The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) featured a short convo with us at 3×3 in their August Monthly Mash — a monthly newsletter for ACSA members.
Dig into the conversation (between ACSA and Katelyn Edelson, our marketing and creative director) on 3×3 and our offerings for craft spirits producers below.
ACSA: How did 3×3 come about, and what are the origins of the name?
Katelyn: 3×3 launched in 2018 with the mission to bring valuable data to the beverage alcohol industry in a digestible and actionable way. Our name refers to the industry’s three tiers and the last three feet of the customer journey, and it speaks to what we do: distill data that helps liquor brands, distributors and independent retailers understand and sell to their ideal customers.
Where do you get your data?
Our data comes from $20-plus billion in transactions of 12-plus million shoppers at 1,400-plus independent package and chain liquor stores across the U.S. To help brands get deeper insights, we run models with this proprietary data that append attributes and identify buying behaviors. We’re working on new models, too, that will layer on taste and flavor preferences—this will really unlock a new level of audience understanding (and targeting!) for brands.
3×3 helps independent retailers and brands, right? How do the services you offer differ between retailers and craft spirits producers?
Yes! Independent retailers have different needs than beer, wine and spirits brands, but the solution for both boils down to understanding customers. Our proprietary data gives us a clear and precise view of the market at any given moment, which is key for craft spirits producers and other brands.
We offer data-informed snapshots and deeper ongoing analyses that take raw information and turn it into useful insights for brands. Most brands rely on 3×3 to support product launches, market expansion, distribution growth and other foundational business.
For retailers, our offerings focus more on pinpointing, engaging and learning from shoppers. We pair targeted digital advertising with direct messaging and data reports to create a holistic, concierge-level engine for their marketing.
What type of a craft distillery would be a good fit to work with 3×3, or is it a one-size-fits-all approach? And what sort of commitment of time and energy does a craft brand need to put forth to see results?
Data is scalable, which means size and reach aren’t necessarily determining factors for us. Craft distillers who recognize that their aspirational target might not yet be their actual target, who have a clear goal for market expansion but lack the executional tools, who have an appreciation for flexible and strategic growth marketing will thrive with 3×3.
Our analysis subscriptions make it really easy for a distiller to get regular reports on what’s happening in the market (whether national, regional or hyperlocal).
There is always a commitment when you’re talking about strengthening your business. Our reports are insightful and informative, but a brand has to decide what to do with the information.
A distiller can work with us to expand distribution or run a digital marketing campaign. Or, they can make adjustments to other marketing and merchandising programs on their own, based on what they learn. Craft brands that take time to dig in, understand and apply the insights we provide will get the most out of our analysis offerings.
Are you able to offer any services to craft spirits producers in control states?
Our services can be used by craft spirits producers in any state. In control states, we can primarily help producers understand who their real shopper is and use that intelligence to improve owned media—like their websites or organic social channels. With a strong and targeted message, an organic (that is, not sponsored) social strategy can influence the right shoppers and set these producers apart from others in their categories.
What do you see as some of the next big trends in the independent channel and/or within craft spirits?
Cocktails still reign, and I’d expect that to continue for a while. That’s great for craft spirits producers in general, but especially if you can tell the story of your product through that lens. Rather than selling bourbon in a bottle, talk about your spirit as the heart of an Old Fashioned.
Similarly, this summer saw a lot of big brands release “mixable” spirits, designed for cocktails. Find a craft way to embrace that trend that lets you innovate and experiment.
Gifting is another huge one we’re tracking heading into October/November/December. A lot of people will be sending gifts—whether DtC from a distillery (where legal) or through retailers local to the recipient. Build messaging and merchandise around gifting your spirits.
And, if you are selling DtC, make sure that your site is set up for gift cards and gift orders. I’d even suggest building a search ad campaign around the gifting concept to reach people looking to make orders.