What the Top Beverage Brands Do on Instagram and How to Follow Suit

Three campaigns spring to mind when we think of what one can do to emulate the success of top beverage brands on Instagram.

PepsiCo’s Lipton Brisk brand took advantage of the South by Southwest festival. They created a hashtag for users to share their photos under and the winning photo would then appear on 4,000 cans to be distributed at the festival. Rather than appealing to the masses, they directly appealed to the right consumer.

 

There can be no argument: Starbucks is a top beverage brand. Look at Instagram and see just how many #starbucks photos there are. That is free advertising. They change things up, too, though. They created a #5more tag, encouraging users to share how they would spend just 5 more minutes of summer.

Red Bull kicked it up a notch. Their followers were the very first to hear Coldplay at Red Bull’s Soundspace studio. They also ran a photo contest publicly challenging an Instagram user to a race to gain followers. The agreement was that the winner got to post a picture on the loser’s account.

There is one thing that all of these campaigns had in common: engagement.
Mike’s Hard Lemonade proved earlier this year that combining fun and an attempt at humor can go far. They introduced their new watermelon flavor on Instagram in May. The post featured a picture of the lemonade bottles in a basket, with a watermelon behind it and a cup of watermelon chunks next to it. The tagline was “The one in a melon taste is here”. It sounds cheesy, but it worked and was shared widely and racked up the comments, too.

Coca-Cola has it’s brand image down pat and uses Instagram to enhance just that. They highlight an image that is upbeat, spirited, invigorating and fun. This is consistent through print, media advertising and social media too. Their images on Instagram reflect the brand’s personality.

Where most brands are posting photos, Frooti, the highest selling fruit based drink in India stands apart by putting up creatively designed digital images. Each image is like a story and always re-enforces it’s main product.

Califia Farms makes excellent quality natural beverages but what is atypical about their brand is the packaging. And, they share that on Instagram in good measure. Their posts talk about what’s inside but also highlight the uniquely rounded shape of it’s bottle.

Now you can take advantage of Instagram’s newer Stories feature. Before stories the average brand posted around 10 times a week, and they limited their posting to avoid losing followers. In comparison, brands post around 26 times a week- so you can now increase your posting with Instagram stories

and not worry about over posting. Those brands only snap around 2 days a week, so they are sharing in short, sharp bursts. Utilize Instagram stories to tell isolated stories, share events, or sketches about future products.

When you’re telling a story, there has to be a purpose. Start with a hook, something that will capture attention and keep them watching, build anticipation, tell the story, and sign off letting users know when you’ll post new content. A combination of pictures and videos is ideal.

Keep in mind the optimum posting times for beverage brands to post on the various social media platforms. For Instagram those times are between 9 and 10am EST, 12 and 1am EST and 10 and 11pm EST. The majority of the US population lives in the Central and Eastern Standard Time regions so you’re capturing the peak times following these times. You can schedule your posts in advance, but don’t repeat the same content. Get creative.

So, how can wineries leverage Instagram Stories? We talk about 5 different ways in which wineries can use this feature to grow their business.[..]Continue Reading 

 

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now and get 30% off the Regular Exhibiting Fee.


 

 

Get Ready for USA Trade Tasting 2017

USATT 2017If you’re hoping to grow your beverage brand by breaking into the U.S. market, your mission is twofold. First: get your product in front of distributors, retailers, and importers. Second: learn as much as you possibly can to fine-tune your marketing strategy, tweak your product and packaging, and craft your communication to importers and distributors.

The United States Trade Tasting Conference provides a platform for you to do it all. Held May 16th and 17th, 2017 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City, the show will bring together wineries, breweries, and distilleries with small- and medium-sized importers, retailers and distributors from the tri-state area, as well as press professionals. Brands that are hoping to grow their distribution in the U.S. will have a platform to show off their product, as well as network with others in the wine, beer, and spirits industry.

Brought to you by the Beverage Trade Network, the USATT 2017 will also feature talks by influential industry heavy-hitters, making it a great way to soak up knowledge from those who have figured out the formula for success in the beverage industry. From a lineup of presentations given by industry leaders at the conference to a Q & A session with experienced mentors, USATT is ideal for those who are serious about growing their brand.

