Creative Promotions: Make Your Alcohol Brand Stand Out

A sign that says Gin Tonic Club
From social media giveaways to retail campaigns, there are many ways to creative promote alcohol brands. Learn how you can make your brand stand from your competitors.

There are many ways for alcohol brands to creatively promote products and lead memorable brand activations to successfully reach customers and increase sales. These include on-premise and in-store campaigns, online promotions, social media, influencer marketing, and much more. Learn more about creative promotion ideas that you can put to use for your alcohol brand.

The Importance of Developing a Clear Brand Before Running Creative Promotions

The competition in the alcohol industry has never been more intense. This can make it difficult to commercialize your product and determine if your brand has what it needs to be a success. The key is to understand your target audience, the best places to reach them, and with what type of communication. Successful brands are able to carefully craft their messaging so that there is consistency in content, voice, and even packaging.

At the heart of everything, there must be a passion for the brand. A passionate leader will inspire and motivate team members and consumers to develop the best creative promotions for their brand. In turn, enthusiastic consumers will happily share their experience and become a free brand ambassador who helps  drive organic growth. 

6 Tactics Used by Creative Promotion Agencies

1. Social Media

Creative promotions on social media are an effective way to showcase your brand in a positive light while also building brand recognition and recall. During COVID-19, consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands, particularly beer, wine and spirits, were forced to adapt. With restrictions on in-person dining and people struggling with isolation and depression, brands had to find creative ways to use social media promotions in a way that didn’t focus on the product and the act of drinking. Established brands like Jack Daniels and Kronenbourg were able to promote fundraisers and highlight the importance of social distancing. 

  • Engage with Social Media Accounts

Managing social media accounts goes beyond simply posting. It is important to respond to comments and engage with customers. If a follower asks about the best mixer to compliment your liquor product, you want to make sure you provide a prompt answer. This is a simple spirits marketing tactic that will build goodwill with customers.It is also important to make sure that most content you post doesn’t direct users away from the platform and to a new site when they click on a link. Instead of posting a link that will take the reader to a video on the brand page, simply post the video directly to the social media platform.

  • Offer Exclusive Access

Customers appreciate exclusive behind the scene access. For example, a winery could make a video that shows how the wine is made and bottled. This type of content will be sought after and effective in promoting the brand and driving website traffic. In fact, during the pandemic, social media engagement grew by over 326% and the Spirits Business found that eight of the top 10 performing social media posts were created by alcohol brands. 

  • Post Relevant Events that Feature Your Brand

If your product is fortunate enough to be featured in a televised cooking segment or other special events, be sure to advertise this by providing a link to the content on your social media accounts. This is a subtle way to promote the brand and creatively use content. 

  • Beware of Outdated Tactics

There was a time when alcohol marketing ads featured images of partying and tailgating. Ads tend to be sports-focused, but these tactics are not effective and can actually be harmful. In the age of social media, backlash over a poorly conceived ad can be strong, swift, and devastating to a brand. On the other hand, a well-designed social media strategy can be a highly effective creative promotion. That is why it is vital to understand the risks and benefits and make sure accounts are managed by an experienced professional with a clear vision for the brand. 

2. Influencer Marketing

Many of today’s alcohol brands are promoting a certain lifestyle, which creates the perfect opportunity to partner with social media influencers. Social media stars are able to produce and promote visual content that can help increase brand awareness. People who follow influencers on Instagram and other social media platforms tend to trust their favorite ones and will visit their pages or channels regularly for advice and opinions about new products and services. Brands who leverage this type of creative promotional tool can tap into the influencer’s circle of followers and connect with a larger audience. 

3. Retail Displays

Point of purchase displays, or in-store retail displays, are a great way to reach existing and potential customers. Here are a few ways your field marketing team can use this technique:

  • Build a vendor shop: Limited shelf space can make it difficult to draw attention to a product. This “store within a store” approach creates a special section to help feature the product more prominently. 
  • Freestanding displays: A simple cardboard display offers a chance to get creative with design and it can easily be moved. 
  • Endcap display: When products are displayed at the end of an aisle, they make a strong first impression and encourage customers to make a purchase.
  • Banner stands: This type of display tends to be larger than other options and is also easy to install and remove.
  • Floor graphics: These can be placed in front of the product or be used throughout the store to direct the customer to the product.

