Far Shore Merchants Case Study

The voyage of discovery…


Far Shore Merchants approached Ashgrove Marketing to develop, design and partner on the complete construction of a brand portfolio and business model. They were looking to tap into the fast-growing rum category with a branded portfolio of rums that would disrupt the segment with unique and powerfully captivating back stories. Their goal was to create brands consumers were asking for by name in a very quick time frame. This needed a disruptive approach to both branding and messaging breakthrough.


Five key elements needed to work:

  1. A good understanding of the factors that would deliver a consumer edge.
  2. Powerful brand imagery with compelling back stories.
  3. Rich content that tapped into a holistic understanding of the tribal mindset of the target market.
  4. Powerful messaging in a constant chain of communication both in-store and via social media platforms.
  5. A business model that would offer value for all, scalability and flexibility.


A range of four brands, all distinct but clearly related, were created: Peggy, Windsong, Jackdaw Cave and Bläk Byrd. Each is a fine British rum wrapped in a legend from the 1700s which tells a unique and interesting story. These backstories are all the more powerful because you can visit the places involved and learn about the history woven into the brand stories. The pack design is world class and award winning with each brand a recipient of a Gold Medal in the Design and Packaging Masters Awards. Each brand has been provided with a toolkit of gift boxes and bags to add further shelf appeal and gift-ability, demonstrating our deep understanding of shopper behaviour.

The results speak for themselves. Sales have been 75% over the initial plan. The expansion program into the UK is six months ahead of plan due to customers contacting Far Shore Merchants, having seen the range in a carefully targeted social media campaign and in industry literature. The brands are listed on Amazon, Master of Malt, The Rum Company and Drop Store with a very health rate of sale.

Anecdotal observations have seen people walking into store and asking for Peggy by name, having seen the social media or print campaigns. This was further supported by a TV advert produced for Peggy rum and screened on cinema over December 2020.