Q&A with the Speaker: Topper’s Rhum President & CEO Todd King

ama columbia, marketing

How have you been able to differentiate Topper’s Rhum from other competitive giants in the industry?

By redefining Rhum, winning world renowned competitions with the quality of our product, its packaging, its market positioning, co-branding, versatility, entering new markets, and its unique family-owned history.

What do you consider your biggest marketing achievement?

Redefining Rhum!  Working with Jeff Rehling and USC’s senior marketing class, brought into focus and put into words what we had been striving for – Redefining Rhum.  Demonstrating the versatility of our products has allowed us access into new markets and has helped us to create a presence for rhum, not often seen in the past. We have a very talented team. Throughout every facet of the business, we have done it ourselves and have exceeded industry norms and expectations.

What has been the biggest marketing challenge you have faced so far?

Trusting and believing in experienced industry professionals and having to work with limited capital.  Trusting that others within the industry who purportedly have our best interest in mind and were supposed to properly promote our brand was a big mistake.  Trying to get others to “think outside the box” has also proved  difficult.  Too many times, the advice we get from these groups is not well thought out and is not from practical experience: “…that’s the way it’s always been done.” 

What are some of the best marketing tactics you have found to work best in your industry? (i.e., traditional, digital, social media, email, etc.)?

Switching from “push” marketing to “pull” marketing.  Being adaptable and innovative with every aspect of marketing, while also integrating traditional with modern methods. Incorporating social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram along with email. Tasting events and city association memberships such as Lexington Chamber, Congaree Vista Guild, and soon to be Five Points Association. Striving to dominate exposure locally in SC and St. Maarten, then spreading out from there.

If you were planning to hire a marketing manager, what skills would you require from top candidates?

Vision, the aptitude to think new and outside the box.  The Ability to problem-solve, focus, communicate effectively, build upon and expand what has already been developed, bring new ideas to the project and keep the marketing plan well organized and on track.

ama columbia, marketing


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