Dark and Drank: The Marketing Genius Behind Alcohol Sales

Marketing campaigns employed by industry giants in the distilled spirits business helped to transform the very nature of advertising in our digital age. Today, alcohol brands engage with consumers across a wide spectrum of new and growing social media platforms. Their goal is to drive user engagement by inducing consumers to communicate their feelings about a marketing tactic back to the company in real time. Not every liquor brand employs these latest social media marketing methods, and to be sure, none of the major liquor brands were originally built this way. What follows is a casual examination of how the major spirit distillers leveraged the creative genius of modern marketing to grow their brands.

Creating “Superpremium” Brands

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The right story, a premium price, and a sleek new bottle can create a market for a new and steeply-priced brand. This is how Grey Goose vodka came to be. The genius behind the Grey Goose brand was the story-line. By charging twice the price of the most popularly priced vodkas, Grey Goose was able to generate the perception of higher value despite the fact that independent testing has shown that the cost of vodka has very little to do with the taste of the product. These super products have been used successfully by many different brands to gain new consumers and drive up sales.

Creating Artisan Choices

Developing new products within a brand that appeal to a segment of the market that demands sophisticated experiences is a genius move that can translate into expanding sales. Coming up with artisan liquor products made from locally sourced ingredients has the added benefit of capitalizing on a powerful existing trend. Craft beers and ciders of every brand are able to appeal to more people and gain more consumers.

Responsible Advertising, Marketing and Operations

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has recently become a priority for many distilled spirits makers. To this end, certain beverage industry leaders spend large sums of money to promote safe and responsible drinking. Some go as far as to sponsor substance abuse rehabilitation programs or drug rehab centers. Makers of alcoholic beverages that are serious about substance abuse are likely to get involved in an array of projects and initiatives that address the problems brought about by drunk driving, underage drinking, and other misuses of alcoholic beverages. People appreciate companies who are willing to take ethical responsibilities with their products and time will tell if these brands continue to become more popular.

Targeting College Towns

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It seems totally intuitive, but few in the industry actually do this. Liquor marketers head into large cities near major universities, and participate in the bar scene by offering free shots and premiums to everyone in the establishment. Eventually, people in those markets will start ordering shots of the promoted beverage on their own.

Youth occupies the very center of a growing digital marketplace. Because it also represents the future of the distilled spirits consumer base, the major liquor brands are especially enthusiastic about being active participants in the world of online social networks. For this reason, we can expect future advancements in tomorrow’s alcohol marketing trends to spring from the genius presently residing in the online realm.