What’s your true ‘spirit’?

Make no bones about it, the spirits industry in India is doing exceptionally well. People are splurging on spirits now more than ever before and how are liquor brands convincing consumers to purchase bottles of booze that are worth. This trend can be seen across the world and across a variety of spirits. Drinks are no glitch in the last few years, remarkably spirits have moved beyond its place, thanks to our unending thirst for the latest and greatest. May be not about flavour; it’s about the experience. We tend to move from good to better and then to best and when it comes to spirits, yes! We are more concerned.

Variety in luxury spirits is growing as drinkers have become ever more perceptive. Recent years have seen extraordinary drastic change in the spirits interests of people. And of course it is because of the revolution in the spirit industry. The varieties, new tastes are enough to tempt us. People are going for different varieties of spirits, now they are not stick to just one brand. Not so long ago choices were much simpler though the idea of luxury spirits is by no means. As the spirits are categorised in various levels such as ultra premium, super premium, premium and so on. The spirits world has long known that there is opportunity in premium.

We believe that we are right on the edge of a fifth generation, the new class of spirits. As we can perceive from vodka: Smirnoff, of the 1960’s to the striking bottle design of Absolut in the 1980’s, which in turn paved the way for the likes of Ciroc and Sky Vodka and in the 2000s a fourth generation of vodkas such as Belvedere and Grey Goose adorned nightclub tables in cities worldwide. The shine is fading from those fourth generation brands now.

There are many drivers for this boom in premium. Broadly it reflects a cultural shift in drinking habits towards healthy moderation. More specifically, in whisky and vodka, it tends to reflect a desire to demonstrate status and prestige, whereas in gin and rum, super-premium tends to be driven by a desire for authenticity and rarity. Premium is indeed, a complex and fast maturing market and revolving itself with vast varieties.

Premium brands such as Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Jameson Pernod-Ricard, Hennessy LVMH, Jack Daniel’s with yet greater connotations of exclusivity and quality, have boomed in recent years. Other producers followed suit. People are drinking better and hence discovering new categories, the shift from Johnie Walker Platinum Label to Blue Label. Johnie Walker took a major step towards establishing branding for blended scotch whiskey with the introduction of its red label and black label in 1909. Whiskey is yet another discovery category, particularly single malts. People are exploring the different regions, and as they experience more sophisticated flavours they often move to stronger flavours like single malts with different barrel finishes.

This is a significant shift or we can say a transformation in the spirits sector, and one that will further highlight the importance of storytelling. Successful spirits brands tell stories that create atmosphere, experiences and emotion.

Premium is in constant demand now. There will be an important shift in the spirits world, and one that will reward, are the brands that understand how to find the exceptional and to tell the stories that create allure that plotting people and converts them from interested browsers to committed buyers which is a challenge from them because of the way people are jumping to different brands in search of ‘better’.

At this premium end of the market a profound shift is taking place in how buyers see spirits. be tasted and savoured, today they are increasingly items of rare beauty to be admired and owned.

Earlier they used to talk about ‘spirits’ now sing about the ‘brands’. Premium spirits are seen as an ‘affordable luxury’ in straitened times.

So, what can brands do to address this changing and competitive market? Successful brands are pushing the boat out with innovative and exciting advertising campaigns to engage consumers with their product. 

Smirnoff is a model example. The successful vodka brand launched another innovative new campaign called ‘YoursForTheMaking’, involving a television ad campaign and new drink tins. As part of this, they recently announced an upcoming experiential campaign across seven cities, inviting consumers to an interactive nightlife experience featuring oversized four poster beds, larger than life characters and retro-gaming areas.

The spirits industry is an exciting one and has grown strongly despite the recession. People are gradually more willing to spend money on the drinks they desire. It’s also a rapidly evolving market, with opportunities for those that can make the most of changing trends, and risks for anyone who rests on their success. For brands that can effectively engage with consumers, the future will undoubtedly be worth drinking to. The consumer will go always go for the best they serve and importantly how they serve it in the market.

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