready for the next week. For me, it’s about getting everything in the right place to relax over the weekend and really get a break before coming back to it on Monday. COVID or no COVID, I like to unwind with a beer and sometimes a curry. Hopefully we can get back to a place soon where we’re able to go out and do this with friends, family or colleagues.