With the pandemic, the beverage alcohol industry was thrust into its digital era. Now brands are looking for ways to expand and improve upon their current online presence. Sara Harmelin, Vice President of Digital Innovation at Allied Beverage Group, gave the wholesaler perspective on building a brand identity online. She discussed the must-have digital assets and the importance of identifying the key characteristics of their consumer to help each dollar put towards marketing go further.

“If your virtual personality is set, we can better tell who you are and how and if we can help you,” noted Harmelin. “This might be the new first step in acquiring a distributor partner. In an increasingly noisy market, the more branding and brand establishment you can do in advance of finding a wholesaler and entering a market, the better.”



Josh Jacobs, CEO of Speakeasy Company, explained how brands can craft a digital strategy that will drive sales. He discussed the challenges that emerging brands face and demonstrates how leveraging digital data to establish e-commerce capabilities can help brands not only overcome obstacles but surpass competitors, as well.

“Digital presents an unparalleled opportunity to start collecting first party information,” said Jacobs. “Some of our partners are not even targeting profitability, they are just looking to maximize liquid-to-lips and data collection. While this is a low bar that we’re consistently surpassing, the data is gold. It can be leveraged to guide brick-and-mortar strategies, liquid development, package design, marketing, and virtually every single part of your business.”



Andrew Levy, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Provi, revealed how brands can unlock the potential of B2B through e-commerce. He delivered an overview of how retailers place orders in the modern market and made the case that both retailers and suppliers need a marketplace that streamlines the brand development process.

“Retailers need a marketplace, too,” emphasized Levy. “They are looking to search, shop, and discover and supplement what they may be offering in their bar or what they are looking to add on the shelf. One-click ordering makes it very easy, in today’s significant labor shortages at retail, to save a lot of time rather than trying to track down ‘what should I order from who’ and which distributor has what products. A retail operator can easily go on to Provi and place that order.”


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