Experiential Marketing for Spirits Companies

Over the years we’ve developed several best practices for spirits companies interested in experiential marketing events. Here are some of the pearls of wisdom we share with clients.

Make it fun

Sipping spirits is social, entertaining and educational. Make sure all those aspects come through in your experiential marketing event. Consumers should find your activation as fun and lively as your products.


Find the right staff

Along with having fun, consumers want to be around people who make them feel good. When you run your event, make sure all the brand specialists are outgoing, funny and engaging. They should be the kind of people everyone instantly wants to be friends with. Your consumers will remember them long after they leave the booth. If you hire people more intent on selling or pushing people toward your products, your consumers will remember that too – but not in a good way.

It’s no surprise that companies often advertise with good-looking women and men. Because of that, it may not hurt to bring in talent recruited for their appearance as well as their personality. Factory 360 has an in-house model network in addition to our regular talent procurement services. These men and women can also have a big impact on people’s memories.

Several of our models were effectively deployed during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week to introduce people to NJOY electronic cigarettes. These lovely men and ladies worked the crowds, handing out samples and educated consumers about the NJOY’s products. During the course of the week-long event, Factory 360 handed out over 22,000 trial e-cigarettes and generated over a million social media impressions.

Encourage responsible drinking

These days one of the things consumers take into account when supporting or eschewing a company is their social responsibility. The same is true of spirits companies. One of the big things people want to see is that alcoholic beverage manufacturers are encouraging people to drink responsibly. For that reason, it’s important to think about balancing fun and caution as soon as you beginning planning your activation.

That doesn’t mean your event has to be boring. To the contrary, you want it to really stand out – perhaps even push the boundaries of people’s expectations a bit. But it’s not a good idea for consumers participating in your event to drink your product then drive simulated cars or do other activities that could be dangerous while under the influence. Avoid headaches later on by thinking about any potential PR snafus up front.

Can you include a local angle?

The local spirits movement is huge right now. It seems like everywhere you turn, another distillery or refinery is popping up. If you’re a locally owned and operated company, can you play that up in your activation? If you use locally sourced ingredients in your products, can you tie that into your experiential marketing campaign? If your company supports a cause or social service agency, can you include them in an event?

If you’re a multi-national company, you can still think about ways to include local businesses in your activation. We’re seeing more and more large businesses partner with small enterprises and start-ups to put on fantastic experiential marketing campaigns. Can you offer snacks prepared by a local restaurant and made with local food? Can you set up tasting stations that include beer from local microbreweries or wineries as well as your spirits?

Go to your consumers

One of the beautiful things about experiential marketing is that you meet your consumers in a place where they’re excited and wanting to try new things. No matter what type of special event you attend, consumers are probably planning to drink anyway (and have made arrangements for how they’ll get home afterward). That’s a real plus for spirit brands.

Where can spirits brands meet consumers who are ready to try their products? Colleges, festivals, community events and pop-up stores in strategic locations. You should be able to get demographic information about most events in your community so you can make sure you’re targeting the folks you want to reach – starting with people who are old enough to drink.

Look for an experienced experiential marketing agency

Spirits companies have special requirements. You’ll need a liquor license to serve alcohol, people who know how to check IDs, special storage and serving equipment, and more. Why leave your experiential marketing events in the hands of someone who knows nothing about your business?

At Factory 360, you get a partner that knows and appreciates what you do. You get a team that has worked with various spirits brands before and knows what they need. You also get a group experienced with reaching the people you want to communicate with. Contact Factory 360 today to learn more about us and how we can help your spirits brand.