Vodka, potatoes, innovation and quality……

Courage and innovation are brilliant bedfellows. Add in leadership, vision, and two distinct views – the world view and perspective on the stuff right under your nose and you have a powerful mix.

That combination has paid off for Chase Vodka, an english distillery which has just been voted as having the worlds best vodka in the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, beating 249 rivals from around the globe, including Russia and Poland’s finest. Chase is not a global drinks company – its made on a farm in Herefordshire – and from potatoes.

William Chase, having sold the crisp company Tyrrell’s which he founded, decided to aim for the gourmet end of the vodka market and use his crops of traditional variety potatoes instead of the more usual wheat or rye grains. And with no distilling experience, they are turning out 1000 bottles a week – a tiny amount compared with big brands.

So, under the radar, focusing on quality and building a talked about brand, Chase have taken on the big boys and triumphed. I bet the celebration party was something else.

This is a great example of the potent mix of qualities that many charities could learn from. Being remarkable isn’t about size or volume. It is about innovation, about leadership and about courage. About a vision and an ability to deliver an outcome and an impact.

Vodka, potatoes, innovation and quality. Remember that when planning your next campaign.

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