4. Cocktail Programs

With solutions like F&B Insights suppliers can create on-premise cocktail programs to promote their alcohol brand. You set a program budget and length, and F&B Insights allocates cocktail programs against your budget, billing per bar and restaurant when, and only when, a merchant accepts your program. For every month and for every menu your cocktail program is live, you receive cocktail sales performance reports, cocktail menu trend insights, aggregate food pairing trend insights, and seasonal and regional consumer insights.

5. Tasting Events

Hosting alcohol sampling events at retail locations like liquor stores or grocery stores, is another way to promote your brand and gain brand awareness. It also helps that retail stores are an important source of consumer and competitor data. Brands can gather customer feedback, understand what products are performing well, and work to create products that speak to customers. Getting your talent to use a tool like Tastings, can further enhance access to retail data with competitor surveys, customer insights, and performance tracking.

6. Promotional Product Giveaways

Customers love free products. Alcohol brands can give away coasters, bottle openers, flasks, shot glasses, rocks glasses, totes, and koozies emblazoned with the brand logo. 

Appealing to the Right Target Market for Alcohol

Using social media and influencer marketing is a good way to reach people who fall in the Gen X, Gen Z, and Millennial generations. However, the same tactics may not work across all generations. Different age groups have different wants and priorities. It is important to tailor messaging in order to appeal to various demographics and cultivate a relationship with the brand.

Gen X 

Born between 1965 and 1980, this generation is often overlooked despite the fact that 30% of the population or 90 million people fall into this category. In addition, the US Department of Labor estimates that Gen Xers spend the most money. These are people who watched the emergence of cell phones and the internet. All of these factors should influence messaging. 

Gen Xers value customized messaging and authenticity in a brand. They have the financial means to shop for different brands, so it is essential to be upfront and honest in all your creative marketing efforts.


Born between 1981 and 1996, this is the first generation that was exposed to the latest technology throughout most of their lives. They are social media savvy, which means brands need to be too if they want to reach this generation. These customers are interested in how a brand will fit their lifestyle. At the same time, campaigns need to be able to adapt in order to meet the range of lifestyles that Millenials value.

Gen Z 

Born between 1997 and 2012, this is the most connected demographic. They have been using the internet and social media since they were old enough to hold a smartphone. The oldest members of this generation are 23-25 years old, which means that a large portion is still under the legal drinking age. This can make things tricky, but with the right strategy that takes full advantage of social media, brands can effectively reach Gen Z customers.


How can I promote my alcohol brand? 

Social media campaigns, giveaway products, retail displays, tasting events, influencer marketing, on-premise programs, etc. 

What are some creative promotion ideas for alcohol brands? 

Shift the focus away from the product ad drinking, provide behind-the-scenes access, engage with social media comments, and advertise relevant events that feature the product. 

Who is the target market for alcohol? 

Most alcohol brands are targeting people in Gen X, Gen Z, and Millenial generations. 

Why is developing popular brands essential for success in the alcohol beverage industry? 

The alcohol industry is more competitive than ever before. Developing a clear brand and running creative promotional campaigns is key to standing out in the crowd.



2 Responses

  1. Thanks for pointing out that using promotional branded event products would be a good idea because people love things that are free. I think that is going to be effective, especially when they use the items in their daily lives. It seems like it would be helpful in the sense that their brand is being advertised or marketed without them even noticing.

  2. I totally agree when you said that people would want free promotional business items when they are free which is why giving them away together with your brand logo will be a good idea. Personally, as long as the item is useful for my daily life, I would be enticed to buy from a business. So I guess the owners should utilize this kind of strategy to get more clients in the long run when their items are exposed to other people.

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