Friday, May 21, 2010



How did they do it? How did those 42 Below True Believers take that vodka and sell it all round the world, even to the Russians for heaven’s sake? How did they come up with the genius idea of putting feijoas in it? How did they manage to win international vodka competitions? And how did they manage to sell it to the the big boys, Bacardi International?

Now you can find out. Every Bastard Says No, released last month, is a totally audacious and inspirational business story. Chief Vodka Bloke and former Saatchi and DDB ad man Geoff Ross and his wife Justine Troy had total belief in their garage-distilled spirit. With their business partners and loyal staff, they risked all and worked their butts off to do what New Zealanders so dream of doing but so rarely manage — build a brand that makes the world sit up and take notice.

But first they had to put up with countless bastards saying no. No, a New Zealand distilled vodka can’t possibly be good enough for our bar. No, we can’t take you as a distribution client. No, we can’t supply you with bottles. No, don’t call us, we’ll call you. No, we are not going to recommend that our clients invest in your listing on the NZX. So how did it happen that within a couple of years it was the drink of choice at Oscar parties and the Venice Biennale?

It happened because other people began to be True Believers too. When 42 Below listed on the NZX, three and half thousand New Zealanders gave the finger to nay-saying investment advisers and decided to invest.

Every Bastard Says No is the perfect toolbox for anyone who is looking to develop their own brand and take it global. Geoff was a head of client services at Saatchi & Saatchi in Wellington when he first got the idea for 42 Below. The book imparts his years of experience, covering marketing (he thinks most of it is rubbish), successful creative messages, and strategies for executing ideas. Geoff encourages businesses and entrepreneurs to get a ‘proper’ goal and not limit themselves with small ideas. The book asks the question: How can the New Zealand economy go forward if growth capital for new businesses is so hard to secure? And why is so much capital market analysis off course?

Controversial, hilarious and always fascinating, Every Bastard Says No will appeal to entrepreneurs, business students, creatives, and everyone who loves a brave — and ultimately successful — Kiwi start-up. As NZX CEO Mark Weldon says in his foreword, it’s a bloody important book.

It also includes 12 fabulous cocktail recipes by the Vodka Professor, Jacob Briars. Featuring 42 Below vodka, naturally. That’s worth the cover price alone.

About Geoff Ross post 42 Below:
Geoff is now building further businesses via The Bakery, a venture capital business with a majority shareholding in Ecoya Limited, a body and bath and home fragrance business currently with plans to list on the NZX. Fellow 42 Below executives Grant Baker and Stephen Sinclair, and former 42 Below Australia head Craig Schweighoffer, have joined Geoff as key executive directors behind Ecoya Limited. The Bakery also has interests in mobile marketer The Hyperfactory, Dorchester Pacific and fund manager The Foundry.

And here are a couple of responses to the book the author has received:

I just wanted to say that I read your book over the weekend, and was blown away by your open and honest account of the hardworking  journey you went through. It has been heartening for a lot of people to hear of your success, and to be able to read a first hand account provides a generous insight. Congratulations on all that you have achieved. I'm sure 'Every Bastard Says NO! will become an invaluable tool to many and help inspire the  positive attitude required that you so well documented.

An amazing story, perfect cover and presentation.  You did a fantastic job, told it like it was, great humour and I loved the way it was presented.  A true "number eight wire" story which anyone could read and come away feeling proud to be a New Zealande

Report on book launch

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