Feb 3 2016
I’m skeptical of old-fashioned segmentation: women, age groups, income levels. With so many data streams accessible and the ability to glean extensive information about consumers, we have an opportunity to reassess how we categorize affinity groups. Emerging fields like ethnography and neuroscience add layers of intelligence and new ways of approaching segments that can guide brand managers and marketers. I wrote about this in 2013 following a conference that I co-created to explore marketing themes in the wine industry, The Exchange. One example: analyzing how mothers and daughters shop together, a prevalent occasion in the Latina community, can enhance how beverage alcohol brands market to this group of potential consumers. That segment can’t be explored by broadly looking at women and wine.
Is simply halving the population enough of a segment to shed light on how to go to market? Can we glean any actionable information from this? The short answer is that it depends.
Last week, I attended a Wine Market Council research conference. The Wine Market Council has been tracking annual wine consumer attitudes and behaviors for two…
Jan 27 2016
A whopping 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. I usually cut myself some slack when personal resolutions start to waver, but I have a much harder time letting go of professional goals. One of my 2016 resolves is to listen to one new podcast a week to step up my game as a beverage marketing professional.
I decided to let you in on the resolution and share my January finds. All it takes is 35 minutes of your time. Are you ready?
The EntreLeadership Podcast – Branding Your Story (Episode #103 – listen from minutes 10-16):
Synopsis: Brand guru Donald Miller challenges you to rethink how you are telling your brand’s story. His theory: Companies should not be the hero of the story, but the customer. Brands that understand how they solve the internal problems an external problem creates for consumers (e.g., a broken pipe causes frustration) will excel.
Miller uses political campaigns as an example: G.W. Bush ran on the problem of high taxes (external problem) and “hit a nerve” when he spoke about Americans not being able to send their kids to college because all their money…
Jan 20 2016
Savvy marketers know there is plenty to learn from having your finger on the pulse of the market. To keep up with the top performers, marketing professionals rely on industry experts to rank brands by growth. One of my favorite rankings comes from Impact Databank and their annual ranking of “Blue Chip Brands.”
Published each year in Market Watch Magazine, these “Blue Chip Brands” have shown staying power over the last decade, reporting average growth rates of at least 0.5% each year of the past decade, plus reporting a gross margin of at least $25 million in 2014. For this reason, these are important brands to watch and learn from. Rounding up 58 brands across all three categories of wine, beer and spirits, these results act as a barometer of the current booze industry. Let’s see what valuable marketing lessons are hiding in this year’s results:
Spirits – Market Innovation Appeals to Consumers
The three largest Blue Chip spirits brands all come from the portfolio of industry giant Diageo and include Smirnoff vodka, Captain Morgan rum and Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey. Surprised to see Crown Royal…
Jan 13 2016
Yep, the craft beer craze is in full swing across the country, and new breweries continue to pop up every day … lucky for us beer lovers! But as in any business, brewery owners will need to find fresh ideas to keep patrons coming back again and again. And of course, attract new customers. While certainly the beer itself is always a draw (yum), the happenings in the tasting rooms prove to be effective marketing efforts to bring in crowds. So what’s trending in tasting rooms? What are some cool, hip, innovative ideas you may see in your tasting adventures?
Yoga & Beer
Yes, please! Breweries from California to North Carolina are embracing this trend, holding yoga classes right next to their barrels, taps and hops. While yoga studios may be intimidating, breweries offer a laid-back, less formal setting that appeals to everybody (even men are embracing this concept; check out a previous Buzz Bin post about it!) And of course, downward facing dog is followed by a happy hour brew, just a few feet away. There’s even a company in San Diego, Hoppy Yoga, that specializes in…
Jan 6 2016
When I went to school for international studies, my professors never talked about how business teams functioned across global markets. It was simply a matter of mastering linguistics. However, the reality is that cultural differences can create business challenges that get in the way of doing great work.
At the request of Felicity Carter, editor-in-chief of Meininger’s Wine Business International, I spoke on a panel called “Speaking Globally: Creating influence and negotiating deals in world markets” at Wine Vision, an annual conference that seeks to set the global agenda for the wine industry. Ms. Carter, very eloquently, spoke about direct versus indirect cultures, the significance of a strong translation partner, and how humor generally doesn’t translate well.
I drew upon my experience in managing multi-national communications campaigns and how the concept of “glocal” – where global strategy meets local execution – has shaped effective marketing campaigns.
A bit of background: The way we approach marketing has changed significantly in the last ten years. Gone are the days of executing one single program across the world in an imperialistic style. The phrase “glocalization,” or, in short, “glocal,” was coined…
Dec 16 2015
I could claim that 2015 was the year of craft beer, but let’s be honest: this isn’t the first year we’ve seen enormous growth in this market.
It’s not surprising then, that this advancement has acted as a launch pad for strong concepts (beyond craft) that consumers are more open to than ever.
Our client Smart Beer is a good indicator of this attitude. Media authorities have offered support for its organic and healthy living brand proposition – something the market has only begun to dabble in.
With this in mind, I’ve compiled what I believe are some of the smartest marketing launches in beer (packaging, storage, production and actual beer) in 2015.
Nov 25 2015
Thanksgiving has barely arrived, yet it seems everyone’s palate is already preparing for the December holiday season. In this time of harvest, you might think pumpkin spice would still reign supreme over all other flavors. But while it seems like only yesterday we were discussing the popularity of pumpkin-flavored everything, consumer demand is driving a push for holiday-flavored beverages. Also known as “winter warmers,” marketing professionals are realizing what an unstoppable force these seasonal flavors can be. With annual seasonal offerings from Summer Shandy’s to Oktoberfest craft brews, let’s take a look at why “winter warmers” are quickly becoming the most popular flavors of the seasonal beverage category.
Fun & Flavorful Varieties
Seasonal selections have actually been around way longer than you may think. In a world of powerfully marketed megabreweries, you may be surprised to learn the tradition of crafting a limited-edition seasonal flavor actually dates back thousands of years. It was during a time when small brewers would craft small batches, usually spiked with familiar flavors of the holiday season, to gift to their friends and customers. Wikipedia cites the ancient Saturnalia Festival as the origin…
Nov 18 2015
You know it, and I know it: Thanksgiving is awesome. The day is all about bonding: with family, with traditions, with food, with conversation, with sports, with fall and with booze. My family has a tradition we like to call “Ye Ol’ Turkey Fry Tailgate, Just like the Pilgrims.” We sit outside around the turkey fryer, talking, laughing, watching football games and drinking beer, wine or Shirley Temples. JUST LIKE THE PILGRIMS! Okay, maybe not, but the concept is the same…connecting, communicating, BE-ing. And while drinking alcohol and watching football were not in the cards of the Pilgrims on the first Thanksgiving Day, it has become a part of our American tradition (lucky for us) and of course, the feast was, and is, the highlight of this wonderful day. So what better way to celebrate these traditions? As an experienced beer drinker, eater and sports fan, I say let’s pair them up! Football. Food. Beer. Ultimate. Thanksgiving. Day.
Game #1: Appetizer Pre-Game