Growing a brand from scratch is never an easy task. For plucky spirits brand Proper Whiskey, contending with established brand preferences, expensive operating costs, and legal restrictions were just some of the hurdles they’d climb to success. But their story shows that when you’ve got a loyal community in your corner, anything is possible.
Founded in 2018 by famous boxing champion Conor McGregor, Proper Whiskey is an Irish whiskey brand that had high growth goals to meet. Since this spirits brand (like others) cannot sell direct-to-consumer, they found value in growing their social community to gain public favor and social proof for the brand. Upon launch, the Proper Whiskey team felt they needed a solution to help measure, grow, and engage their community, all while connecting with brand ambassadors through engaging contests. The team turned to Pixlee to help take their social presence to a new level, a month into launching the brand.
To meet engagement and growth goals, Proper Whiskey chose Pixlee to help maintain and manage a contest to give away a signed bottle of Proper 12, the hallmark of the brand. With Conor as a powerhouse behind the brand, the marketing team needed to be able to engage with and collect all submissions from the audience without anything slipping through the cracks.
“Originally, the campaign goal was to grow the community of fans. We kicked it off by posting on our Instagram saying that when we got to 500,000 followers, we would post this contest to win a bottle signed by Conor. We got to that goal quicker than we anticipated!”
This growth resulted in Proper Whiskey becoming the most followed spirits brand on Instagram. In three short months since launch. With their significant growth they were also able to collect valuable feedback and insights from brand fanatics through Pixlee’s curation services.
Since selling direct-to-consumers isn’t currently an option for spirits brands, Proper Whiskey’s other goal was to interact with potential brand ambassadors to bridge the gap between the highly engaged digital community and in-store purchasing demographic. With this contest, Proper Whiskey was able to suss out and build relationships with these influencers.
“We've definitely found some great people to add to our CRM that will probably include our ambassador program. And once we build a relationship with them they'll continue to make great content.”
Proper Whiskey’s community-first approach gives the brand a direct line of insight into how the brand is being perceived, and clearly it’s paying off as their fans are highly engaged with the brand.
As this brand continues to grow, they keep customer engagement high on their list of priorities. Proper Whiskey proves that a community first approach pays off for brands who are trying to launch, and can often hold the keys to success in the future.
“We are very happy with how Pixlee is behaving right now. With Pixlee we’re able to track our conversations with customers. We’re able to find images and videos to use on our social feeds & galleries and use the incredibly thorough CRM system to track brand ambassadors!”