A new type of drink has been on the rise this summer: alcoholic sparkling water. The concept was created in 2012 by a brand called SpikedSeltzer based on the premise of delivering a refreshing, low calorie drink inspired by vodka soda. But, SpikedSeltzer is experiencing a lot of competition on the market right now with the biggest players being White Claw Hard Seltzer and Truly Spiked and Sparkling, both of which have outsold SpikedSeltzer in the past year.
The three brands know their target market very well: millennials, especially those who err on the side of being health conscious. Which means their digital marketing approach is extremely important in their quests to edge out the others. Each brand emphasizes their calorie count being around 100 and a 5 or 6% ABV, so how do they differentiate? I took to Instagram to evaluate their brand identities.
SpikedSeltzer is big on the fact that they were the originators, proclaiming it front and center in their biography. Their siren logo, featured on their cans, seems to be a key indicator for the brand and their latest tagline to “Follow Your Siren” sets out to inspire people to follow their gut. For many of their flavors, there is a story highlight reel showcasing the inspiration behind them, photoshoot behind the scenes, and more to generate hype around the new products they put out.
White Claw, on the other hand, claims to be the “purest hard seltzer in the world” and their content has a strong fitness theme. Their page features people camping, surfing, hiking, and the list goes on. Back in May, they ran a contest asking followers to post their White Claw photos for a chance to become an ambassador and travel the United States for 6 months, presumably creating a lot of user generated content and spreading their name organically.
Truly seems to be very seasonal with their marketing: it’s all about summer. There is no shortage of bodies of water and models in swimsuits on their page. While this emphasis seems to be fitting for the beverage, it’s worth considering how well this will sustain throughout the year.
All three have strong marketing strategies and it will be interesting to see how they perform as the warm weather comes to a close. Which one is your favorite?