Careers: Brand manager of the week - Henry Stephenson, Brand manager The Balvenie and rare whiskies, William Grant & Sons

How and why did you get into marketing? Until January, I was spirits and ready-to-drink buyer for Sainsbury's and fancied trying my hand at a brand management role. Was marketing what you wanted to do when you were growing up?

No, I wanted to be Prime Minister, or irrigate the Sahara desert. Bless.

Alcohol's not a bad sector in which to work. Is it a dream job?

My day job is similar to many other sectors, but the alcohol industry can be a lot of fun and it sounds a bit sexier than marketing bog roll.

Who do you most respect in the industry?

Allan Cheeseman, Sainsbury's former director of wine. He was a pioneer in UK retail of beers, wines and spirits, as well as being a nice bloke.

Who do you most admire outside marketing?

Sir Steve Redgrave. I rowed a little at school, but can only begin to imagine how difficult his achievements really are.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I came 23rd in the world at the International Bog Snorkelling Championships held in Wales - not many people can boast a world ranking.

What's the strangest job you've ever done?

I used to be cooking-sauces buyer at Sainsbury's and once sampled 52 curries in a morning.

What headline would you most like to read in Marketing?

Top R'n'B artist endorses The Balvenie in latest hit single.

Who or what do you hate the most?

Link cash machines, which are cropping up everywhere. It's daylight robbery.


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