10. Narrow and deep or broad and shallow? The spirits industry’s dilemma

Trying to be all things to all consumers carries great risk for brand owners. How far can spirits brand owners stretch things before they snap?

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9. Is Chinese whisky set to become the next major regional style?

With the world’s two biggest distillers investing heavily in new Chinese whisky ventures, Amy considered what opportunities await this fledgling sub-category.

8. Spirits categories – What’s in a name?

The spirits industry is rather fond of categorisation, dedicating a lot of time and resources to forming, protecting and regulating particular varieties of spirits, particularly aged ones. In October, Amy asked, who cares most: the trade, or the consumer?

7. Why ‘monkey see, monkey do’ by brand owners misses the real vodka opportunity

Flavoured by another name? Richard had some better ideas to drive vodka’s revival.

6. The spirits marketing balancing act between aspirational and exclusive

In marketing terms, unaged spirits brands can learn a lot from their aged brethren as Richard explained in September.

5. Social currency – Why aged spirits must lean in to influencers

Influencers – including those involved in aged spirits – are frequently derided in industry circles. But, Amy argued this summer, they are playing an increasingly important role in bridging the gap between brand and consumer.

4. Why identity politics is more important than ever in spirits marketing

Aged spirits such as whisky, Cognac and increasingly rum often go to great lengths to share the minutiae of their ingredients and complex production processes. But, do most consumers really care? A significant proportion of drinkers today seem to be more concerned with brands’ environmental, social and ethical values.

3. In turbulent times, spirits brand owners fall into the arms of celebrities

For spirits brands, attractive markets can also carry risk. At the same time, a popular category in one market might not apply elsewhere. Richard believes that brand owners should consider the kindness of celebrities.

2. What lasting impact will COVID have on the luxury spirits market?

With consumer priorities shifting massively, vast changes in channel and category hierarchies and new consumption occasions all arising from the coronavirus pandemic, Amy examined how the higher-end spirits market could be changed in the long term.

  1. How spirits brand owners can ensure the home-cocktail trend sticks

While the coronavirus pandemic forced consumers to stay at home, the thirst for cocktails remained unsated this year. Richard looked at how home-cocktails could be made to be here to stay.