Drink Me: Marketing in the Alcohol Industry

A few tips (on the house).

“Marketing” is a broad term that embodies a wide range of activities and disciplines that promote and sell a product. It casts a wide net that is open to interpretation; and when you throw alcohol into the equation, well things can get a little crazy.

(Wait, what happened last night?)

Cheers!

First thing’s first. When you are marketing in the alcoholic beverage industry, the same basic marketing rules still apply.

Your 4 P’s: Product, Price, Place, Promotion

So, how exactly do these relate to alcohol beverage marketing? Let’s break it down.

Product

At the risk of stereotyping, there are certain alcohols that appeal to a younger crowd that do not appeal to older folk, and vice versa. My dad loves his tried and true Tito’s (really, Tito’s, my dad is your biggest fan – going on 10 years strong which is some serious brand loyalty).  I, on the other hand, the millennial in all of my glory, am more likely to try something different simply because the packaging catches my eye.

It’s no secret that our generations shop differently: my dad has been going to the same mechanic for years, whereas I go wherever the deepest discount is, or wherever the most convenient location is.

A study in Australia determined that adolescents were more likely to gravitate towards ‘alcopops’, a.k.a. booze-y drinks that have very little actual booze in them – malt beverages, wine coolers, etc. – because the packaging is designed to look like a soft drink.

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Price

Everyone loves a good discount. It is common knowledge that if we will get a discount on buying more, we will buy more (see Sam’s Club, Costco, etc.) whether we really need it or not. And not to much surprise, when we buy more, we consume more. Shots, shots, shots shots, shots, shots, shots shots…

Price discounts and promotions can have a huge impact on volume of alcohol purchases. They can be a key marketing tool for producers and retailers.

A study conducted by Alcohol Focus Scotland found that supermarket promotions and discounts on alcohol increased sales by 20 – 25%. 

Place

Location, location, location. Anyone who has ever been in a liquor store knows that those places can get pretty crowded. So many brands are trying to promote their products on the shelves or even at the register, so it can be hard to stand out and get the consumer to pay attention and make them want to buy. Did you know that companies pay top dollar for prime shelf space in the stores?

But once you have that spot, how do you stand out among the rest of the bottles of the shelves surrounding it?

Diageo was wondering the same thing, so their agency came to us looking for new ideas of how they could boost sales in stores. This was the first time they have ever done anything like this – and viola, they were so successful, that they have already placed their second order!

Ciroc Case Tucker
Diageo/Marketing Agency & Structural Graphics // Ciroc Case Tucker

How exactly do they work? These case tuckers were tucked in between the shelves in between the bottles, promoting and drawing attention to their products.

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Diageo/Marketing Agency & Structural Graphics // Ciroc Case Tucker

Case tuckers are a unique way to sell your customer directly while they are shopping, begging for customers attention. These most certainly trump the Sharpie and neon signs you see on every shelf promoting cheap liquor and practically screaming, “DON’T DRINK ME.”

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Promotion

Alcohol promotions are everywhere. Sponsorships, advertisements,  commercials, events, the list goes on. Increasingly, alcohol is being promoted more and more via social media.

Do you need to promote your liquor brand, or unveil a new one? A truly exciting and creative way to do so is to host a PR event. And that’s exactly what Bacardi Brands did with when they came to Structural Graphics to create their Dewar’s Influencer Kit!

See below.

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The Marketing Arm came to us to develop and design this beautiful Dewar’s influencer kit. The kit was for a PR event unveiling two new brands, Craigellechie and Aberfeldy, and showcases each in a storybook format appropriately titled “The Tale of Two Whiskies”.

To read more about this super cool launch, click here!


It’s no secret that no matter what you’re promoting, you need a way to stand out amongst the crowd. Need to reach your audience? Give yourself some height by adding a little dimension to your brand.

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