How Alcohol Companies Are Differentiating Themselves – Strategy With RS

Alcohol companies go to great extent to differentiate themselves. A strategy followed by few companies involves lacing their alcohol with ‘ingredients’ which can deliver benefits desired by a section of connoisseurs.

1. Goldschläger – derived from German word Goldschläger – “gold beater”, is a Swiss cinnamon schnapps liqueur which claims to contain very thin, yet visible flakes of gold floating in it. The actual amount of gold is about a tenth of a gram per 750 ml bottle.

Benefit: The flakes facilitate the absorption of alcohol in the bloodstream thereby delivering a ‘high’ expeditiously, a benefit desired by a section of connoisseurs.

2. Cobra Snake whiskey – This special whiskey is available in South East Asia. It is infused with a real farm raised baby Cobra snake, ginseng roots and herbal seed pods. The whiskey is steeped for several months, which then imparts a unique flavor into the whiskey. Remember it is an acquired taste.

Benefit: It is believed to have properties of an aphrodisiac; and also has other medical uses, such as the treatment of back and muscle pain.

Two Chinese distillers have raised the game by adding ‘Viagra’ to baijiu, a harsh grain liquor. Of course they are under investigation.

Benefit: The manufacturer were marketing it as having “health-preserving qualities”.

Bottom-line: As a brand owner do create innovative products by embellishing it with ingredients. But do not cross the Rubicon which will invite investigation.





In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous  Strategy with RS posts can be found here