Sip On This: Why Bev is Investing in Customer Service and Mobile Marketing to Upend the Alcohol Industry
The importance of customer service, and what it takes to break into the alcohol market
Entrepreneurs are, by nature, risk-takers. But most would still think it’s crazy to invest your entire life savings on 300 gallons of rosé. Nevertheless, that’s the true story of how Alix Peabody started her company, Bev.
“I knew nothing about booze, I knew nothing about the industry,” Peabody says. “I really wanted to make a voice for women, and good dudes, in a space where there just really hasn’t been much out there. So, I tried to figure out how I was going to sell this product?”
With an idea to bring more ladies into the alcohol industry and after formulating a marketing plan and product designed to compete against beer culture and capitalize on socializing, Peabody built Bev into a growing brand that is expanding nationally and attracting investors.
Sold online and in-store, Peabody says Bev’s secret to success is built on some key pillars, the most important of which might surprise you: customer service.
“One of the things that really surprised me at the very beginning of takeoff is customer service and how critical that is,” Peabody remembers. “You can turn somebody from a ‘Karen, into an evangelist with a strong customer service team. I think people underestimate how revenue generating that can be.”
According to Peabody, there are few departments that have more influence on the success of the brand than customer service, which is in direct contact with customers on a daily basis.
“[Customer servies] is the voice of the brand,” Peabody says. “They’re the literal person that people are communicating with. So, we actually have a policy where anyone who starts especially on the marketing team has to do two weeks of customer service, they have to understand who our customers are, how we talk to them, how we interact. It’s critically important. I think that team has to be so well-trained on culture and brand voice and mission and making sure that they’re constantly getting better and getting better.”
But even with the best customer service department in the world, a brand cannot be successful if the product it sells doesn’t meet the needs or standards of the consumer. That’s why Peabody is particular about selling the best product possible, and only delivering particular messages about the brand to the world.
“The way that we really try to attack marketing is making sure that the messages that we’re sending aren’t too many,” she explains. “They’re very focused on what we want to do. So, for us, it’s really that we’re a made-by-chicks, zero-sugar product and our mission is to break the glass. That’s what we really try to hone in on.”
No matter what Bev puts out into the world, though, there are always going to be segments of the population that do not understand or vibe with the message. Peabody takes those people in stride, though, and she believes that it’s up to every brand to tune out messages that do not serve the company.
“The loudest people are the ones that drive conversation a lot of the time,” Peabody says, “I think brands fail when they try to be everything to everyone. That’s not a brand. That’s just a thing. We are who we are. We care about what we care about. That’s where you’re going to be the difference between a product and a brand that has real lasting power.”
To learn more about how Peabody and her team are building Bev, tune in to Up Next in Commerce, here.
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