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Experiential Marketing & Social Conversations – the perfect cocktail for Alcohol brands

Alcohol companies have long relied on experiential marketing to bolster sales of their brand. With smell and taste being such a key component, funky packaging can only get you so far, especially if you’re selling a premium-priced product.

Consumers are far more likely to buy if they can experience products for themselves, and this has gone far beyond pop-up field marketing activities in your local supermarket.

Nowadays, beers, wines and spirits brands create experiences out of tasting, and with their history of events, breweries and distilleries are leading the forefront for other industries seeking innovative experiential marketing inspiration.

How to capitalise on Millennial’s spending power

Experiential marketing can play an intrinsic part in influencing alcohol purchasing decisions, especially among Millennials. However, I would like to stress that no brand should be targeting Millennials…

Okay, let me explain! This massively diverse group includes both a 20-year-old single girl Snapchatting her night out, and a 34-year-old married man buying his first house – there are far more advanced targeting options for any brand’s audience than simply ‘young people’.

Instead, think of the term ‘Millennial’ as representing the consumer market of the future. As the demographic group with the most spending power according to Advertising Age, they are arguably a relevant market segment for any brand, and the purchase trends they set now will, in turn, influence future generations.

Experiential + Social = a winning formula

Now, with the ‘Millennial’ categorisation covering such a board spectrum, you’ll have to forgive me for making this sweeping generalisation: Millennials love experiences. From festivals, to events, exhibits and sports, the younger end of the Millennial spectrum are known for wanting authentic experiences. If you team this with social media, you can be onto a winner.

Social conversations are how your audiences discover new brands, debate a potential buy, make their purchase and share their experiences. The trick to making social work for you lies in telling a story.  And it’s even better when your consumers can be part of that story.

Social interactions between peers are often motivated by the desire for social currency. A concept particularly true for younger generations and Millennials, users earn respect and social status by sharing their exclusive experiences such as VIP events, limited edition products, insider access to content etc. It’s not boasting necessarily, as these groups crave new forms of entertainment such as this.

Brands can capitalise on this desire for uniqueness by helping these conversations happen through exclusive events and VIP experiences.  When an individual wants to be part of the conversation, sales and revenue will follow.

Case Study: Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange project

The Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange involved exclusive ticketed one-night-only parties around the world. Engaging over a million social fans across the globe, the campaign encouraged people to share conversations, videos, images and recipes that tie into the brand’s values.

The end result? The Nightlife Exchange Project engaged more than a million fans in just four months, and even briefly became the third largest Facebook brand page in Brazil. Physical tickets were almost impossible to get hold of due to the huge volumes of demand, but consumers engaged online anyway, making it a massively successful campaign.

This was more than a one-off party. By rallying our consumers to participate online and offline in the months leading up to the event, we created both a virtual and physical celebration of nightlife for our community of more than 3 million fans.” – Smirnoff

Find out more…

In our whitepaper, ‘How to use Online & Mobile to Influence Alcohol Purchasing Decisions’, we go into detail about how brands can use digital marketing to attract and retain new customers. Free to download and packed with real-life case studies, this whitepaper is a must-read for any marketer in the beers, wines and spirits sector.

Download your copy now

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