Lifestyle / Alcohol

Luxury Alcohol Brands Hone in on Lifestyle Marketing

From Martell to The Macallan, LUXUO looks at how alcohol brands shift toward the lifestyle sector to market to broader consumers.

Mar 26, 2024 | By Sanjeeva Suresh

How do you sell something intangible? What does it mean to taste “liquid gold”? Much like fragrances, alcohol is something that is experienced. First, tastes are subjective to the individual consumer and then there is the challenge of aptly describing flavour profiles on paper alone. For decades, luxury alcohol brands have sold based on prestige and their own brand’s centuries-old premium heritage. With the rise of competing brands — each with its own manufacturing excellence and a shifting demographic of alcohol consumers — brands have to adapt to fit into the lifestyle of their new modern consumers.

Royal Salute’s The Platinum Punch

Take Royal Salute, for instance. To target a new generation of alcohol consumers like Generation Z and Millennials who appreciate a sweet tipple over hard liquor, the brand released a range of Royal Salute cocktails.

Creating an Experience

Part of creating a holistic experience includes educating the consumer and creative collaborations that highlight the brand’s offering — from exclusive decanters to fashionable motifs.

Paying homage to French art de vivre through the country’s most prestigious châteaux, Maison Martell unveiled the L’Or de Jean Martell – Réserve du Château de Chanteloup. Martell collaborated with Maison Baccarat to create an exquisite crystal decanter. Maison Martell and Maison Baccarat hone in on their brand’s French luxury and craftsmanship to deliver a combination of richness and French refinement. For a complete sensorial experience, Martell then brought guests to the L’Or de Jean Martell’s cellar where guests were privy to the aging process in barrels crafted from 300-year-old oak, sourced from France’s most ancient forests.

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Royal Salute on the other hand, expanded into fashion by partnering for the second year with celebrated British designer Richard Quinn for the limited edition, Royal Salute 21-Year-Old Richard Quinn Edition II. The collaboration sees a marriage between creativity in fashion and expert luxury Scotch whisky blending, making it a bottle that is a true collectible.

The bespoke blend of rich fruity notes, elevated with hints of spice and gentle smoky characteristics is then housed in Royal Salute’s signature flagon, which has been adorned with three striking designs by Richard Quinn, each showcasing the designer’s characteristic bold style and love of colliding patterns. Collaborations with renowned maisons and designers offer a new creative synergy that expands the reach of both the alcohol and the collaborative brand to new audiences, driving sales as a result.

Cocktails Craze

Royal Salute’s The Jubilee Fizz

Royal Salute’s website has branched out to include a comprehensive how-to guide on cocktail-making that inclusive of recipes and ingredients. This includes everything from the Jubilee Fizz — a celebratory Champagne cocktail with delicate notes of British elderflower, lemon and peach to The Platinum Punch —a twist on the classic English punch with Lillet rosé, cooled rosehip tea and raspberry syrup.

The Macallan’s new cocktail range pays homage to classic flavours while embracing new contemporary twists. The Old-Fashioned mirrors the simplicity, elegance and timelessness qualities of The Macallan and doesn’t compromise on the label’s quality and exceptional whisky making. The Boulevardier symbolises elegance, refinement and innovation paying homage to classic flavours while embracing new contemporary twists.

It is also worth noting that brands like The Macallan, Royal Salute and Martell are usually consumed during high-end celebrations but are now incorporated as part of food pairings and highball cocktails.

Read More: Craft Cocktails: Refining the Art of Mixology

Food Pairings

Whisky is now marketed and served as an accompaniment to savory dishes. Martell Noblige’s Lunar New Year offering saw its rich and complex flavours pair well with light appetizers such as smoked salmon, bruschetta, or crostini with mild toppings to complement the cognac without overwhelming its taste. By offering curated food pairing experiences, luxury alcohol brands differentiate themselves from competitors with a new, unique selling proposition. This also allows luxury alcohol brands to capitalise on the growing interest in elevated gastronomy and culinary experiences. By introducing food pairings and tastings, alcohol becomes part of a sensorial experience that engages multiple senses, including taste, smell, and sight, enhancing the overall immersive experience for consumers.

Read More: Cheers to The Lunar New Year With These Auspicious Tipples

Conclusion

In summary, while consumer habits have shifted, alcohol branding has not changed but rather the way brands bring the products to market has evolved. Preparing cocktails and mixing spirits were once akin to blasphemy (and something that spirit purists would have taken affront to), but have now become the much-needed reality as brands strategise to stand out from their competitors and accommodate the new rise of consumers who increasingly seek experiential drinking experiences that cater to their evolving preferences.

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