Will Your Spirits, Wine, or Beer Brand Thrive Against Competitors Disrupting Sampling, Tasting, and Activation Marketing?

This post is the culmination of a Blue Ocean Strategy study in the area of spirits, wine, and beer industry marketing. Specifically in the area of samplings, tastings, and activation. These three tools are how brands are launched and traditionally grown in the industry. There is considerable money spent in supporting brands and the earlier the money is generally spent, the more likely a brand will succeed. 

There have many stress points on spirits, wine, and beer brands of late. Significant growth in all areas of “craft” spirits, a glut of wine or juice, and growth to nearly 6500 craft breweries all serve to make growing a brand very challenging. 

In this post, sticking with our recurring theme of sampling, tasting, and activation, we’re introducing the To-Be Strategy Canvas. The To-Be-Strategy Canvas is a simple, yet powerful, tool that allows you to visualize how a blue ocean move breaks away from the existing red ocean reality.

A blue ocean move consists of three characteristics:

First, it shows focus on a few key factors of competition rather than spreading resources thinly among too many factors.

Secondly, a To-Be strategic profile diverges from the competition’s offering and extends beyond the rest of the profiles because it creates new factors that the industry has never seen before.

Thirdly, the To-be strategic profile can be described through a compelling tagline that distils the strategy into words and captures people’s imaginations.

We’ve gone through the entirety of a Blue Ocean Shift process through several articles. They will all be compiled into e-book format in the next few days and found on https://shermanmohr.com and https://sharedspiritsmarketing.com so be on the lookout for that publication soon.

In reviewing this To-Be-Strategy Canvas, remember, there are gray areas in most all things. Some of these reflect my views and some reflect the views of others. It’s difficult to be completely definitive when it comes to marketing. Afterall, the booze business is a successful one. Innovation in successful industries is disruptive by nature. Some of what I’m sharing below will take a little while for Shared Spirits and others in the space to pull off. When it happens however, there will be major changes in the way marketing dollars are spent in the alcohol business. 

What is shared above is the future of the sampling, tasting, and activation of spirits, wine, and beer. 

Along the horizontal axis are strategic factors associated with spirits, wine, and beer marketing. Most of these are associated with sampling, tastings, or activation. With the exception of Out of Home Advertising, all others touch sampling, tastings, and activations in some way. 

Along the vertical axis resides the value associated with the spend on each factor. 

The red line showcases the value of current activities in sampling, tasting, and activation activities. 

The blue line showcases the value of “to-be” activities in sampling, tasting, and activation activities. 

If you are at all familiar with sampling, tastings, and activations, you’ll notice there are strategic factors introduced in the canvas that have no previous use in the industry. Advanced ad targeting, turning all samplings and tastings into micromoments, and out of home advertising are not current components of sampling, tasting, and activation spends. The primary reason is that suppliers and brands don’t have good information as to the cost effective nature of these methods and how directly they could contribute to campaign success. 

There are new ways to empower suppliers and brands with Ambassador effectiveness metrics that, technologically, have literally just been introduced to the market. 

This strategy canvas should be viewed as a significant call to action for brands seeking growth. There are technologies and methods to implement them that will put brands on the map in ways never thought possible. 

If you’d like to learn more about how these programs will move brands to Blue Oceans of uncontested market space, reach out to Sherman Mohr and have a conversation about your brand strategy.

Sherman G. Mohr is an Insead Certified Blue Ocean Strategist and CEO of Shared Spirits, Inc. a marketing technology company specializing in solving the problems of poor marketing spends on sampling, tastings, and activation of spirits, wine, and beer brands.

You may reach him at https://shermanmohr.com or https://sharedspiritsmarketing.com.