We sit down with Kieran Corbitt, Brand PR and Social Manager at The Alchemist, who details the brand’s exceptional marketing efforts, sharing the elements of their success and the contributing factors to their well-deserved win at the BMAs.

Please tell our readers about The Alchemist and the brand’s marketing approach.

We take a holistic approach to marketing – mapping out the marketing calendar for the brand, but also taking into consideration each individual venue’s needs. With 22 venues across the UK and one in Berlin, we must be incredibly organised in feeding campaigns into the annual calendar. We have a targeted digital strategy around campaigns, ensuring everything is planned in sync. When we release campaigns, social strategy is partnered with digital from website banner changes, website landing pages, photo and video shoot assets. We heavily rely on our social media channels and we’re constantly adapting content and strategy to fit existing and new channels.

How important is it for wet-led venues to have an effective marketing strategy in place, as well as a designated marketing team?

In the current cost of living crisis, people are making more informed decisions on where they are eating and drinking out, as there has been a slight decline in frequency. As a result of this, marketing is the most important tool that hospitality businesses need to be utilising. It’s important for a brand to continue to stay relevant, and marketing is fundamental for this. Marketing can often be overlooked as traditional forms are seen as ‘fluffy’ and unquantifiable in terms of campaign success rate. With a designated marketing team, the brand can be amplified, and data can be tracked through platforms, booking links and software to maximise buy-in.

Why do you believe The Alchemist won the Marketing Innovation Award?

It was a privilege to win the Marketing Innovation Award at the Bar Magazine Awards. We look to other industries, such as fashion, sports etc., for inspiration to ensure we’re thinking outside of the box, which helps keep our marketing innovative. This has led to us hold campaigns and collaborations in a whole host of sectors outside of hospitality, such as our NFT launch in the world of crypto.

With marketing, it’s crucial to see yourself as a brand rather than solely as venues. This has helped shape external collaborations, polished our content so that it’s press-ready, and we’ve taken advantage of new marketing tools when they had been seen as not ‘for hospitality’. A great example of this is with our TikTok account. We were one of the first hospitality brands in the UK on TikTok, which led to us being TikTok UK’s first official hospitality partner; holding an event with creators ranging from 100k  to 6m following, in partnership with Buzzfeed UK.

Why would you encourage fellow hospitality venues and the teams behind them to get involved in the 2025 Bar Magazine Awards?

We were over the moon to win this award, especially as there were so many powerhouses nominated in all the categories. Bar Magazine is an incredible trade publication, which breaks industry news in fresh and engaging ways with sublime content. What better way to be part of the conversation than getting involved with the 2025 Bar Magazine Awards?

Please share any words of wisdom for aspiring ‘Marketing Innovators’ in the industry.

Don’t be afraid to take (calculated!) risks. Innovation is about going against the grain and, to do that, you need to take risks. Always have the data and strategy to back up your decision, taking risks doesn’t mean going wild.