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Building alcohol brand awareness through "Made in..."

Casper Cooper
28/11/2023 | 5 min read
Building alcohol brand awareness through "Made in..."

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    Building brand awareness through positioning in the eyes of consumers, related to national (or regional) branding, is a standard practice that increases the recognition of products and services. By associating a specific brand with the image of a particular country, a kind of "connection" of associations is created in the minds of potential customers (provided that their values are not contradictory). How does this work in the case of marketing alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, or spirits that burn the throat?


    Building brand awareness for beverages and their origin


    The famous "Made in..." indicating the nationality of the brand effectively enhances the reputation of products such as alcoholic beverages. Practically all wine, beer, and other beverage brands refer to their country of origin as an integral part of their brand strategies: Czech lager, English ale, or Irish stout.


    The same applies to wine brands. French, Spanish, or Italian wines are classified based on their region of origin and grape variety. Additionally, the quality and type of soil, as well as the characteristic features of the growers, are taken into account. On the other hand, in the past, labeling wine brands in Germany was so complicated that a guide was needed to make sense of it. It happened that specific brands in the minds of consumers communicated a true marketing mishmash.


    All of this creates countless opportunities for boasting. Wine brands associated with a particular region may have different bottles, for example, Hock - brown, Mosel - green. Wines from Franconia are poured into special chubby bottles called "bocksbeutel". Even these visual aspects - design - which have not yet touched the logo (and other elements of visual identification), have significant commercial significance.


    building brand awareness for wines


    What is the significance of increasing brand awareness through the image of a region?


    These complex differences seem to say: "Here is something authentic." No imitations. That is why French champagne producers from the Rheims region, called Champagne, fiercely defended their generic name (including their reputation) against producers of sparkling wine from other regions, especially from other countries.


    (Today, these are already proven methods for building brand awareness among customers; for a positive brand image in a specific product category. At that time, such a move was a real breakthrough. Branding is a process, and today we see that even initially incomprehensible messages of a brand can effectively sell the company's image and reach recipients even hundreds of years later!)


    New World wines from Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States, and many other countries follow the same path, although usually with less complexity. The end result of this approach is brand awareness for wine, which displays the name of the country and the place that gave it its identity. That is why the idea of Euro wine, a "cocktail" made up of various European wines, seems so absurd, even repulsive. (Perhaps the target group for such an experiment is only just emerging, and we will only get to know it in a few years?)


    building brand awareness for a region


    Whisky (or maybe whiskey), my love? Branding the brand to the letter


    It is believed that Scottish whisky derives its unique properties from the natural qualities of water and soil, as well as from the inherited talents of those who distill it. Different types of malt whisky come from different regions, each with its own distinct taste and bouquet.


    Irish whiskey (spelled with an "e") is different from Scottish whisky, and Bourbon is yet another. Regardless of the ingenuity of Suntory, Japanese whisky producers, they are unable to produce a spirit that matches the one made in Scotland.


    Regional brand awareness: What is brand awareness in the eyes of customers "%"?


    It all comes down to the fact that in the case of many food and beverage products, especially spirits, nationality serves as a kind of quality seal. Few would choose to buy Italian whisky or Scottish olive oil.


    We all take for granted, without much thought, that in the world of alcoholic beverages, country of origin and brand are inseparably linked. This is the most evident manifestation of a relationship that has always existed since trade began and is still alive, although recently undermined.


    building brand awareness for alcoholic beverages


    When did building brand awareness for products and services merge with national branding?


    In the 19th century, most countries produced goods mainly for the domestic market, although the export of certain goods was very important for some countries. Almost every product differed significantly depending on the country of origin. French, German, American, and British locomotives were different, although they all ran on the same tracks.


    Each country had its own steel mills, ammunition factories, chemical plants, soap production facilities, shipyards, etc., and each of these enterprises had an individual character. Everything, from bread and pastries to architectural styles and dress designs, had a national "flavor," and often it had significant meaning.




    The above text was written with the support of various brand stories presented to the world 19 years ago by Wally Olins in his book. Olins is a marketing and advertising guru who (interestingly) also helped increase the recognition of the Polish brand. He advised, among other things, in creating a coherent strategy related to the brand of our country and shaping awareness among brand recipients, both foreign tourists and Poles themselves.


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