Bringing Your Alcohol Brand Into the Digital Age
- by Andi Whiskey
We speak to hundreds and hundreds of spirits brands, and hear them all struggle with the same problems:
How to bring their alcohol brand into the digital age.
What these conversations tend to look like:
"Our team doesn't believe e-commerce can make us money."
"Our margins with e-commerce just don't make us money."
"We have millions of followers on social media, but we don't think they're the kind to buy alcohol online."
"We only do maybe a sale or two a week; we just don't think our brand can sell online."
All of these objections are wrong.
We know why they're saying it, we get it.
Alcohol brands are used to a simpler sales process: hire a sales team, get with a powerhouse distributor, and get in on- and off-premise locations.
That's not the only way to play the game anymore.
So imagine if you, as an alcohol brand, still did that, but then added on a new revenue source that brought in six, even seven figures a year.
We've seen it done, and we've helped brands get there, and I'm here to tell you any alcohol brand can do it.
We've worked with massive brands, who you'd recognize if I told you their name, who were frankly scared of e-commerce and would tell us, "That's not where our customer buys."
Amazon would disagree with them.
We've worked with tiny brands who you'd be shocked to hear are doing six figures in online direct-to-consumer sales.
If a tiny distillery you've never heard of out of Pennsylvania can do it with their 10,000 followers on Instagram and email list of 10,000, you can do it, too.
The argument that people wouldn't buy alcohol online is outdated. People said the same about mattresses selling DTC, and yet I just had a king mattress delivered to my door. The driving success behind DTC mattress sales has been the companies' driving missions to create a better customer experience for their customers by controlling the customer journey.
Now is your chance to get your alcohol brand closer to your customer, and help them have a better, more personalized experience with spirits brands than they previously were able.
As we always say, now is the time for your alcohol brand to act like a bartender and be the guide to your customers' better experience.
Key Things You Need to Bring Your Alcohol Brand Into the Digital Age:
1. An e-commerce web site
If you haven't started exploring the e-commerce options out there yet, do it now. E-commerce is not going away for spirits brands. You need to start the conversations now with the different platforms that offer e-commerce for spirits brands.
We recommend Speakeasy, mostly because they let you control your entire customer journey and own all of your customer data. This is HUGE. So please pay attention to that detail. Otherwise, you'll sign a contract long term with someone that you can't scale with.
2. A Social Media Presence
Customers will check out your social media for social proof and to generally just check that you're a credible brand.
You want to make sure that your social media is:
3. Representing your brand accurately
4. Building relationships with your customers
We offer more tips on how to utilize social media for your alcohol brand here >>.
3. A Full Digital Marketing Funnel
We've talked about this at length in our blog, because it's a crucial fundamental piece of marketing and sales that still gets overlooked too often. You can read about Why Using a Digital Marketing Funnel is Important here.
You need to be hitting every piece of the digital marketing funnel, from the Awareness stage to the Consideration stage to the Conversion stage. You must make sure your marketing is guiding them through the whole buyer-decision-marking process.
4. An Understanding of the Digital Customer Journey
Where are customers starting in your marketing funnel? And is it low friction for them to move on to converting?
Run a few user experience tests with your own web site and marketing funnel. Have some other people on your team also run through it. If there are any difficulties or pain points in the process, that's where you're likely losing customers.
5. Craft an Exceptional Customer Experience With Your Alcohol Brand
With more control over the channels used to interact with your customers, you can better shape their experience with your brand.
Use this opportunity to create a personality behind the brand or bring the brand's story to life in a real way for your customers. Interact with them on social media. Send them emails about your brand's story, and ask for responses from them, to further your conversation with your customers.
There are so many great opportunities to dive deeper into your customer relationships now through digital marketing. Make the most use of them to really help grow your brand in the digital age.
We talk about the Customer Experience with alcohol brand in depth in this blog article.
Strategize Your Digital Marketing
If any of this seems daunting, or if your team is struggling to get a handle on where to start with selling online and digital marketing, we can help.