The liquor, wine and spirits industries are full of promising opportunities, especially in large markets like New York and California. New York liquor distributors have been increasing their wholesale craft liquor sales quite drastically. For a craft liquor distributor in multiple states (like LibDib), emerging, small production brands are what allow us to expand our business and interest new Reseller accounts. But Makers are a big piece of that! The direct connections that brands have with Resellers are the game changer in this industry.
If you’re new to the craft liquor business and developing a new alcohol beverage line, think about your Reseller relationships first when planning your strategy. There’s a lot that goes into a successful brand and craft liquor distribution, but the true key piece includes having direct connections Resellers (restaurants, bars and retailers) if you want to grow your business. No matter who your distributor is, this is the new reality and Makers need to understand that.
Let’s talk about how to do that.
Wholesale Distribution Comes First, Preferably Online Wholesale Alcohol
To launch a craft product into a new market, Makers first have to secure distribution with a craft liquor distributor or small production wine distributor (like LibDib!) A licensed wholesaler is the only way Resellers can purchase alcohol in the three-tier system.
Most distributors will require a pitch from the brand owner and in that sales presentation, you’ll need to lay out your plans. LibDib is different in that we do not require a pitch, but we’ll tell you that our most successful Makers are those with a sales plan. So, get your plan in order before you try to go into any market (even if it’s your local home market).
Once you have distribution, the work isn’t done. In fact, the work really begins. It’s time to sell into accounts and that involves telling your brand story and connecting with the right Reseller customers. While there’s a lot that goes into a wholesale pitch and research to be done on how to target accounts, there’s ways to get wholesale craft liquor in the hands of resellers.
Entice Resellers by Helping Them Create Higher Margins
A Reseller is looking to make income from all areas of their establishment. Upselling a craft product can be a big money maker for Resellers. Why? Customers are willing to spend more on small production/craft products. Higher-end offerings also allow Resellers to charge more for drinks and ultimately bring in more revenue. Higher margin, equals higher revenue! This is truly the best part of wholesale craft liquor. (FYI, if you’re a reseller, you can buy specialty craft alcohol through LibDib and increase your margins!)
Boost Brand Exposure, Sell More
The ability to have your craft product sold in restaurants, bars and retailers, allows for more people to come in contact with it. But Resellers want to make sure that you are committed to the sell through. Have a plan to boost brand exposure in the markets with placements. Partner with say, your New York liquor distributors or Los Angeles liquor distributors, or other large city distributors, and they can help promote your product. The more it sells out in stores and bars/restaurants, the more alcohol distributors will request your wholesale craft liquor. It’s all about the exposure and sell through. Then use social media to promote (but watch those alcohol laws!) and be a partner to Resellers who purchase your products. Show them some love, and they’ll show you some love by buying more of your products.
Create Occasions with Your Products
Consumers love to have drinking occasions and the more you can create, the more you’ll sell. Resellers can actually help with brand development by using their social setting to create those occasions. So, work with your customers and wow their consumers!
For example, if an Italian restaurant serving suggests your wine in one of their pairings, they’ve just expanded your branding. The association with your product and that meal hints at a quality wine that people will now want to drink every time they eat Italian food. Whether those consumers eat that meal in the same restaurant, another Italian dinner, or at home, you’ve just become the tasty wine that’s paired with pasta. Who doesn’t love pasta? This can be said for celebratory events, seasonal events (tequila and Cinco deMayo), and so on.
That marketing process can be replicated in bars with beer and burgers, whiskey in night clubs, and spirits at a trendy convenience store. All of those third-party sources provide a specific mood and will draw in different audiences who drink your craft products with a purpose or occasion.
Grow your craft business by partnering with your alcohol distributor AND make direct connections with Reseller accounts. It’s all about sell, sell sell.