Hooch Branding and Marketing Trends
We all know that it takes more than an excellent product to be successful. Heck, if a good product was all it took to make a million bucks, we could have had Grandma make her meatloaf for us instead of building a distillery. Distilleries have to create a feel, a mental and emotional picture in consumers’ heads that pop up whenever they see a label or hear the name.
But branding and marketing are a funny thing. Last year's sure-fire trick to drum up the business is next year's
Find Your Influencers
Influencers are regular people who in a nutshell have found enough of an audience in an online platform that what they say can sway consumer opinions en masse. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian or PewDiePie are good examples of this. That doesn’t mean you only have to find the big names.
Local celebrities or people in a relevant niche with a big following on platforms like Twitch or YouTube work just as well. Even a regular person on Facebook with a lot of friends with similar interests can be influencers. People trust what “peers” have to say more than any marketing or ad from a company.
Take note; there is a fine line between getting your product into the hands of influencers to spread the word and buying a shill. If your customer base thinks you are just paying someone to sing your hooch’s praises, they will jump ship. There are also legal issues. The FTC gave warnings to 90 companies who had compensated influencers in some way to hawk their products without stating that it was a paid endorsement.
Ethics & Honesty
The best way to put it is that people aren’t drinking your hooch. They’re drinking who you are as a company as well. There are two prominent aspects of the ethics, and honest people expect these days. The first is ethics. They want to do business with a company that is responsible (environmentally, commercially, socially, etc.). Some customer bases will care about different parts of this more than others, but even a person who doesn't believe in climate change won't stop buying a product because they support the environment.
The other part is to be genuine. Sure, every business needs to develop a persona and craft an image. Just make sure that image is as real and accurate as possible. Don't pretend to be something or someone you aren't like saying you are all about the local music scene, but not able to name one local band.
Be Creative with Your Spirits
Every brand of craft spirits has their own unique flair or something that differentiates them from their competitors. Eventually, though, you will need something a little more out there. Make sure you have your core brand locked down first. The last thing you want to do is confuse a customer base by releasing a wild and impressive, yet oddball, flavor when your regular product is just hitting.
Several high-profile data breaches in the last couple of years have made consumers leery of giving out their information. As everyone should know, customer data is a necessity to succeed these days. Every step that can be taken to protect customer data should be. While you're at it, let your customers know that you take their privacy and safety as serious as they do. Be transparent about the security measures you have in place. And if a data breach occurs, let your customers know immediately. They will be more forgiving than if they learn you had tried to cover it up for three months.