Looking Back at 2016…

USATT 2017

The inaugural USA Trade Tasting Conference in 2016 was an immense success. It featured 180 exhibitors that included organizations from around the world. Wine brands from France, Italy, Australia, Portugal, and other leading wine-growing countries were featured. Attendees also got to taste and experience an assortment of spirits, craft beer, and cider brands. The response was immense, with over 2,000 people in attendance.

“We are extremely pleased with the response we’ve received from the exhibitor’s at USATT’s inaugural event,” said Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network and Director of USA Trade Tasting. “The quality of the exhibitors and the satisfaction of the visitors has set the bar extremely high for years to come.”

In addition to giving beverage brands the ability to exhibit their products and network, USATT 2016 featured the wildly popular Brand Pitch Sessions, which gave importers and distributors the chance to experience emerging brands that are entirely new to the U.S. market.

Attendees were also able to attend master classes on topics such as whisky, the wines of South Africa, as well as one presented by the New York Wines Organization.

Topping it all off was the BTN Educational Conference. Chock full of presentations by experts in beverage sales, distribution, and marketing, the conference hosted a wealth of information for companies determined to grow their brands.

…And Forward to 2017

The United States Trade Tasting Conference 2017 promises to be two days of learning experiences, buying, selling, networking with industry peers, and having fun. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from USATT 2017.

Grand Tasting 

The best way to introduce your product to buyers is by giving them a taste, so a presence at the USATT Grand Tasting is a must. Conference attendees will meet beverage innovators and get the chance to taste products from 132 tasting stations. Each setup includes all you need to conduct a tasting; simply bring your product, sample cups, a roll-up banner, and marketing materials to make your table your own. More details about the Grand Tasting are available here.

Conference

USATT 2017USATT is about more than just putting your product out there; it’s also about learning and gaining valuable insight from industry leaders.

The USA Trade Tasting Educational Conference features presentations on things like marketing, sales, and distribution.

From growing your brand to crafting the perfect marketing strategy, the content presented here will inspire you and help you see things from a new perspective. It will also give you the chance to network and exchange ideas with others in the industry. Follow this link to find out more about the USATT Educational Conference.

USATT Show Deals

USATT Show Deals are the two-day only discounts from USATT Exhibitors for attendees of the show from the beverage industry. These are buying opportunities for distributors, importers, retailers, and brokers to get real savings with specials and deals offered only at USATT 2017. These offers are limited to USA Trade Tasting attendees and can be redeemed on the trade show floor, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm on May 16 and May 17, 2017.

Office Hours  

USATT 2017

USATT’s Office Hours is a Q & A session with speakers and mentors who can give you valuable advice on how to best market your new brand. They’ll help you understand things from the perspective of importers and distributors, explaining expectations for new brands and how you can best make an impression during your introductory communication with them. Learning from experienced mentors who can show you the ropes and help you avoid pitfalls is priceless when you’re starting out in the beverage industry. Let them show you the path to success.

USATT 2017

Register Now to be a Part of USATT 2017!

If you’re a domestic or international winery, a craft brewery, or a distillery who would like to meet with and get your product in front of U.S. distributors, retailers, and representatives from the press, USATT is the ideal opportunity for you to do so. It’s also an invaluable source of beverage industry education that can help you create a strategy to get ahead and grow your brand faster. Whether you wish to trade, network, or educate yourself, check out the USATT website for more details on attending and exhibiting.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.
USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now and get 30% off the Regular Exhibiting Fee.

USA Trade Tasting Sets Global Stage to showcase Innovative and Unique Products in New York.

USA Trade Tasting adds a new area at the show called ‘Unique and Innovative Products Pavilion’ (UIPP). The Unique and Innovative Products Pavilion will showcase unique and innovative products from all over the world to US Buyers.

‘The idea is to make New York the first test market around the globe for new concepts and ideas related to branded alcoholic products. Suppliers can get key buyer feedback and plan their go to market strategy based on the feedback and initial buyer interest. Buyers will get a chance to look at unique and innovative brands and concepts from all over the world in one dedicated area at the show. Buyers will be able to add unique brands to their portfolios and offer their retail customers something fresh and new”, Sid Patel, CEO and Founder of Beverage Trade Network and USA Trade Tasting.

Location Benefits

New York is the ideal location to establish an international trade event like this. The city is ideally located providing easy access for anyone living on the East Coast. For West Coast suppliers and attendees, the city is easy to find direct flights into. NYC is also easily accessible from major cities in Europe and around the world. New York is a major consumer market allowing attendees to blend in sales work with their business research.

