Alcohol Marketing Trends for Summer 2021

Like many industries, the alcohol industry has faced many challenges and obstacles in its advertising. Since the pandemic, alcohol sales and advertising have increased drastically, as has the demand from customers. Socializing became a very different occasion, taking place at home or over zoom calls. Now, as vaccinations are widespread and restrictions are lifting, patrons will want to return to patios and dining rooms this summer.

No matter what is happening in the world, summer is always a turning point for restaurant and liquor sales. Since the last year has uncovered many trends and advertising changes, let’s take a look at what we can expect from liquor advertising as the seasons change.

Liquor Advertising Stand-Outs after the Pandemic

We saw many trends develop as the pandemic hit the US. Boxed wine was the supermarket go-to beverage during months of lockdown–and for good reason. Bagged and boxed wine is easier to store and better preserves open wine than bottles, making it a popular choice for the newly stay-at-home crowd. It’s also more hygienic and sustainable, especially for restaurants. However, whether customer demand for this vessel of vino remains is yet to be seen.

RTD (or Ready-to-Drink) beverages were also very popular after the pandemic. Hard seltzers and pre-mixed cocktails have been popular for the last few years and will continue to dominate this summer. Convenience is the major selling point, especially during a time when bars and restaurants were closed or at a limited capacity, but these beverages will continue to be in high demand. Positioning these products in easy-to-spot locations with a unique product display is a no-brainer for stores and liquor shops during the summer.

Influencer Marketing for Beverages

Influencer marketing has been a hot advertising method for many industries. As influencers are still demanding the attention of social media users, celebrities have begun advertising their alcohol brands with much more vigor than in the past. And it’s not only the types of celebs you’d expect. For example, did you know that Post Malone has a line of wines?  

Video is also becoming a major tool in advertising. The ‘stories’ function–once a tool only for Snapchat users–is now a simple way to share video across many platforms. Through careful targeting and vetting, alcohol brands can reach age-appropriate audiences like never before using engaging and impactful content.

It’s hard to predict what the next few years will entail for the alcohol industry. Pandemic or no, we’ve known that engaging content and unique display ideas are important in creating a well-rounded brand. As technology makes it more difficult to catch the attention of customers, something truly different will always be a better choice.

For a beautiful, functional, and one-of-a-kind POP display, contact Creative Barrel. Our premium barrel displays will make an immediate impact for your brand in any setting.  

The Design Principles of a Successful Company Logo

It’s important to any business to have a strong and recognizable visual brand. Using specific fonts, colors, visual features and logos can get a company’s message across quickly and without explanation. This is why a clear company logo is especially important. Logos have the power to draw the eye of potential new customers and develop an identity with current clientele.  

Your company log isn’t something that should change often, as it will confuse and even irritate customers, so choosing a logo isn’t a quick decision to make. Take these factors into account when creating a new logo or rebranding an out-of-date style.

Keep it Simple

A successful logo is a combination of text, shape, and branded colors that represent a company. Think about the most recognizable logos: Nike, Apple, McDonald’s, etc. even if these logos were slightly off, feature the wrong color, or aren’t featured in the right circumstances, we would still recognize them more often than not. The best logos are recognizable because they are simple and easily recognized. When deciding on a logo, think of where you plan on using it. Would it look good on a polo shirt? Can you read it clearly on a business card? How about if you shrunk it down to fit on a pen? Simplicity is important.

Make it Memorable

It sounds cliché, but attention spans are very short these days. You have only moments–perhaps seconds, in many instances–to grab a customer’s attention. Your logo might only be a portion of your company’s brand, but it’s most often the most influential. The elements, fonts, and even colors you chose to include in your logo all tell a story about your company and what it stands for.

A good logo should stand out from the crowd. This is how your customers will identify you versus your competition. If your company logo reminds customers of another logo–or worse yet, a specific company–you’ve missed the mark.

Logo and Branding Versatility

Your logo is a visual representation of your brand. It’s important that your logo is versatile enough to be featured in electronic and print forms, as well as on merchandise and apparel. A versatile logo will maintain its integrity no matter where or how it is being used. It should be functional in a portrait or horizontal orientation. It should also take into account potential colors, shapes, and textures that your logo will be included with most often.

Creative Barrel display barrels are designed to represent your brand. They can even be customized with a range of colors, stains, and even your unique logo. If you would like to learn more about custom branded display barrels, contact Creative Barrel to learn more.

The History of Barrel Making and Cooperage

While the actual origins of barrels are hard to find, wooden barrels as we know them were invented around 300 B.C. In the past, wooden barrels were standard for transporting goods. They were very durable and made for a convenient way to transport goods. While modern technology has replaced transportation methods of the past, we still utilize barrels for the aging, storage, and transportation of alcoholic beverages.

