“Building upon consumer engagement to support your customers and drive sell-through”
As the RTD cocktail space continues to heat up, we’re excited to be joined today by Blue Marble Cocktails CEO and Founder to look at how they’re crafting more than cocktails at Blue Marble. Alan Miller, Sr. is crafting and executing a high-powered consumer and commercial strategy that is powering the brand’s rapid expansion.
We have our questions for Alan – and please feel free to chime in with a few of your own.
Alan Miller, thanks so much for being with us today!
Thank you Seth!
We wanted the name of the company to resonate the values of our family. We love working and playing on this beautiful earth nicknamed the Blue Marble by the NASA astronauts. Blue Marble is natural, premium and beautiful. Blue Marble’s culture is family, respect, all-natural and premium. We created our ready-to-drink cocktails just like how we live our lives. Everything we have done reflects our respect for the Blue Marble. As a company and family we actively donate our time and money to keeping the blue marble blue.
In today’s marketplace, a lot of the heavy lifting (when it comes to consumer sales) needs to be done by the brand. If you’re relying on your customers (retailers) to do it for you, you’re in trouble – and it seems this is not lost on your team at Blue Marble. Can you tell us where/how you’re engaging with your consumers?
We went to market in a non-traditional way. We engaged the on-premise concessionaires like Disney, Levy, Legends and Live Nation to carry Blue Marble and got instant exposer to the masses across the country. You can experience the world’s best premixed cocktail while you are having fun on a cruise ship, theme park, arena or concert across the country. We are doing “sips to lips” while driving revenues. Of course the off-premise is important and we have been strategic in our partnerships across the country. The Blue Marble team consist of regional managers, brand ambassadors and of course micro to macro influencers.
Social media is often a great equalizer in terms of efficacy vs. spend. Often creativity and organic enthusiasm can supplant mega media dollars (at least to the extent platforms still make that possible). Can you tell us a little about what you’ve learned as Blue Marble builds its following and empowers its consumers?
We learned to aim high but walk before we run. We held off on national influencer campaigns to make sure we had distribution and retailers in place, so people could find us. We also learned to really listen and take feedback from consumers but also to stay true to our family values. I think I hear daily that I should make some crazy cocktail because it is what that individual likes but would not necessarily be a big hit with all consumers. Small test markets are key to designing products that meet the demands of the ever-changing consumer. We were fortunate years ago to design cocktails that we wanted, natural, premium and nothing artificial. We didn’t want extra added sugar, simply we wanted the best ingredients and we knew we would have the best product out there.
Building upon your efforts engaging with and empowering consumers, it’s ultimately all about how those activities translate to getting more liquid to lips. Alan, how are you able to leverage Blue Marble’s consumer marketing to drive sell-through at retail?
Easy, we market the truth and we let the consumers spread the word – we don’t need to hype, we don’t need to bash competitors, we just produce the best product that blows people away. Once a consumer tries it they are hooked, and they tell their friends and family about it. Every one of our products is multi-gold winning, and to receive the honor to be called “world’s best premixed cocktail” speaks volumes about who Blue Marble is as a company. We are disrupting the business with family values and marketing that reflects who we are as a family and company.
Finally, we love to finish by looking ahead. Can you tell us where you see the RTD cocktail space heading over the next 3-5 years, and what will be most critical to your continued growth and success?
I don’t think there is anything stopping the momentum of the RTD cocktail space. I think consumers will better understand it in the coming years. Right now, it is difficult for consumers to differentiate between seltzers and cocktails. They don’t understand the difference (mainly because the suppliers hide it) between malt-based vs spirit based. I think consumers need to be educated better on ABV% as well to encourage more responsible consumption. In conclusion we are excited we got here at the right place at the right time and all we need to do is keep growing our fan base. We have several new products getting ready to hit the market and each of these stays true to the family values and core culture of the Blue Marble Team.
Alan, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your story. We’re thrilled to have your team at eBev later this fall (October 28-30 in Las Vegas).
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