Tag Archives: alcohol

Ferment and Distill Your Ideas

“Alcohol, taken in sufficient quantities, may produce all the effects of drunkenness.” 
– Oscar Wilde

I like alcohol in its various forms and like with many things the more you know the background of it, the more you enjoy the experience. Therefore I don´t only consume ethanol, I read a lot literature about it (hence camouflaging it from problem to hobby). Besides Three Martini lunches, the art of making booze and the art of making great marketing have lots of similarities. For example this passage about the difference of fermentation and distillation in the “Proof” by Adam Rogers captures something essential about our field of work as well:

Fermentation is a natural process, as close to a miracle as a science-minded type like me would ever acknowledge. Over human history we have learn to harness and adapt it. We domesticated the micro-organisms that make it possible, designed containers friendlier to it, created business around it. But a winemaker taking credit for fermentation is like beekeeper taking credit for honey. Fermentation would happen whether men and women were here on earth or not. If a fig spontaneously ferments in the forest, a monkey is there to hear it. (And eat the fig. And get drunk.  

Distillation, though, is technology. Human being invented it; we came up with the process and developed the equipment. It requires the ability to boil a liquid and reliably collect the resulting vapors, which sounds simple. But to do it you have to learn a lot of other skills first. You have to be able to control fire, work metal, heat things and cool them, make airtight, pressurized vessels. You need a big brain with wrinkled cortex, maybe some opposable thumbs. But most of all you need a desire to change your environment instead of just live with what you have. Distillation takes intelligence and will. To distill, literally or metaphorically, requires the hubris to believe you can change the world.
 

The great marketers understand the difference of fermentation and distillation and when to utilize both of the methods to come up with ideas.

“Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire”
– David Wallace

Ferment: There is time and place to rely on your emotions and gut feeling. Fermentation is a skill that you either have or not. Let it flow and don´t try to control things. Use just pad and pen, technology does not make fermenting better. Usually when fermenting, the quantity is better than quality. Third beer tastes better than the first one. There is time to distill later on.

“Civilization begins with distillation”
-William Faulkner

Distill: After you had your ideas ferment freely it is time to distill your ideas to purest form. You have to try to control your ideas, make sense out of them. Use technology to find the essence of your idea. Distillation you can learn when you have the discipline. The less is more. If you have truly potent idea, one shot is enough and you don´t need to mix it with anything.

The best marketers are the masters of in balancing between chaos and discipline.

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Anatomy of An Insight: Bud Jukebox

Marketing alcohol brands in bar setting is a delightful task, because generally your audience is quite willing to hear your proposition.

One of the smartest gimmicks I have encountered was in Divine Bar. When you order a wine bottle, “a wine fairy” goes to fetch the bottle with cable. The whole order was part of performance. It definitely got our group to order bottle of wine instead of just having regular pints. Actually they could even up the ante by placing the most expensive wines the highest to encourage even more splurging:

Wine Fairy

“Wine Fairy” reaching for the bottle in the middle of the picture (sorry for the blurry picture, it was a blurry night)

The following Budweiser activation is a brilliant idea merging together promotion to sell more beer and providing actual value to the consumer:

Budweiser – Bud Jukebox from Bruno de Carvalho Barbosa on Vimeo.

Insight: Choosing a beer in bar setting is quite arbitrary. You either choose what is on the tap or go with the best promotion. How could you do the beer promotion so it would have a little bit more idea on it? What value could you provide which goes beyond traditional discount?
Jukeboxes are social glue in bars. There are always people who want to play some music and also pay for it. What if you could have jukebox, which works with only Budweiser beer caps? Would you select Budweiser instead of Miller to get that “currency”?

The idea is just perfect for the bar setting: fun, simple and relevant for the product. Not to mention increasing sales of the product. I love ideas where you turn a neglected part of the product (this time beer cap) to something valuable.

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