Since wooden barrels are not as common place today, it’s understandable that many people don’t know how they are made or why they still in production. Let’s take a look at how barrels are made and why we continue to use wood.

The Process of Cooperage

Wooden barrels are made by a process called cooperage. The name comes from the professional craftsmen who make the barrels. Cooperage takes time because the craftsman carefully puts together each piece of wood. These pieces of wood are held together by metal hoops. For barrels used for liquid, they are toasted over a flame after they are finished. The toasting of the wood allows for the flavor to come through more potently in beverages. After toasting, the coopers will sand the outside to reduce the likelihood of splinters, and the barrel is ready to go.

Why is Wood so Important for Barrels?

When barrels were invented, the previous method of transportation was clay pots. Pots were easier to create, however, they could not hold as much and were not as durable. The wood used for barrels is now essential because it can make or break the flavor of your favorite drink. While some companies may use wood chips or sawdust to create the flavor, barrels create it naturally. Creative Barrel only uses sustainably sourced pine, oak, or aspen for our barrels.

Every barrel has a different use. At Creative Barrel, our premium pine barrels are most famous for displays, while aspen barrels are typical for coffee producers. Barrel making has a long history because it has served as beneficial tools for transporting goods since the B.C. era. The barrels we think of now are prime examples of how wooden barrels can improve your favorite alcoholic beverages’ flavor. If you are looking for professionally crafted barrels to age your drinks in, contact us today.

How to Target Different Generations and Audiences in 2021

Marketers have known for years that you have to change your marketing strategy depending on your target audience. Several generations are currently at the drinking age. The way you market to baby boomers, who are seasoned drinkers, will be different from advertising to Gen Z, which only has a few years at the drinking age. To successfully sell your alcoholic beverages, you need to understand the best ways to market to baby boomers, generation X, millennials, and generation Z.

First and foremost, you will have to identify your target audience. Spending your time, energy, and money on a generation that is not interested in whiskey, for example, is not an optimal idea. Though, if you are trying to market a new seltzer, millennials and gen z’s are where it is at.

In recent years, millennials have made up 79.8% of seltzer sales, so they are a recommended target for hard seltzers. Statistics like these will tell you which generation is more likely to purchase a type of alcohol, and using that information is helpful if you need to narrow your target audience.

Targeting Boomers

Baby boomers are those who were born between 1946 and 1964, or right after World War II. Boomers are one of the most populous generations because many families wanted to grow after the war. There are several tips for marketing to baby boomers that you can utilize, such as do not use slang, utilize Facebook, provide plenty of useful information, do not use the terms old or elderly, and make things accessible. So, when making an advertisement for your new alcoholic beverage, your advertising and signage should use clear, readable fonts, simple language, and a straightforward approach.

Appealing to Gen X

Those born between 1965 and 1980 are qualified as gen xers. It’s one of the smallest generations in the United States, but they have a lot of purchasing power. This generation loves a deal. When marketing to them, provide discounts or loyalty programs that build an incentive to keep them coming back. Have written reviews or testimonials available, giving them proof of the quality and satisfaction others received from your product. Keep things personal, give fantastic customer service, and use videos to sell your beverages to Generation X.

Selling to Millennials

Millennials are often the focus of marketing strategies as they are the largest living and working population today. Millennials are those born from 1981-1996 and grew up in the early age of technology. Many of their formative years incorporated switching from wired home phones to blackberries to iPhones. This means they are used to change and adapt quickly. To successfully reach a millennial audience, give instant responses, meet with them personally (whenever possible), and commit to authenticity.

Reign in Gen Z

Generation Z is the youngest generation that can drink, with only a few years at the legal age. Those classified as Generation Z are those born between 1997-2013. This generation has largely only known technology. To sell successfully to Gen Z, you will have to sell an experience, not the product. Utilize videos, build your engagement with customers, and use real, personalized content. With Gen Z, using influencer marketing is often more valuable because people they look up to are no longer the famous superstars of Hollywood. It is a person with 20,000+ followers on Instagram or TikTok.

There are many differences when marketing to different generations. Identify your target audience and utilize these tips to appeal to any age. If you better understand your target market, you will sales will see the benefits.

Beverage Marketing Strategies for 2021

Good news out of Pennsylvania: at the end of 2020, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board approved over $2 million in grants to promote locally-made malt and brewed beverages. The goal of these grants is to boost the Pennsylvania beer and wine industry with marketing and research programs.

