How Instagram can be utilised by Spirit Brands


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Instagram centres around quality imagery, interactivity, and community. Spirit brands suit this because they lend themselves to social (read: photogenic) settings. Here we explore how brands from the same category tackle Instagram differently.

Gin

Hendrick’s Gin Instagram feed gives you an immediate sense of their passion. Their content immerses the consumer in the gin’s entire journey from distillery to glass. By doing this Hendrick’s encourages consideration of the high quality of the gin.

Comparatively less-established (only 2043 followers) Greenall’s Gin contrasts to Hendrick’s despite, to the unconcerned eye, selling the same product. Their bio explains the basics of their brand. But not much more. The feed content is very aesthetic which people will want to follow or even aspire to recreate. But it is less immersive than Hendrick’s feed. We see the end-product, the promo shots, but they aren’t much more than surface level attractive. Could this be the next step for them – to lift the cover and welcome more consumers?

Greenall’s educational captions are detailed, teaching us about serving suggestions and their range. A brilliant use of how technical and specialised gin is, carving its own niche whilst simultaneously opening the door for less knowledgeable consumers.

Notice that they have zero use of stories in their profile. Why not take steps to utilise the function when your competition has? Stories are a great way to get behind the spirit. What do your distillers enjoy about the process? Where do the ingredients come from? What does your distillery look like? Open the door to the human side of your brand through this insight.

Whisky

Between Jack Daniels and Maker’s Mark, there is minimal difference in followers. Both have a rich history but go on quite opposing paths of storytelling -clear in their Instagram profiles.

Jack Daniels presents a dark, more moody feeling for the mature gentleman drinker. It is very faceless. The brand is selling to those who are understated in their search for excellent quality. And this is seen in the clean, no-frills feed they provide. Also seen are the brand’s origins with regular references to its Tennessee heritage through the woody, BBQ settings.

On the flipside, Maker’s Mark is incredibly human. As much about the people who power and pour the whisky as it is about the heritage and branding. It markets a social drink through its content – full of cocktail serving suggestions, festive flat lays, festival participation, and art. Continued reference to its characteristic wax dipping shows that its heritage is important to the brand. There is constantly a feeling of education about the people behind the whisky.

Clearly, there is weight in what you present on your Instagram feed. The message immediately conveyed to your audience should be considered right from the off when setting up an Instagram profile. Why? Because this will immediately attract the right audience for your spirit.

Rum

Bacardi and Captain Morgan are rum brands that contrast in following and lifestyle marketing. Firstly similarities, both brands are celebrity-endorsed and run large campaigns engaging with the public. Bacardi sponsoring music events (for example hosting a stage at Notting Hill Carnival) and Captain Morgan hosting surprise parties for consumers.

Again, the Instagram feed communicates way more than just pretty pictures. Bacardi is gritty, the artists they involve in their campaigns relate to a younger drinker. Their feed is dark and content rich, with a rhythm in the posts – for people who like to go out dancing, whether the genre is grime or salsa. Captain Morgan feels cheesier. The people are full of life and energy, the setting is vibrant. There is a comedic undertone throughout.

Both brands are selling a lifestyle alongside their product. This is the beauty of Instagram. Spirit brands have power when they make content attractive, less obviously promotional and more aspirational.

Vodka

Both Smirnoff and Chase Distillery show the versatility of a spirit category. Going about your brand’s profile in a way that suits the target consumer and opposes the aesthetic of competitor profiles could really broaden the market rather than crowd it.

Smirnoff is certainly the bigger brand, but Chase Distillery has a hugely high quality, consistent and digestible Instagram profile. Chase comes across as both professional and human, maintaining its family roots. Whereas Smirnoff is incredibly surreal and flamboyant. It feels human but less realistic.

A match made in heaven

Successful Instagram brand profiles contain:

  • Aspirational lifestyle content
  • Aesthetic imagery
  • Characterful brands

This is the perfect criterion for spirit brands. Though the spirits industry is heavily populated, it is not a community of copycat brands. Spirit brands can grow within their category by playing off one another to build a varied circle of profiles.

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