Last week First Beverage sponsored iBev, the inaugural digital and social media conference for the beverage industry, organized by Bottlenotes and its impressive CEO and founder, Alyssa Rapp.
One of the key trends that came out of iBev was an enduring advantage of the beverage industry for these times: the pure socialness of beverages. As more consumers look to brands with unique points of brand architecture, differentiation, origin, and true functional benefits – in a word, brands with ‘stories’ – social media platforms allow consumers to endlessly re-tell those stories, both in person and online. Beverages can utilize digital and social media platforms better than many other consumer products.
With a good beverage, consumers get to share the experience of sitting down with a friend over a new IPA or a kombucha, but they also get to tell their larger circle of family and friends about that moment of brand discovery.
At iBev, Claire Mulhern from Facebook reminded the audience that we were all lucky to be in an industry that is so innately social. In the closing keynote address titled “Beer Social,” New Belgium CEO Kim Jordan described the fun, off-beat socialness of craft beer – that ability to bring people together over a liquid with a story, made by authentic entrepreneurs and talented brewmasters.
Beverages are great to be around for many reasons – but the fact that we get to enjoy them with good friends and then relive that experience in texts and tweets makes them even more special. Claire was right – we’re lucky to be in this industry.