Host a Tasting to Showcase Your Craft Beverage
So you got your distillery up and running, and the first batch of your amazing whisky or bourbon has aged to perfection. Now you have to figure out a way to get the word out and gain your first customers. It’s really easy. Have a tasting. This is a great way to launch your brand and establish who you are in the eyes of your potential customers.
Make It an Event to Remember
When you have an introduction tasting of your booze, make it as special as it deserves to be. This isn’t just the launch of another alcoholic beverage on the market. This is the maiden flight of your hopes and dreams. Make it a party for the ages that all those in attendance will talk about for years.
Unless you’re a natural at throwing a good shindig, hiring an event planner might not be a bad idea. They will know how to make the tasting a memorable hit, regardless of what kind of event you need it to be.
Make the Party Fit Your Brand
This should be so obvious that it doesn’t need mention, but so many businesses across so many industries have completely blown this part.
Chances are your liquor brand has a hook to grab people’s attention—beyond it being outstanding liquor. It’s an idea that has been tailored to attract the customers you feel are in the best niche for what you’re making. That’s great. Just be sure your event matches the image you’re trying to project.
If you market your booze as the kind of drink a “workin’ man” downs a few shots of after a long day, don’t make the launch tasting feel all corporate and formal. The last thing you want them to think is how much you remind them of their boss. The same goes for a distillery aiming for the high end sophisticate. Make it fancy. Don’t show up wearing basketball shorts and tank-top, no matter how hot it might be. Basically, dress and act like the people you want to buy your booze.
Work it in With Something Else
There seem to be an ever-growing number of public venues out there these days. Every little town and community has some sort of celebration day or weekend to celebrate their history and heritage or whatever makes them special. There are also a ton of local-ish music festivals, car shows, and bike rallies. Even art expos can make for a great launch partner.
Working into one of them for a tasting/product launch can be a great way to snag customers. At least one of these venues will be targeting the same market you are, and the pool of potential drinkers will be greater than if you hosted it all on your own.
Designated Drivers or Rides Home
You will definitely need this. It’s a tasting party for hard liquor. Someone is going to get at least a little tipsy. Having a designated driver or sober ride protocol set up serves a dual purpose. First, it shows that you are a responsible distiller, and that your business philosophy isn’t just getting people drunk for money. Customers will see that you care about them and their wellbeing.
The second reason is a little more cynical and practical in nature. No distillery wants their first big headlines being about a drunk driving fatality, or similar horrific event. The best way to avoid something like that is to make sure it never has the chance to happen in the first place.
If you really want people to remember your brand, a tasting is a great way to bring it to light. With a little planning and some creativity, you can bet that your bottle will become a staple in many households.