The adult beverage business is booming. 

Data shows that U.S. alcohol sales in 2020 were the highest they have been in 18 years. The sales of hard seltzers and other ready-to-drink products alone were up 63 percent. Although this increase was linked to the pandemic, there has long been an upward trend toward craft adult beverages and brands. 

The demand for unique drinks made by honest, authentic brands is rising. In response to this increase in demand, various brands have adapted their brand strategies, implementing the power of brand ambassador marketing. 

The following five brands have successfully created brand ambassador programs that have helped them boost brand awareness and continually increase their ROI. 

Whether you own a small-batch distillery or a craft beer company, draw inspiration from these brands. 

How Do Brand Ambassador Programs Support Adult Beverage Brands?

In today’s modern business world, consumers are more aware than ever before — and with so much competition, they have the pick of the bunch. 

That is why in addition to offering a quality product and impeccable customer service, you need to be a company people trust.

Although you can sink a significant amount of money into your marketing budget, investing in ads, email campaigns and search engine marketing, there is one type of marketing that needs to be on your radar — word-of-mouth marketing. 

The key is to develop a strategy that leverages the feedback and support of others. When a consumer spreads honest, positive feedback about a brand, those who trust that consumer will be more willing to support that brand. 

Interestingly, 64 percent of marketing executives agree that word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective form of marketing. Yet, just six percent believe they have mastered it. 

These stats tell us that word-of-mouth marketing is highly beneficial. However, most brands are maximizing the potential of this approach. To address that, brands need to consider strategic brand ambassador marketing. For example, turn-key brand ambassador management software can help you take your brand ambassador program to the next level. These case studies show how this approach is powering some of the world’s fastest-growing brands. 

Many independent breweries, wineries and distilleries are joining the craft beverage movement, fueling the growth of this industry. Focusing on solid branding, quality product and a sense of community, this is the perfect niche to attract passionate ambassadors. 

Now, let’s dive deeper into the following brand ambassador programs so that you can gain insight and inspiration. 

Aslan Brewing Co.

Located in downtown Bellingham, Washington, Aslan Brewing Co. is an organic craft brewery. The hip and modern taproom draws crowds anxious to taste the latest house brews while classic pub fare. They also offer pickup service in Seattle. 

Aslan Brewing has a significant following on social media, with over 24,200 followers on Instagram. This brand is open about its values in that the company strives to connect with the local community and provide great beer. They welcome others to join them via the Aslan Ambassador Program

To apply to become an ambassador, there are only two key restrictions:

  • Applicants must be 21 years or older
  • Applicants must reside in Washington (this is likely because of their localized approach)

Once accepted, ambassadors will get the following:

  • The inside scoop on things that are happening with the brewery, before they happen 
  • Beer so that the ambassadors can share their Aslan experiences 
  • Aslan merchandise 
  • A 20-percent discount on Aslan products 
  • Invites to tastings and other local events 

FitVine Wine

Cooking and drinking wine

FitVine Wine has taken a unique approach, carving out a specific niche. This brand focuses on low-sugar wines for healthy people. Targeting those who care about what they put in their bodies, they have developed a collection that has significantly less sugar and no flavor additives, yet still full-flavored and full-bodied. 

The FitVine Wine Ambassador Program is looking for people of all backgrounds to spread the word. Their target market is people who want to live freely without sacrifices but feel good doing so.

When it comes to their ideal ambassador, they look for someone who:

  • Promotes a balanced lifestyle
  • Loves to showcase the fun things in life 
  • Has an active presence on social media 
  • Is passionate about health and wellness
  • Shares new products with those they love
  • Enjoys drinking wine

The perks of joining?

  • Up to $80 worth of wine every month 
  • A gift box of FitVine swag 
  • Potential feature on the brand’s Instagram page 
  • Discount codes available for ambassadors’ followers 
  • Knowing the inside scoop before the public 

To apply, applicants must be 21+ and reside in the United States. Here is the application

Maker’s Mark 

When it comes to bourbon whiskey, Maker’s Mark offers a beloved small-batch recipe. Produced in Loretto, Kentucky, this brand focuses on the traditions of the past. Being a multi-generational family business that first began in 1953, Maker’s Mark is proud to continue doing things as they did back then. 

This brand’s following is passionate about handcrafted bourbon whiskey, so they developed their brand ambassador program. According to chairman Bill Samuels, “Maker’s Mark was built on friends telling friends about our delicious, full-flavored bourbon. I’d love for you to join me in continuing that tradition.”

Ambassadors are asked to introduce friends and family to the brand’s smooth blend. Maker’s Mark sends ambassadors a heads up on the latest news and updates concerning everything from upcoming events to special edition releases. 

First, applicants take a Maker’s Mark quiz. If they pass, they get a neat prize. 

All new ambassadors are assigned a barrel of Maker’s Mark. That ambassador’s name is engraved on a placard and affixed to a newly filled barrel. Once the aging process is complete, the bottle from that batch will be available for purchase, featuring the ambassador’s name on the label. 

Ambassadors start their “barrel journey” here

Basic Hard Seltzer 

Seltzers are all the craze, including Basic Hard Seltzer. They have created a diversified portfolio that features several brands. Basic Hard Seltzer comes in four flavors, is just 90 calories per 12-ounce serving and has zero added sugar. 

The Basic Seltzer brand ambassador program is for real fans who want to join the company’s “#nobullsh*t family.”

There is a certain level of mystery concerning this program. The brand doesn’t give too much away about what this program entails. Interested applicants must join to see what they will receive as an influencer. With over 170,000 followers on Instagram, there is no doubt they appreciate those who represent the “Drink Basic” brand. 

Gypsy Vodka 

Gypsy vodka

Gypsy vodka is produced in Michigan by High Five Spirits. After testing 50 different formulas, Gypsy landed on this smooth sipping experience. Every bottle is corn-based, gluten-free and distilled six times using artesian spring water. The sweet and earthy tones have helped this vodka become an award-winning spirit. Gypsy Vodka is also featured in a line of ready-to-drink canned cocktails

To join the Gypsy Vodka crew, ambassadors must be over 21 to apply. The application process is quick and easy, requiring individuals to fill out a brief form. 

In exchange, those who are accepted get:

  • Shares on social media 
  • Swag 
  • Discounts at High Five Spirits Tasting Rooms 

To apply, answer the questions found at the bottom of this page

Four Twelve Winery

Located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, Four Twelve Winery reminds wine drinkers that not all wines are created equal. As they say, their grapes are grown in Chile and California, but their wine is handcrafted with tradition in Moon Township. Since the brand launched in 2017, they have significantly grown. 

Four Twelve Winery has since launched its Wine Ambassador Program

If accepted, ambassadors receive:

  • Two wine-maker selected bottles of red wine and one bottle of white each quarter for $100
  • Tastings alongside a guest of their choice
  • Priority purchasing for new wines
  • Exclusive option to purchase unique wines and reserves

To join, the winery asks you to contact Josianne Romasco at josianne@fourtwelvewinery.com to reserve a membership.

Launch a Brand Ambassador Program for Your Adult Beverage Brand

Like the adult beverage brands above, you too can leverage the power of brand ambassador programs. 

There is a large and passionate community out there that appreciates quality adult beverages. You can convert engaged customers into brand ambassadors with the right brand ambassador marketing strategy. These individuals will help you increase exposure, drive sales and significantly improve your ROI. 

If you are ready to elevate your current marketing strategy and develop an ambassador program, BrandChamp can help. Our all-in-one brand ambassador management software will help you increase brand awareness and boost conversion rates. 

Launch a brand ambassador program or upgrade your current program with BrandChamp. Get started and contact our team today