Four cans of Spritz Society canned wine cocktails displayed on top of fresh cut fruit.
Displaying authenticity and crafting successful collaborations are two key facets behind the success of canned cocktail brand Spritz Society. — Spritz Society

Why it matters:

  • Capitalizing on post-pandemic consumer interest in convenient, single-serve alcoholic beverages, the global canned wine and spritzer market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2% between 2021 and 2028.
  • Even new brands launching without an established following are building loyal communities by creating content and leveraging partnerships that align with target customers’ existing lifestyles.
  • Canned cocktail drink Spritz Society’s successful collaborations have introduced up to 60% net new customers to its online retail business.

Ben Soffer is an influencer marketing pioneer. Perhaps better known by his online alias, @boywithnojob, he has built and maintained his own following of over 1.6 million since joining Instagram in 2014.

Meanwhile, he did have a job working with other creators and agencies to develop successful strategies for monetizing a personal brand. Today, Soffer has parlayed nearly a decade of insights into a shiny new title: Founder and Chief Executive Officer of canned ready-to-drink cocktail brand, Spritz Society.

“There [are] so many celebrity driven brands that don't succeed,” Soffer said, explaining to CO— how he chose to enter the market with his own product. “Over the course of my career, I’ve identified that it all comes down to authenticity.”

Differentiation via product design to natural ingredients in a crowded canned-cocktail market

For Soffer and Spritz Society, authenticity begins with the product itself. Soffer involved his followers from the very start. For example, he and his team used surveys to ask the community what they thought about everything from the brand’s logos and can design to flavors and alcohol percentage.

“The name of the brand Spritz Society comes from the empathetic approach we took to building a community, to actually self-identify white space and not just make another celebrity tequila or another hard seltzer,” he explained.

This do-it-yourself research and development process showed Soffer that his audience was looking for a drinkable wine-based beverage that would be easy to share with friends. Rather than focus on calorie count and low sugar like many of its competitors in the canned cocktail or hard seltzer categories, Spritz Society instead focuses on flavor and natural ingredients.

[Read: Inside How 3 Scaling Startups Cracked Walmart, Target, and Ulta]

DTC was always a data point for understanding where we had audiences that were excited about buying the products. Because if you're willing to spend more money and wait three to five days for something to come in the mail, [you’ll purchase it] if I put it in your local grocery store for less.

Ben Soffer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Spritz Society

Leaning into its target customers’ lifestyles: ‘It's not just about what they're drinking,’ but what they're watching to ‘what kind of clothing they wear’

Growing the Spritz Society business is a “phygital” (physical and digital) effort that begins with truly understanding the target customer’s lifestyle, then finding ways to show up organically in their lives.

“It's not just about what they're drinking,” Soffer explained. “It's also about what they're watching, where they are shopping, what kind of clothing they wear, and what influencers they’re following.”

According to Soffer, partnering with influencers in adjacent communities is key to converting new consumer groups and scaling new demographics.

For example, the brand launched a limited-edition pink lemonade flavor with Lauryn Bosstick, podcaster and founder of beauty tool and product brand The Skinny Confidential.

Powered by a content strategy that spoke authentically to Bosstick’s own personal brand, the products sold out in under 48 hours. For Spritz Society, Soffer said, the result was 60% net new customers on their online storefront.

In physical retail, Spritz Society is also looking beyond liquor and grocery stores. For example, it is now the official beverage of jewelry brand Kendra Scott stores and showrooms, tapping into the shared target demographic.

[Read: 4 Trend-Driven Ways Brands Are Tapping Personalization for Growth]

 Headshot of Ben Soffer, Founder and CEO of Spritz Society.
Ben Soffer, known on social media as @boywithnojob, and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Spritz Society. — Spritz Society

Translating DTC success to national retail shelves like Whole Foods

Since kicking off with direct-to-consumer e-commerce in 2021, Spritz Society has expanded to retail shelves in 46 U.S. states at national retailers from Total Wine & More to Whole Foods Market.

As it is for many brands that have made the jump from direct-to-consumer channels to mass-market retail, DTC remains an important source of first-party customer data. As the brand enters new markets and partners with new retailers, DTC powers a grassroots strategy for acquiring and retaining customers.

“DTC was always a data point for understanding where we had audiences that were excited about buying the products,” Soffer explained. “Because if you're willing to spend more money and wait three to five days for something to come in the mail, [you’ll purchase it] if I put it in your local grocery store for less.”

“We differentiate from the competition by having such a strong community that already supports this product. Their decision is made before they even enter a liquor store,” Soffer added.

“Everybody rallies around the community and feels like they're part of something bigger.”

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