Other states have taken up the trend, like New York’s $3 Million “Raising the Bar” initiative. While this is a great first step for the state, breweries, wineries, and distilleries around the country are wondering how they can best market their products coming into 2021.

Refocusing Your Marketing Goals


Set Specific Marketing Objectives

Awareness, building brand loyalty, and consumer engagement are always top of mind when creating a marketing plan. Audiences do not wait to be presented with an ad before they buy something, your marketing must be ever-present. If you have not done so already, focus your marketing efforts on social medial, email, and other online content.

Over the last year, social media use has increased dramatically, and your media mix needs to reflect these changes. While traditional advertising efforts such as billboards and bus stops are not gone, online ads are dominating right now.

Set Team Goals

Many companies have needed to make staffing changes over the last year. As you prepare to move into 2021, don’t wait for the pandemic to pass to make goals and structural changes to your team. Retain and if necessary, re-train your employees and pull your team together to fule creativity and amp up your team.

Point of Purchase Displays

In past blogs, we’ve talked about how important point of purchase displays are when face to face customer interaction is limited. Every minute your displays interact with customers is important. Make the best use of these displays to catch your customers’ attention. Learn more about how you can customize unique POP displays here.

Including Alcohol To-Go Orders

This year, many states adopted or altered their positions for to-go alcohol sales. While some may revert these orders once the pandemic is lifted, no one knows for sure when it will be completely safe to return to pre-pandemic business, and other states have made these alcohol delivery options permanent. Keep these and other new initiatives in mind when creating a plan for 2021.

Most Importantly – Consider Your Company Voice

2020 was rough. We all hope that 2021 will be a bit gentler, but so far, we can’t guarantee anything. Marketing products have looked very different over the last year – especially when it comes to alcohol. That’s why it is very important to consider your tone of voice.

Sure, a meme about drinking to get through the pandemic and social isolation might be funny for personal use or certain brands, but it’s not the message liquor distributors should adopt. As we have in decades past, drinking responsibly and safely should be at the top of mind when marketing our industry’s products.

Think of it this way: it is perfectly acceptable if not expected to mention the pandemic in advertising, but be careful not to voice your marketing efforts in a way that might be glamorizing unhealthy habits.

For more tips and industry trends, visit our blog page or follow Creative Barrel on LinkedIn.

How COVID-19 Has Affected the Alcohol and Advertising Industry

This year has been a tough one for us all. Even as we reach what is hopefully the finishing months of this virus, there are still worries of layoffs and closing businesses. Perhaps one of the most affected industries is the alcohol and liquor distribution industry. 

While more people bought alcohol for home consumption, bars and restaurants have seen their sales plummet. Through changing restrictions, closures, and limited capacity, it’s been a very difficult year. It’s tough to decide what is the best course of action for retail and alcohol distribution industries.

Looking on the Bright Side

It’s not all bleak news, however. Many establishments have taken the opportunity to make the most out of quarantine changes. Bars and restaurants use their additional space to accept donations, organize community benefits, and more. While the ways in which we operate and come together might be different, the spirit is much the same–especially this time of year. 

There are a few things you can do to boost business. If you are looking to gain some additional traction as we head into 2021, check out some of these tips:

Give Alcohol Delivery A Chance

As people began practicing social distancing, the alcohol delivery market saw a new boost. States that once did not allow alcohol delivery adapted temporary (and in some cases permanent) law changes to allow alcohol home delivery. 

If you haven’t attempted alcohol delivery in the past, now is the time to give it a try. Even if your establishment is closed to the public, it’s a good opportunity to gain some name recognition and get your brand out there.

Embrace Larger Packaging

While customers are limiting their exposure time, studies show they try to buy in bulk whenever possible. Craft brew sales are down about 11 percent on average this year, and to make up for it, pubs and breweries have been upping their advertising for growler sales and larger packages. This means customers can enjoy their favorite products at home without making several purchases. 

Capitalize on the First Impression

Because customers are spending less time in stores, make sure your visual displays have an impactful first impression. If you haven’t changed your displays in some time, now is the time to start rethinking your strategy. 

At Creative Barrel, customized retail and POP displays are our bread and butter. We don’t create displays that are easily replicated; all our barrels can be customized to your needs and products. In a time when a unique approach is not only desirable but necessary, you can count on us to create something beautiful for your brand.  

A Spotlight on Custom Barrel Accessories

Custom barrel accessory and barrel display
Custom barrel accessory and barrel display

These days, retail displays are so much more than just a space to store merchandise. Point of purchase displays are an opportunity to make a unique retail display that attracts customers to your products.

