How Alcohol & Beverage Companies Will Win Marketing in 2017

There’s no doubt about it - mobile messaging had its grand revelation in 2016. In just a short year, Facebook Messenger surpassed over 1 Billion users and Apple reported that every second, over 200,000 iMessages are sent. The usage is astounding.   Smart brand marketers understand that as customers spend more time messaging, they (brands) should too.

One of the biggest opportunities in mobile messaging actually pertains to alcohol and beverage brands. Here at Snaps, a chatbot platform we’re fortunate enough to work side-by-side with brands like Pepsi, Macallan, Bud Light, Coke, and more.

We get the space and want to provide three activations alcohol and beverage brands NEED to do to win messaging in 2017.

Collaborative iMessage App

With over 1 Billion iMessage users, Apple has one of the most powerful messaging platforms in the West. To capitalize on that usage, they launched a new iMessage App Store. That means right within texts, iPhone users can sign up for an event, play games, share a ride, buy products, send interactive messages, and more. What is brilliant about iMessage applications is that successful ones will remove social frictions, while simultaneously allowing people to have fun and do things collaboratively.

  • A vodka brand, for example, could build a party planning iMessage app. Users could be shown different party ideas from a Game of Thrones theme to Night at the Disco, and a list of must have drinks and items for the party! Two or more people can plan the perfect event right in iMessage.
  • Another idea could be from a Cola brand launching a recipe iMessage app. You have Cola, now find a list of all the best drinks to make and share it out!
  • Finally, what about a quiz for Scotch fans? - challenge your friends and see who knows the about the most about fine whiskeys.

We’ve launched quite a few iMessage stickers apps with our brand partners however, we have yet to see alcohol or beverage brand make a play here. There’s an untapped first-to-market opportunity.. Here's a couple mockups of ideas mentioned above.

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Facebook Messenger Chatbot (specifically for Personalization, Geo-Location, Commerce, & Education)

2016 was declared the year of the bot. While there was (over)hype early on, most chatbot for brands experiences felt underwhelming. Messaging platforms are evolving and there’s some tremendously powerful activations alcohol and beverage brands should be thinking about. With a 98% open rate in messaging, brands should be creating use cases to engage consumers in messaging (instead of focusing on an email address or a social media follow).  

For example, Bud Light worked with Snaps to launch a bot to deliver a 24 pack in under an hour. This is a brilliant activation for a few reasons. Primarily, it opens up the door for Bud Light to communicate with their customers directly. Bud Light can now now reach out to customers to share new updates and directly drive commerce.  Second, this bot takes advantage of smart, personalized push notifications to users letting them know their favorite team is playing and to order Bud.

Another example comes from Macallan. They launched their Chatbot through the Snaps platform as a way to educate customers and also help them pick the right whisky — and buy it. The bot has a short guided reply component to help new customers find the right scotch, educate sophisticated Scotch drinkers on pairings - and of course, drive commerce. Like Bud Light, Macallan can now reach out to customers directly who have interacted with the bot. This becomes tremendously valuable when you think about how the brand runs tasting events throughout the country that are attended by millennials - and almost 50 percent women.

How to build a chatbot? The possibilities are endless for alcohol and beverage brands in Chatbot. Brands can create an evergreen presence bot that allows customers to learn about the history of brands, discover new recipes, learn where to buy, or discover events happening in the user’s city. Brands can also build a bot for a specific campaign and have some fun with it.

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iMessage Sticker Pack

Emojis are only beginning to have their shining moment. With Apple making stickers a pillar of their iMessage platform, brands should jump in to peer-to-peer message sharing.  Creating custom emojis and launching an iMessage sticker pack is great way to put your brand in the hands of your most loyal consumers daily conversations, and see explosive viral growth.

Pepsi created one of the most successful emoji keyboard of 2016. Launching on iPhone and Android in over 100 markets, Pepsi built their own global emoji language known as Pepsimoji. “When you find yourself stuck at a train station in a foreign country or at a concert where it's too loud to speak, you can use your emojis to communicate” says Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi.

One of best features of creating a sticker pack in iMessage is the in-line app attribution, or in other words, a small link a recipient receives to install the pack. Apple is helping to make apps go inherently more viral.  Every sticker share is a mini-advertisement for brand!

  • Brands should consider building sticker packs for new product launches. For example, if a soda brand creates a new flavor, they should launch a pack around that.
  • Another example could be a tequila company creating a sticker pack with shot glass emojis, agave plants, lime & salt, and more.