Get on the fast track        


Nov 16, 2020    Burn Book

Mind Alteration is by the Ounce


In the year we could and would all dub (though our CEO coined it) “our national nightmare,” people have taken to some strange new habits. Stay-at-home orders caused a trend of baking bread, sourdough to be specific. Or at least trying. At-home workout subscriptions saw a major boost (though they’ve probably dropped back down again by now). Whether it was a job loss or just a loss of time spent commuting/ doing social things, people are filling more empty time with new hobbies, ventures, or like me, just more movies and books than normal. Wait, no, I did definitely attempt making resin earrings once back in August.

Anyhoo, it certainly is a good digital marketing time for brands who provide stress-relieving activities in the home. And on the other hand, it’s a good time for strictly distracting activities. Is anyone surprised at all that alcohol consumption has gone up?

We’d all rather be in international waters than in 2020, no?

We’re not surprised because honestly, and we’re not condoning this long-term behavior, an extra martini in the evening of mid-week is a lot more relaxing than it used to be. People are not only stressed, but bored. And we could look all the way back to colonial or pirate or ancient times to see that humans have always turned to mind-alteration in times of stress and boredom. It’s just, you know, now with sustainable and recycled vodka and wine subscription boxes instead of home-brewed mead and straight rum. Or maybe that’s your jam, you pirate you. Ahoy.

The point is, whether we’re dealing with 2020 in the healthiest ways or not, some startups (not most) are having a good year, and that’s some good news we’ve been craving. Good Vodka launched in New York just this year, boasting a simple yet creative and eye-catching brand purpose: vodka made from saving the scraps at far-off fruit farms. Not even in my college days was I interested enough in vodka to know the science of where it came from. In fact, I thought it was just from potatoes (because we had a potato themed party/potluck and a friend brought not scalloped potatoes or french fries, but all the vodka we’d need for the night… and if you’re asking why the party theme was “potato” I’m just going to hit you with a good ole “Why not?”).

Selling a Story is Your Path to the Booty

But, as I just learned super easily from this Good Vodka brand, it can actually be made from ripe, discarded fruit (like coffee fruit that’s normally discarded because everyone’s after the bean). The brand not only appeals to people who like vodka (talk about a wide market), but to people who align their buying power with their values — like environmental mindfulness, sustainability, ethical sourcing, etc. (millennials and zillennials, especially).

Suddenly this brand, through its creative strategy alone, has roped me in with what they are, how they work, where they come from, and the stories of the farmers they pay for things that used to be trash. If I were to buy from them, I see my dollar going through a long story involving many different people, and that feels a lot better than handing a $20 to the cashier at a liquor store to make its way back to a big liquor conglomerate. And you know what people do when they feel heard and useful and helpful and meaningful? They buy again.

Branding breeds loyalty and retention when done correctly (we wrote more on that in Forbes). When done incorrectly, it breeds unanswered questions and higher bounce rates.

2020: Year of Booze & At-Home Therapy

Good Vodka did good, and that’s a good way to start our Monday (by writing about them, not by having a drink… maybe later). We were afraid we would start having less competition now that we’re named not only the best marketing agency in Austin and Texas, but as one of the top naming and branding firms in the world, too.

As long as 2020 keeps the surprises coming, we’ll keep the startup stalking series coming, too.

Let Your Curiosity Take Control