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Bottoms up! DMU students get a taste of industry with gin-tastic live brief

Second-year Interior Design students gained valuable industry experience while fulfilling a live brief for Two Birds - a family-run, artisan gin and vodka distiller.

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Students at the Two Birds headquarters

Students were challenged with conceptualising and designing an immersive event to promote the Leicestershire-based company’s Two Birds London Gin to 21-35-year-old professionals, while staying true to the essence and tone of the brand.

They visited the distillery in preparation, to learn more about the brand and its use of the tagline Countryside Spirits to celebrate its rural location and quality products.

Alex Stothard, Interior Design lecturer at DMU, said: “I set this project as part of our new Promotional Events pathway, which explores the value of hosting ‘a memorable experience’ and the vital role interior design has to play in its success.

“We chose to focus on gin because of the resurgence in its popularity over the past five years, which has seen sales in the UK reach a billion pounds.

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Concept 1: Step into the countryside

“Working with a live client has been an enriching opportunity for our students, and equally, it has been great to see their imaginative proposals for introducing the brand to millennials in the city.”

After meeting brand ambassadors and sampling the products at the Two Birds headquarters, students had five weeks to complete the brief before presenting their concepts to the Director of Branding and Marketing, Simon Gamble.

Simon was impressed with the range of creative ideas presented such as traditional games promoting brand awareness, a retro telephone booth for ordering drinks from a ‘gin directory,’ a memory tree for sharing selfies on, and imaginative décor simulating the countryside indoors.

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One of the students involved, Emily Williams, said: “It was a really interesting experience, especially getting such valuable industry insight straight from the horse’s mouth.

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Concept 2: Countryside spirit

“Having to present to professionals outside of DMU definitely made me think about setting out my ideas clearly, which is a really important skill to develop. The positive feedback was very welcome too and it feels great knowing that some of my ideas could be developed further by Two Birds.”

Spanish-born Lucia Twitchell-Requena described it as a ‘fun project’, saying: “Working on a live project really helped me get a better understanding of the customer journey. I know that what I’ve learned will be useful for my final major project and beyond.”

“Having an existing brand to draw from made this a very realistic glimpse into how the industry works and although presenting in front of the client was hard, it was invaluable practice for our future careers,” said fellow student Clare Mullins.

Simon said: “Our ethos is one of learning and educating so it was a pleasure and privilege to have the opportunity to work with DMU’s young professionals. Hopefully working on a live brand gave them a more realistic and interesting project to engage with.

“It was fantastic to see how they approached the brief and presented those ideas. The level of work was very high as was the maturity of some of the students.

“It was also interesting to see how the next generation perceives our brand and how they engage with each other – incredibly insightful all round!”

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Concept 4: Midnight garden

Posted on Tuesday 11th April 2017

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