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Drinks brands should “radically rethink” B2C social media messages

Published:  08 April, 2020

Against the disruption of coronavirus (Covid-19), drinks brands “need to radically rethink their key messages when communicating with consumers on social media”, according to IWSR.

The drinks market analyst highlights the importance of adjusting away from campaigns based on socialising and sharing drinks with family and friends, to fast “establish a new relevance” in a market up-ended by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Relevance is paramount during a crisis like this. Social content needs to reflect the reality of the situation we are in, while also being purposeful in one of three ways: highlighting essential information, supporting the community, or offering entertainment and engagement while consumers are at home,” said Mark Meek, CEO of IWSR.

He added that social media is no longer about promoting an aspirational lifestyle, but “a way to cope with a new normal we are all living”.

With many across the trade already adapting and using social media channels to promote and communicate fast remodelled businesses and initiatives to engage consumers, IWSR elaborated on key ways that drinks brands can get their messages out to consumers.

For on-trade operators, this includes recreating the on-premise experience, as witnessed in bars and pubs using social media channels to “facilitate human interaction” through virtual bar experiences and recreating ‘happy hours’.

Aligned to this comes the possibilities offered by live streaming to allow customers to engage with new skills and learning, be that home cocktail making with a bartender, drinks tutorials, hosted live wine tastings (including with winemakers), and virtual tours of distilleries and wineries.

The report also predicted that the e-commerce trend would continue to accelerate post-pandemic (as it did in Asia following the SARS outbreak in 2002-2004).

““Many people are exploring home drinking and delivery services for the first time during lockdown and social distancing,” said Meek.

“Consumption habits formed now might stick around in the future, so brands have a real opportunity to appeal to new audiences and should try to make it easy for new consumers to go from engaging with social content to trying the actual product.”

The report added that it is paramount for brands to find an edge, something that will make them stand out, to “cut through the noise” now that so many have increased their focus on social media.