How Twin Liquors Gets Wine Drinkers Into Whiskey

Twin Liquors recently announced their sponsorship of the seventh annual Whiskies of the World Festival on Sept. 16 in Austin. As part of this commitment, the Texas chain will hold a Whiskey and Wine sale from Sept. 7-26: shoppers get 15% off when they buy a bottle of whiskey with one one of wine. 

The sponsorship also had a digital component. In August the retailer ran a social media contest (as well as an in-store giveaway) awarding two winners pairs of VIP tickets to the global whiskey festival. We recently spoke with Sandra Spalding, Director Of Marketing & Events at Twin Liquors, about the strategy behind this sponsorship and special sale.

Beverage Dynamics: How important is it to educate consumers, especially wine drinkers, about brown spirits from outside America?
Sandra Spalding: Brown spirits are so diverse​ that they offer something for everyone. It’s important to educate wine consumers so they understand they have options. ​If you are a crisp white wine drinker​, ​we could steer you towards a Japanese or Irish Whiskey​,​ which tend to be lighter-bodied while exhibiting good minerality. If you love fruit​-​forward​ bold​ red wines​,​ then you are certainly going to like American Bourbon with its sweeter palate and heavier oaked finishes.

BD: What percentage of buyers typically purchase wine and whiskey?
SS: Quite a bit of whiskey drinkers purchase wine​,​ but we are looking to expand that as more and more folks are exploring both categories.

BD: Are you seeing more crossover between the categories? Or is this sale intended in part to promote cross-experimentation?
SS: Yes, there is certainly crossover. But also, the sale is intended to show that the whiskey language can be similar to the language of wine with aroma, weight, terrior, minerality and finish.

BD: Why have you partnered with Whiskies of the World?
SS: Douglas Smith from Whiskies of the World first reached out to Twin Liquors in 2012, when the organization wanted to host an event in Austin, Texas. They saw in us a partner they could count on to help shape the event and make it unique to Austin.​ ​In ​the past ​six years, we have grown the event in terms of supplier participation and guests. This year we hope to have about 200 unique ​w​hiskies!

BD: How important is the use of social media and social media contests in marketing today?
SS: It’s very important, but you have to be engaged with your audience and you must be earnest. Contesting works the same way. Your offers must have a value that is meaningful to your organization and mission.​ ​In an era where social media is more and more pay-to-play, it will be interesting to see where it goes.

Kyle Swartz is managing editor of Beverage Dynamics magazine. Reach him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece Why Age Whiskey at Sea?

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