Top 100 Only

Capped at 100 SKUs between wines, spirits and beer, it is a perfect area for producers to get their novel and original brands out to the trade. US and overseas brands looking to showcase their ideas and products can also find ‘The Unique and Innovative Products Pavilion (UIPP)’ section a good way to find a distributor, expand current retail distribution or even get just feedback about the test product or an idea.

Please note: UIPP is a separate feature from being an Exhibitor. (Suppliers are not permitted in ‘The UIPP area’. USATT staff will pour your brands if buyers need any assistance, else buyers will pour your brands and fill a feedback form. It is a great way to showcase your brands to the buyers if you cannot make it or if you are already an USATT exhibitor and need additional exposure.)

UIPP is also an economical approach for both domestic and overseas suppliers to be in front of key US buyers. USATT will assist overseas suppliers with TTB / COLA approvals for samples.

USA Trade Tasting Introduction by Steve Raye

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now and get 30% off the Regular Exhibiting Fee.


Event Name: USA Trade Tasting 2017

Location: Metropolitan Centre, New York City, New York, USA

Date: May 15-16, 2018

Website www.usatradetasting.com

Press and Event Contacts:

Malvika Patel – malvika@usatradetasting.com  | +1 855-481-1112


 

 

 

Use What Makes You Unique To Break Into the U.S. Market

Use What Makes You Unique To Break Into the U.S. Market

At the recent USATT Conference 2016, one question that kept coming up again and again was how a small, unknown brand from a foreign market could successfully enter the U.S. market. The answer is simple: even if you have a high-quality product and great packaging, you will still need a great story. And the centerpiece of that story is what makes your product unique.

Scott Ades, CEO of The Winebow Group, provided some advice on what types of stories foreign brands need to tell. First and foremost, he says, “The market needs to be ready for your product.” That’s especially true if your product is coming from a region that’s not known for great wines. It takes a lot, says Ades, to change the wine-buying mentality. A wine consumer used to buying wines from Italy will have a harder time considering wines from neighboring Slovenia, for example.

US Market

And that story becomes even more critical if your wine or spirits brand is from an emerging market. For example, rum from India has a hard time competing with rums from more traditional markets, such as the Caribbean. This is known as the “provenance paradox.” In short, how do you convince consumers to get past the idea that your product is coming from a non-traditional region?

One way to do that, says Ades, is to make uniqueness a key aspect of your brand’s story. Your story, he says, has to be “very clear, very concise and articulated well.” If you can do that, than people may be willing to try your product.

This is actually easier to accomplish in the spirits industry than in the wine industry, where there is a more conservative mentality. Ades notes that some spirit brands have developed “very, very quickly” as a result of having a compelling story behind them.

Another key is the packaging, which has to complement the overall story you are telling. “The bottle needs to represent what you want to sell out there… It’s inordinately critical,” he notes. There’s less consistency among spirits brands, and that gives you a chance to really stand out on the shelf with a unique product.

It helps, too, to have someone from the brand spending time in the U.S. market and learning the business. It’s best if this is someone from the founding team, maybe even the brew master or the chief distiller (if it’s a beer or spirits brand), according to Giacomo Turone, a VP with the wine and spirits importer Palm Bay International. The reason is simple – it’s these individuals, not a brand ambassador, who can tell the real story of your brand. “They can speak from the heart” about what makes you unique, says Turone.

It’s important, though, to make these extended visits from the founding team members rather than brief layovers. Over an extended period of time, the value of these trips can easily exceed what you might expect from brand ambassadors for the same dollar amount. As Turone notes, “You can do a lot of trips to the States” for the $150,000 you might spend annually on a dedicated brand ambassador.

If small, unknown brands are serious about breaking into the U.S. market, it’s quite possible. The starting point, though, needs to be a great product backed up by a great story that explains why your product is so unique.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now and get 30% off the Regular Exhibiting Fee.


 

 

Taste Sash & Fritz: A German Vodka with Russian Soul at USATT

Sash & FritzSash & Fritzthat’s German vodka combining Russian tradition with German precision and perfection. Only the best, carefully selected ingredients, such as 100 percent German wheat and clear spring water from the Ore Mountains, are processed into top-quality vodka in a carefully thought out manufacturing process. The result: manufactory vodka at the highest level, with recognizable aromas of grain and yellow fruits, as well as a very subtle yet easily perceptible sweetness. No unnecessary processes or additions – and definitely not absolutely neutral.

