While scrolling through Instagram, if you’ve ever come across images of a laid-back yet sophisticated cocktail party filled with effortlessly cool people drinking colorful cocktails and spritzes, that’s probably because of Helena Hambrecht .
Hambrecht is the CEO, co-founder, and branding mastermind of aperitif brand Haus . Before Haus, Hambrecht cut her teeth in brand consulting for big names like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Uber, and Airbnb. In other words, Hambrecht has “this really weird, but useful skill set of learning how the internet sausage is made.” Haus isn’t like other alcohol brands, it’s a cool brand
“Historically, there just hasn’t been a lot of innovation in liquor,” says Hambrecht. From ingredients to distribution, Big Liquor is very much a gatekeeper industry that Hambrecht and her co-founder saw an opportunity to shake up. (Pardon the pun.)
Other brands add sugar, preservatives, aren’t transparent about their ingredients or where they’re sourced, and have high alcohol content, which is a pretty nasty combination for a hangover. Instead, according to the website, Haus uses responsibly-sourced “natural fruits, herbs, and botanicals,” has lower alcohol content (more than wine, less than whiskey), and is made sustainably.
But it’s not just a better-tasting booze with less of a hangover. According to alcohol distribution laws, aperitifs that are mostly grape-based, like Haus’s product, can be sold online. And that’s how Haus became a business-to-consumer brand for the Instagram era.
“Because we have the freedom to sell online, we just re-thought what a brand could look like.” The Instagram effect
Since launching in 2019, Instagram was an inherent part of brand strategy. Today, Haus has 65,000 followers. “I wanted to make something that you could recognize from 200 feet away,” says Hambrecht. “That has made Instagram really successful for us, because when you see the Haus bottle, there’s nothing else that looks like it, even if it’s 10 pixels high, you can recognize it.” From day one, Instagram was a part of Haus’s strategy. Building an online presence had a major advantage of working with distributors that normally wouldn’t give indie alcohol brands like Haus the time of day, said Hambrecht. “We could go to them and be like, ‘Look, we built the brand for you. We already have this national audience that knows who we are and they’re all waiting for us to get into wholesale. So all you have to do is clear it for us and take a chunk of our money.”
Currently, Haus is in the middle of launching wholesale in 24 states.
Yes, TikTok is currently the most popular app , but Instagram is a key asset for consumer brands who want to build a following. We asked Hambrecht our burning questions about the importance of promoting your business on Instagram and here’s what we learned. 1. Define an aesthetic.
Instagram is all about aesthetics, which is why it works best for consumer brands like Haus.
“A big reason why people will buy food or beverage or really anything online is that they can see how it lives in the world,” says Hambrecht. “For us, we’ve been able to use photography on Instagram to show, ‘this is how you drink it, this is where you drink it, this is who you invite over, where you put the bottle.’ All of those things can be answered visually and that’s where Instagram is just so much better at education and brand marketing than most social channels.”
Hambrecht says they wanted to create a visual style that was aspirational, but attainable. “What we found is it resonates a lot with people, it makes it feel approachable, it makes it feel like maybe something that they could bookmark as inspiration.” 2. ‘The less you sell, the more you’ll sell.’
Sound counterintuitive? Allow Hambrecht to explain. “It’s obvious that you want them to buy [the product], you don’t need to say that.” Customers should want to buy a product based on what they see and feel, Hambrecht explains. “It’s less about selling and more about how can we use this as a brand extension to give our community what they want?” 3. Give the people what they want.
A key part of promoting your business on Instagram is figuring out what your followers may want. “You may not even have a community yet, but say you’re making a food product. You can take a wild guess that the community might want to have some food recipes, or they may want to have your recommendations for other products that could accompany food,” says Hambrecht.
“What can you […]
source How to use Instagram to promote your business: A Q&A with Haus