June 2020: NIO Cocktails has appointed And Rising as brand parter to step up its marketing, having enjoyed early growth since its launch in 2019. And Rising's first assignment will be to help scale the brand during the Autumn and develop NIO’s Christmas 2020 campaign, taking it onto TV for the first time. NIO is a direct-to-consumer drinks brand, delivering expertly crafted cocktails to your door.
Disruptors like NIO gain traction through a combination of quality products and control of the brand experience from end-to-end. This involves careful attention to detail at every stage of the journey from the very first click, to delivery, to un-boxing, serving and ultimately enjoying.
Richard Sager, general manager for NIO Cocktails, says: “NIO Cocktails’ vision is to drive a cocktail culture revolution, to enable everyone to enjoy bar-quality cocktails in the comfort of their home without any of the hassle or challenges associated with having to make them.
“Our breakthrough proposition that combines incredible choice, quality and convenience allows people to do just that. You can choose any combination from our menu of 15 (and soon to be 20 cocktails), all using premium brands, all designed by our head bartender, and have them delivered directly to you.”
Fueled by the pandemic, the stay-at-home economy is creating new expectations and behaviours. A recent study from Luxe found that people are demanding premium home comforts creating a sharp rise in luxury shopping online, stating "the current climate is proving a real growth opportunity for digitally native brands”. Real world luxury shopping, travel, eating out and bars have all been hit hard, which has given an advantage to in-home experiences that offer more quality, craft and aspiration.
Meanwhile, the premium drinks industry has been reacting to a transformed trading environment. Searches for the terms ‘alcohol delivery’ increased by nearly 1000% year-on-year at the onset of lockdown, reaching a peak in later March. Likewise, searches for ‘cocktail delivery’ increased by the exact same amount, reaching an even higher peak in mid-May (source: Google Trends). Pubs and bars were closed for over 12 weeks — a whole trading quarter — and many remain shut. New measures have imposed a 10pm curfew making for shorter evenings out. All of this drives faster penetration of direct-to-consumer propositions into the mainstream.
The Christmas trading period is also likely to see significant change this year, with parties and get-togethers curbed by social distancing restrictions. Many people will also be sending their family and friends unique gifts instead of meeting up for that special toast, chat or Christmas-time get together.
Sager continued: “We had always anticipated a very strong Christmas; whilst NIO Cocktails is sought after by consumers to enjoy themselves and when better than at Christmas, our cocktails are equally bought as gifts for friends, family, colleagues and clients alike. Uncertainty surrounding social restrictions related to COVID means we expect even greater demand and we are looking forward to helping everyone enjoy Christmas this year and welcome in what will hopefully be a more-enjoyable coming year.”
Across the board And Rising is seeing an uplift in its DTC brands’ sales and marketing activity throughout 2020. Digital purchasing has been accelerated, expected to make up 20% of all global retailing by 2023, a number it already achieved at the end of Q2 this year (source: Luxe).
This has been particularly acute in the more premium sectors who have historically been slower on the uptake of e-commerce. With the launch of Luxury Stores by Amazon last week, the transformation of the modern aspiration economy is well underway and And Rising is helping clients navigate and seize these new opportunities and behaviours.
Sager concluded: “We chose And Rising as our brand partner to support our first ATL campaign as we wanted a partner who could own the entire process, guide us but also listen to our own thoughts and ideas and integrate them into their creative development approach.”