Sash & Fritz combines the best German wheat with pure, fresh spring water. This is manufactory vodka at the highest level, which stands out from conventional vodka thanks to its recognizable aromas of grain and yellow fruits and a very subtle yet easily perceptible sweetness.

 

Sash & Fritz

Sash & Fritz vodka not only tastes good, it also looks good. This is because we attach great importance to the purity of the raw materials and manufacturing perfection of the packaging, just as he does for the vodka. Fritz comes in sophisticated bottles made of high-quality special flint glass, exclusively designed for the company. The material is known for its exceptional quality, clarity, and consistency because it is especially transparent and translucent.

The quality of the vodka is characterized by perfection and precision in the production: 5-fold careful distillation and 5-fold gentle filtering guarantee the pure, unique taste of Sash & Fritz. Recognizable flavors of cereals and yellow fruits and a very discreet, easily perceptible sweetness, Sash & Fritz distinguish from conventional vodka. 

They recommend Sash & Fritz be chilled, but not ice-cold. This is the only way to experience the unadulterated taste: clear and soft, warm and cool at the same time, with a fine silky finish.

Meet and explore this fine German Vodka at USA Trade Tasting in NYC. USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual trade only event in New York city helping producers connect with wine, beer, spirits importers, distributors, retailers and press of USA. Meet Importers, State Distributors, Retailers and Press of USA in New York City.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now and get 30% off the Regular Exhibiting Fee.


 

 

How important is social media in gaining entry into the U.S. market?

QUESTION: How important is social media in gaining entry into the U.S. market? Has it changed the role of critics and influencers in how they impact the success of certain wines within the marketplace?

The Role of Social Media For New Wine Brands Entering the U.S. Marketplace

In many ways, social media has changed the way new wine brands gain attention within the U.S. marketplace. Previously, the role of wine critics was paramount, and that meant the score a wine received was perhaps the most effective marketing tool a winery could use. Now, though, with the growth of new social media platforms, word of mouth has taken on a much greater role. Peers, quite simply, are the new pundits.

USATT_office_hours

At the USATT Conference 2016, Scott Ades, CEO of The Winebow Group, noted that scores still play an important role in the way consumers perceive wine brands. As he points out, over the past 10 years, scores have become “exceedingly important.” They are now the benchmark for how wines are judged. As he notes, the difference between an 89 and a 90 score could be huge. And even more so on a year-over-year basis. Just a one-point fluctuation in scores could have a huge impact on volume for the wine for that year.

Yet, he also notes that he’s seeing more information getting out in the blogosphere and on social media, and this social content is starting to have an especially strong gravitational pull for younger wine drinkers. These younger millennials are more attuned to social media, and the role of new influencers, who may or may not be the traditional wine critics. Over time, he says, this trend will only build, especially as millennials start to account for a larger and larger segment of the wine market. But for now, the vast majority of wine drinkers are still driven by scores.

There is a conundrum facing many wine brands. They had previously staked their entire efforts on getting a 90 score from a critic as a validation for their brand. Now they are shifting their strategies, and putting greater emphasis on building their reputation via social.

Stories are what drive word of mouth these days. Everyone wants to tell stories – about what they are drinking, how they found it, and why it’s different from everything else in the marketplace today. As a result, if you have a compelling story, it’s possible to empower a new type of scale. Previously, you needed a brand budget to be able to tell a story in public. But now social enables this scale at a very affordable price..

wine_brands_us_market

This empowers small brands to compete on a completely new scale. But you have to realize that you no longer control the message once it’s out on social. Instead, the brand can only influence and shape the message.

One way to see how this plays out is in the craft beer market. According to Giacomo Turone, a VP with the wine and spirits importer Palm Bay International, “craft” matters in today’s wine, beer and spirits industry. “We’re getting involved in what we buy,” he says. There’s value in saying, “I discovered this.” If people buy a craft product, they will talk about it on social platforms, they will share it with their friends, and they will tell your story for you. They’ll explain where it’s made, and how it’s made.

Ultimately, knowing the people and place behind a wine can make a great impact. That’s what makes a great story for social media — if people understand the full story of your wine, it will help to drive sales. At the end of the day, this type of authentic story and narrative could even be more effective than slick marketing.

Hear the answer to this question at 45:12 minutes

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now and get 30% off the Regular Exhibiting Fee.