325 – Willie Smith’s : A Boutique Cider Brand Punching Way Above Its Marketing Weight

325 – Willie Smith’s : A Boutique Cider Brand Punching Way Above Its Marketing Weight

Sam Reid is the co-founder of cider brand Willie Smiths.

I meet Sam at the recent Telstra Business Awards in Tasmania. Now, one of my jobs as the emcee was to announce the finalists for each category and read out a short bio about their business.

Each business always got a round of applause … although some got a bigger applause than others. Willie Smith’s Cider got the biggest by far …. Quite heartfelt, it was!

So, in kicked my marketing brain.

What are they doing that other businesses aren’t?

What makes them so special?

Basically … Why all the love?!

At the end of the night I suggested he come on the show and reveal his secret sauce.

“Hell yeah!” was his measured response.

So, here’s Sam Reid, co-founder of Willie Smith’s Cider.

Also in this episode of your favourite marketing podcast, I share my top 10 ice-breaker questions that I use during pre-interview chats, and in general when meeting people for the first time. They get past the surface and fast-track getting to know someone at a much deeper level. And I even give you my answers to each of the questions. Yep … it gets personal!

Oh, and here’s one of those crazy climbing videos I’m talking about:





02:12  Welcome & overview
04:36  Today’s guest introduction – Sam Reid of Willie Smiths
05:53  Interview with Sam Reid of Willie Smiths
46:07 Insights in to WebCentral & Designcrowd
48:02  My Top 3 Attention Grabbers from my chat with Sam Reid of Willie Smiths
50:50  My Top 10 Ice-Breaker Questions
57:40  Wrap-up and insights in to next week’s guest




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Willie Smith’s official website
Joshua Nichols on how to create an amazing customer experience
Arthur Greeno on why a business should break Guinness World Records
Dave Munson on how to create engaging business stories that sell
My Top 10 Ice-Breaker Questions blog post (add your own questions here)
How to outsource to The Philippines




  1. Sam’s tip on how to attract and retain great staff – Let people add themselves and their personality to your culture. Have them solves problems in their own way, in their own style. It’s incredibly empowering for them. The bottomline – stop trying to micro manage everyone.
  2. Free yourself up so you can create new things – I love Sam’s passion for creativity and innovation. The Festival wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t created space between the day-to-day running of the business, and time to think. Who’s guilty of not doing this? I am. But when I do find time to sit and think; or walk and think; it’s bloody beautiful. So … here’s a couple of ways to create that time – 1. Be less controlling, and trust that your staff will solve problems in their own way; 2. Offshore process-driven tasks – Identify all those tasks that are taking up your precious time and money, and send them to places like The Philippines. We’ve covered this at length in past episodes.

  3. “We’re all about being memorable” – Are you? If not, why not? I’m guessing as a listener of this show you are constantly looking for ways to stay on your customers’ shopping list. Whether it be through offering an amazing customer experience (like past guest Joshua Nichols of Platinum Electrics); or breaking Guinness World Records like past guest Arthur Greeno of Chick Filay; or creating amazing stories that emotionally engage your customers like Dave Munson does of Saddleback Leather. There’s no shortage of ways to do it, so just choose one and get on with it!




What was your biggest marketing learning or ah-ha moment from this episode?

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