How to make a big splash with your non-alcoholic booze brand

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How to make a big splash with your non-alcoholic booze brand

11th October 2019
By Ricky Knight / Managing Director

Over the last 18 months, there has been a blizzard of non-alcohol alternative brand launches as makers respond to a growing trend for temperance. It’s a fast-growing sector. And an increasingly competitive one. So, how do get your brand to stand out? 

Sober October (and Dry January) triggers an avalanche of abstinence and those deciding to go dry, for a month or longer, have never had such a large and colourful choice of non-alcoholic beers and spirits to choose from, at home and at the bar. 

Alcohol-free alternatives is major trend in the drinks sector and both booze-industry big hitters and artisanal makers are busy. 

Big brewers and artisanal makers targeting non-alcohol alternatives sales

Heineken has backed its Heineken 0.0 beer with big campaigns, Pernod Ricard has moved into the non-alcoholic category with the launch of its dark spirit Celtic Soul and the Diageo-driven non-alcoholic spirit brand Seedlip is quickly building a high profile.

At the same time, St. Peter’s Brewery Without beer brand is one of a growing number of alcohol-free craft beers on shelves, while Everleaf, Caleno and Slange Var are just a few of the non-alcoholic spirits from specialist makers to appear behind bars in recent months.

How your non-alcoholic booze brand can stand out from the crowd


These are rich and heady days for those wanting to forego alcohol on a big night out or in. But at the same time, for makers, the onslaught of new launches means more competition and the need to fight harder for market space and mindshare.

So how can these brands make a spectacle of themselves in a crowded marketplace? 

Innovation is critical. Naturally, a large part of innovation is concerned with what’s in a drink and how it looks, but it needs to go further. Innovation should also encompass how a brand is launched and promoted, in particular given that making non-alcoholic beers and spirits “cool” is a central challenge.

This is where brand experience and experiential marketing come in.

Experiential events and the promotion of non-alcoholic booze brands


It’s no surprise to learn that Heineken is flexing its muscle in the non-alcoholic booze market: it has launched Bierra Moretti Zero and Old Mout alcohol-free cider alongside Heineken 0.0. Tellingly, the brewing behemoth’s campaigns have a broad scope, encompassing festival sponsorship, television ads, social media marketing, brand influencers, and more.

One of the highlights of its US campaign (and one of its most successful components) was “Bring Your Beer to Work Day”. This experiential marketing event enlisted two stars from The Office (US) television comedy series and involved the characters bringing Heineken 0.0 to fans’ offices, with the results shared via social media. 

Similarly, Seedlip is benefiting from a number of partnerships, including with the farm-to-table food initiative Outstanding in the Field, and with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team, as the official supplier of non-alcoholic drink options at Formula 1 events.

How experiential marketing is providing essential market reach


For makers of non-alcohol alternatives, generating brand engagement and creating positive mindshare is a key challenge, and experiential marketing is playing a key role in this achieving this goal. 

In terms of marketing book strategy, the healthier living aspect of non-alcohol alternatives offers a natural link to experiences that incorporate an aspect of wellbeing, fitness and healthy eating. There is also the choice of showing the place that these drinks can have in regular life and the benefits they bring. The adaptability of experiential means that it is highly effective in delivering targets in both spaces. 

Whatever the path a brand chooses, innovation is the difference between success and failure. That’s why choosing the right experiential marketing partner is critical: they will help deliver the innovation your brand needs to make a lasting impression and perform well.

New perceptions, vital mindshare and the role of experiential 


Alcohol-free alternatives is big business as more and more people bin the booze, both temporarily and more permanently. But growing competition means that profits are harder to earn.

Against this backdrop, experiential marketing is proving a vital tool for changing perceptions, shaping behaviours and generating engagement. 

Want to know what experiential marketing can do for your brand?

Get in touch with the team on 0870 350 3450 or