Innis & Gunn

In just over 18 months, our social media and digital strategy has grown Innis & Gunn's Facebook fan count from 12,263 to 118,488, and more importantly, improved engagement across their international markets.

  • Content marketing
  • Digital & Mobile

A taste for the unexpected

In early 2013, Scotland’s best-loved independent brewer Innis & Gunn approached us to help tell their story online, by developing a social media strategy that would guide their new brand positioning, underpin all Innis & Gunn marketing activity and really speak to their target audience of men aged 25 to 45 within key markets of Canada, USA, UK and Sweden. We laid the ground work by streamlining Innis & Gunn’s social media presence and establishing a new tone of voice that aligned with that of the key demographic, and that’s where our real work began.

Our primary objectives were to hit 100,000 Facebook fans by the end of 2014 and to keep a minimum 16% of that audience engaged at any one time.

A new solid oak bottle

From there, it was time to get creative, planning content that truly embodied Innis & Gunn’s individual brand identity and got fans talking. People probably didn’t expect Innis & Gunn to announce they’d be introducing a new solid oak bottle format that would allow the beers to age continuously while on shelf – on April 1st – but it got them talking! So did the image of Darth Vader created by hundreds of bottles of Innis & Gunn Rum Finish on May the 4th (‘Star Wars Day’), recipes for Innis & Gunn pancakes, Canadian flags constructed from hops and hand-drawn illustrations of themselves cropping up in their news feed. But they’ve loved it.


We put the Facebook community to work July to August 2014, giving them the opportunity to ‘crowdbrew’ a beer together through a Facebook app. Over four weeks, the community was asked to decide on four elements of the beer: beer style, hops, malt and maturation, before finally being asked to name the resulting brew. Entering a stage of Crowdbrew gave entrants the chance to win the title of “Master Crowdbrewer” for that stage. A final five Master Crowdbrewers would have their name printed on the Crowdbrew beer’s packaging.

The campaign was the first time in the company’s history that drinkers were involved in the production of a saleable beer.

The results

Since March 2013, Innis & Gunn’s Facebook fan count has leapt from 12,263 to 118,488. Engagement has increased by 367% - from an average 736 (6%) of Fans talking about the brand on Facebook, to 31,487 (18%). 

Three of Innis & Gunn’s Twitter accounts have also grown under our guidance: @InnisandgunnUK by 5,495 followers, @InnisandgunnCA by 1,649 followers and @innisandgunnUSA by 1,430 followers, while their Instagram account has grown from 31 followers to 1,745.

When measuring success, it's easy to get hung up on Like and Follower counts, but there's much more to it. Helping Innis & Gunn to have genuine conversations with fans builds relationships and goodwill that are already translating into real world actions. These will follow the brand for years to come.

Sarah Johnson

Head of Digital Marketing

What the client said

“The team at Whitespace got under the skin of the Innis & Gunn brand and our consumers, identifying the key brand attributes and emotional levers that would help us connect with our fans. The work is spot-on and the results so far speak for themselves.”

Lucy Hine, Marketing Manager, Innis & Gunn

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