Marketers have long mined data from social networks for “influencers,” people whose favorable tweets and posts can boost product sales. Likewise, sprits companies are consulting the experts – focus groups of influential bartenders on their opinions, especially those spirits that are consumed as cocktails, not shots or neat. All the big liquor brands like Bacardi and Pernod Ricard are collaborating with bartenders in creating new spirits because at the end of the day, bartenders make the sale for them.
“Bartenders are reaching a level of influence in how they’re introducing consumers to new and exciting cocktails,” said Giles R. Woodyer, the brand managing director for Bacardi USA.
Around the neck of every bottle from the 86 Co. (gin, vodka, tequila, rum) is a small glass ridge. To the untrained eye, it looks like a packaging flourish. It is not. The ridge is there to make it easier for a bartender to grab the bottle, up end it and pour. The mouth is slightly tapered so speed-pouring spouts don’t slip out when they begin to wear thin. The bottle has liter and ounce measurements on the side, so that once empty, it can be used for other juices and syrups. These were suggestions of many mixologists sounded the partners who started the liquor line last year.
When Bombay Sapphire decided to make the new variety that became Bombay Sapphire East, flavored partly with Asian botanicals, it turned to a few stars in the food and drink worlds.
Beefeater 24 gin is a rare line extension for the classic Beefeater brand, brainchild of Beefeater’s master distiller, Desmond Payne, with some help from a small group of industry professionals seeking feedback on the mixing potential of it and on bottle design.
Do you know who your industry influencers are?