Building a brand that stands out when copycats rush in
What do you do when buzz and first-mover advantage for your product fades and you’re now fending off “me too!” competitors flooding your category? We helped Hood River and its Absinthe spirit, Lucid, establish a clear brand strategy for growth in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Established in 1934, Hood River Distillers is the largest importer and producer of spirits in the Northwest. In 2013 it acquired the Lucid brand—the first absinthe to be introduced into the United States after the ban on the highly alcoholic spirit was lifted. Novelty and absinthe’s association with psychedelic imagery and tales of hallucinogenic properties (in pre-ban formulations) initially drove Lucid’s sales and dominance in the re-emerging absinthe category.
However, market conditions soon changed considerably. Lucid found itself competing on crowded store shelves with copycat products that rushed in to cash in on the absinthe craze. As buzz around absinthe declined, overall market demand growth slowed, further fueled by hesitancy among consumers and mixologists on how to drink and serve absinthe.
With all these factors converging, how could Hood River move Lucid past being a novelty drink to building a long-term brand strategy to maintain dominance and drive growth?