The gin market is awash with new products claiming to have the best and most carefully sourced botanicals. Quokka Gin is different. It takes the fact it is super quality, premium gin as a fact. What makes it different is its mission to make us all smile, to be happy when we drink it. Here’s how…
Months of lockdown have changed the way that we as consumers behave. Rather than see our homes as the places we return to after work and enjoy in the evenings, they have become destinations in their own right. Where we like to be. Where we are at our happiest.
Yes, those long weeks of months of not being able to go outside other than for daily exercise may have been hard to endure, but they also made us reflect and start enjoying the everyday things we took for granted. Like what we were going to eat for lunch or dinner? What drink were we going to make ourselves to enjoy to go with it?
As days and weeks went by, we started to become more adventurous and find new ways to entertain ourselves, be it by buying bread-making machines, spending hours making the perfect bolognese sauce, taking up old hobbies, and turning our homes into mini entertainment centres where we could do many, or most, of the things we would usually go outside to do.
One big area of excitement and innovation was the spirits cabinet. Long lost drinks suddenly found themselves on the kitchen table as people scoured cocktail books and recipes to make something a little more special for Saturday or Tuesday night.
As we were saving all that money not doing the daily commute and the weekly spend on Pret Manger sandwiches, and Costa coffees, we could also afford to splash out a bit on a more premium gin or vodka.
What marketers have dubbed the premiumisation trend - which has occurred across all grocery categories from double quilted toilet paper, to gourmet popcorn - was on fast forward throughout the pandemic, raising people’s spending power and expectations of brands as a result.
A gin for its times
Quokka is a new ultra-quality, premium gin that is very much a brand of its age. A brand that arguably has been born out of the change in consumer demands and needs post-Covid-19. People don’t just want to buy a product anymore, and they certainly don’t want to be lectured about its great history, traditions, and minutiae details about how it is made.
No, they want to be seduced, they want to feel a genuine connection with a brand and they want to believe and invest in brands they trust, like and enjoy. Or in Quokka gin’s case, a brand that has been made to make you smile. Simple as that.
“We wanted to create a drink that could make people happy,” says founder Sid Patel, a drinks industry professional who has over 20 years of experience introducing brands and working with bars and bartenders to develop drinks they know their consumers most want to enjoy.
The whole concept of Quokka gin is to create a brand and a philosophy around it that is there to make people enjoy the whole process of choosing and buying a gin they feel is right for them. That moment when they open up the packaging at home, take out the brand, and hold it in their hands for the first time.
That’s when the ‘Quokka’ comes into play. Quokka is the name of an animal that is part of the wallaby family in Australia that has become famous as the happiest animal in the world as it is always smiling. It’s become an Instagram sensation as a result.
Buy a bottle of Quokka gin and you have its smiling face shining back to you on the label. You really can’t help but smile. That’s what ultimately it is all about, says Patel.
“A gin to make you happy, a gin to make you smile. A gin to enjoy in the comfort of your own home, with friends and family, and on special occasions. A gin that can become part of your life’s happiest moments,” he adds.
Second to none
Now not even a smiling sweet wallaby from Australia can win the day on its own and the reason Patel is so confident that Quokka gin can make a real mark on the direct-to-consumer gin market is that its liquid, he claims, is second to none.
He knows he can safely say that as it has been created hand-in-hand with 15 of London’s top bartenders working in some of the most prestigious bar and cocktail venues in the world.
“We were able to create the gin with our bartender experts advising, tasting, and feeding back their advice every step of the way. Their job is to ultimately make drinks that they know are going to make their customers happy. That’s what they have done in helping to devise, design, and create Quokka gin. A brand they know that their customers can buy and enjoy and make top quality bar standard drinks at home.”
That’s the key for Patel. Empowering every consumer who buys a bottle of Quokka gin with the same quality liquid that the world’s top bartenders would like to have in their venues. Now that should bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Patel knows the competition in the gin market is intense and it is particularly hard for new brands to break through online. This is why Quokka gin is grounded on the back of five key values: optimism; positivity; kindness; gratitude; and empathy.
Those are the core beliefs and values that will drive all the marketing, messaging, and social media around the brand. Values Patel believes are now engrained in so many more of us due to the hardships and difficulties we have faced during Covid. Values that have also blossomed and become so more important to us thanks to the community spirit that has prevailed throughout the pandemic and beyond.
“We are all having to regroup and come to terms with what is now our new normal,” he explains. “We know there are more problems ahead, with rising bills and the increase in the cost of living. But we also crave ways we can treat ourselves and others. To make the mini world we live in as good and as healthy as it can be. What better way to do that than helping people to smile, to be happy? That’s what we hope Quokka Gin can bring to people’s lives.”