How Bailey’s Iced Coffee Can Bring Back The ‘Buzz’

To start off, the play on the word “buzz” was incredibly unintentional, so if you giggled from the title of this article, you’re already ahead of the curve. In this case, I am the curve, and you are ahead of me. Seriously, take a look at google trends. Since the product’s release in March 2017, it’s search results have absolutely plummeted and remain on the sea floor.

Extending their brand from the liquor category to iced coffee, Bailey’s iced coffee is intended to enable consumers to enjoy their liquor year long, breaking away from it’s iconic, indulgent associations with festive occasions.

Presumably, the key insight behind Bailey’s Iced Coffee is the company’s intentions to make the brand beyond just a seasonal product, as depicted as a key challenge by The Branding Journal last September.

If you haven’t watched their 20 second video on “How to enjoy a NEW Baileys Iced Coffee,” I highly suggest you do before continuing this article. I’ll even provide you with the video.

Watch it? Cool. Now, three ways to awaken the buzz. First, own the category. Second, satisfy the need. Third, engage consumers. Fourth, drink up!

1. Own The Category.

With both claiming RumChata as the first “Ready To Drink Alcoholic Iced Coffee” to hit the market, and The Branding Journal claiming that spot to be taken by Baileys, the first movers advantage is up for grabs. Without much buzz in the marketplace, and without a single competitor claiming to own the industry, it’s Bailey’s move to claim the title.

Who will claim First Movers Advantage?


2. Satisfy the Need.

A great product, which Bailey’s Iced Coffee absolutely is combining the top two beverages I consume behind water, won’t make it off the shelf or directly to the consumer if the consumer doesn’t know why they should buy it in the first place. Simon Sinek’s industry famous golden circle can never be over used, and it applies perfectly here.

Rather than following the ancient forms of advertising:

What: We make great products

How: Our products are easy to use and beautiful looking

Why: Want to buy one?


Sinek argues, we must start in the center of the circle and work our way out. When you begin with the center (marked in red), your new approach will look more like this:

Why: We challenge the status quo and think differently

How: We make beautifully designed products that are easy to use

What: Want to buy one?

The WHY makes the argument exponentially more convincing. Now, let’s apply Sinek’s model to Bailey’s Iced Coffee. This screenshot taken from their website is a prime example. Let’s see what we can do.

What: Meet our new bailey’s strawberries & cream

How: Combining the indulgent taste of bailey’s irish cream with ripe strawberry and delicious vanilla

Why: Explore recipes

The order of What -> How -> Why could not have been more explicit. So let’s mix it up.

Why: Your coffee deserves something extra

How: We added Bailey’s Irish Original cream.

What: Explore recipes

Did you get that?

3. Engage Consumers.

Telling your story to consumers is one thing. Involving them is another. If you haven’t read my post on why experiential marketing is the future you should stop here, click the link, give it a quick read, then come back here. I heard this same quote from Les Brown when I heard him speak at a convention a few years back, and google attributes the quote to Maya Angelou, but the important thing is,

“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

So relying on clever copy written from WHY outwards can only go so far in a world saturated in ad blockers and millennials trusting word of mouth and choice based advertising over companies with a microphone, isn’t enough anymore. You have to bring your WHY to life. Here are a few top of mind examples on how to execute this strategy.

  1. Micro-influencers. Utilize influencers who travel the world. Integrate your product into newsfeeds of consumers who actively engage with Instagram influencers and world travelers. Since Bailey’s Iced Coffee is a little hint of something special, show it in places are are a little special, too. We’re not talking celebrity influencers, either. Nope. 2018 is the year of micro-influencers.
  2. Consumer generated content. Invite consumers to create their own recipes then let them vote for the winner online. Award the most creative recipe with a trip to Turks and Caicos, courtesy of Bailey’s Iced Coffee. You’re telling me hundreds of thousands of people wouldn’t participate for the chance to win a week long vacation at a destination with the clearest water and resorts of a lifetime?
  3. Visit local coffee shops. I’m not talking big chains like Starbucks, Dunkin, or Tim Hortons. I’m saying walk the streets of Austin, Nashville, or host a three day event on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Partner with local coffee shops providing an array of coffee options. Mix Bailey’s liquor in their iced coffees and create new local recipes while taking satisfied customers on a journey to learn more about the new Bailey’s iced coffee. If they liked their local order, the association is built. Bailey’s goes great with iced coffee, why not get it straight from the source?

If all else fails, continue to step four.

4. Drink Up!

Need I say more? Thank you for reading along. Please share this article with any friends who drink caffeine, alcohol, or consume a beverage at least once a day. Show them you saw this article before they did, and you’re better because of it.


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