Our custom barrel is a great way to begin creating a custom retail display, but did you know that there are also a ton of options to customize our displays? More than just a beautiful barrel customized with your choice of finish, band color, and size, the add-ons and customizations are endless. Take a look at a few of our options below.


Need to make your point of purchase display more mobile? Add castors – sets of small wheels – to the bottom of your barrel to allow it to swivel in any direction.

Wire Bottle Holders

Make your point of purchase display functional as well as attention-grabbing. Display wine, spirits, or whatever bottled product you’d like on a sturdy display.

Food-Safe Liners

Any barrel that we create can be easily outfitted with liners to hold ice, liquids, and even dispensing beverages. They’re great as crowd-pleasers when hosting an event or displaying samples of your products.


Of course, if you are looking to utilize a barrel to distribute beverages, you’ll need a way to control the beverages. Add a matching spigot to your barrel to up the appeal.

False Bottoms

A decorative false bottom barrel display barrel provides extra storage depth to showcase food, beverages, retail products, and more. 


Many retail point-of-purchase displays use Plexi-lids to safely display or protect merchandise. Get the added benefits of Plexi-lids on a beautifully-rustic custom barrel.

These are just a few of our most common accessories, but the list is endless. We strive to find ways to bring your creative vision to life, whatever that may be. To see the full range of accessories to jazz your barrel creative, contact Creative Barrel for a complete list of options.

Why Choose a Custom Barrel for A POP Display?

Custom wooden barrel on a background of canvas
Custom wooden barrel on a background of canvas

Looking to create an attention-grabbing, unique display to promote your business or product? POP displays are versatile and come in many shapes, sizes, and designs. Many types can be set up in one space for a period of time and then easily broken down and reassembled a later date–meaning they can be used over and over.

What is a POP Display?

POP (Point of Purchase) displays are strategically placed to catch the eye of customers. Generally, these displays are positioned around the checkout area or a high-traffic area to make certain they are seen. They are separate from the standard aisle or shelf and insert the product into a shopper’s path to gain their attention.

Besides having a good location, a successful POP display will have some unique feature or custom design to make it stand out. Even in small spaces, product displays need a unique, eye-catching presence. That’s exactly what you’ll get from a custom barrel POP display. Your creative vision combined with a functional, lasting presentation makes a POP display that is as attractive as it is functional.

Uses for Custom Barrel POP Displays:

  • Wine, beer and spirit distributor displays
  • Bar and restaurant signage
  • Retail product displays
  • Grocery shipping and displaying
  • Movie props
  • Wedding/party decor

What Makes Creative Barrel Different?

In a word, quality. Our goal isn’t to mass-produce as many barrels as possible. We used locally-sourced premium products. We use American made pine, oak, and aspen wood staves and assemble each piece with attention to quality and detail. Best of all, our displays are customizable. Add accessories like castors, wire bottle holders, food-safe liners, false bottoms, Plexi-lids, spigots, holder, cradles, and much, much more!

At Creative Barrel, we use the knowledge and experience from four generations of builders to create the industry’s highest quality custom wood barrels for display. We believe that our custom designs and features will elevate you display and excite your customers!

How Custom-Designed Point of Purchase Displays Improve the Customer Experience

Who says being in the spotlight is a bad thing? To grow your brand, you need to get noticed. Whether you are in the spirits industry or not, point of purchase (POP) displays are an interactive representation of your brand or the message you’re trying to send. Not only do POP displays make a statement, but they also improve the customer experience.

Hands-on Learning

When your products are front and center, it makes it hard for customers to say no. Custom POP displays are interactive for your customers. If you’re a manufacturer of spirits, you can not only display your product prominently in stores but also offer samples of the product. This same idea works in other industries where samples are often a way to entice customers to try a product. Grocers and candy makers can use barrel POP displays to showcase some of their best-selling products.

Make Experiences Happen

Maybe your goal isn’t to really sell a product, but rather an experience. POP displays can help you curate a specific vibe or tone to give your customers a unique experience. For instance, if you want to transport your customers back to the Wild West, you can create the atmosphere of an old western ghost town with a combination of custom barrels and a barrel POP display. In a successful POP display, the details matter.  

Establish a Connection

Customers can better understand your brand if you emphasize what’s important to you. When most of us see barrels, we think rustic, long-lasting and historic. You can use these descriptors to add to your brand’s story and voice. By giving your customers a visual of your brand, you allow them to easily connect with you and your product.

POP displays are often overlooked when it comes to enhancing the customer experience. Yet, barrel POP displays can transform the narrative that you are trying to sell to the public. Boost your brand and product effectively by using point of purchase displays. Contact Creative Barrel to get your creative vision started.


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