It’s the weekend, which for some people means making a quick trip to the neighborhood liquor store to stock up for the upcoming festivities. When you get there, however, you’re greeted by the same selection. You don’t even bother looking at the bottom shelf full of 1.75 L plastic bottles because you’ve long since graduated from college. The middle row is tempting, but it’s the same options; mass-produced vodkas, whiskeys and rums that are available everywhere, and the top shelf is off-limits because it’s the end of the month and rent is due! You have a craving for something different. Something unique. But what else is there to do besides stick to your typical go-to bottle?
When we think of spirits chances are we think of the same popular brands owned by the same alcohol giants, but did you know that California alone has over 106 craft distilleries… and you’ve probably never heard of a fraction of their products. Now you’re curious about how to try them, right?
Enter Shots Box, founded by craft spirits lover and serial entrepreneur, JC Stock. Fed up with being forced to drink the same brands, he wanted a way to help craft distillers reach the masses. Through a monthly subscription box, fellow spirits lovers will receive ten unique craft spirits hailing from all over the country! How about a Tennessee whiskey or California vodka that’s not mass-produced to spice up that dinner cocktail?
In fact, not only does JC and Shots Box help introduce these mom-and-pop distillers to cocktail lovers, they also work with distillers to make sure the process of bottling, labeling, legal questions and more is as seamless as possible in order to secure a spot in the box.
Shots Box’s ultimate goal is to connect new brands to new individuals, get people to enjoy drinks that are other than “the usual,” and provide a simple, engaging way for distillers to get exposure and gather feedback from new customers. Effective marketing for craft distillers is becoming more and more difficult as craft distillers simply don’t have the budget that the major alcohol brands do. Additionally, these craft distillers who are investing in their product, and not marketing efforts, don’t have the time, resources or funds for “traditional” marketing efforts.
Traveling to travel to tasting rooms, trade shows, conferences and all of those “traditional” marketing opportunities can really add up and unfortunately can sometimes produce no ROI. Shots Box on the other hand can significantly cut down on these marketing costs. Aihui Ong, CEO of LoveWithFood.com and writer for Entrepreneur says that sampling can save you, “Approximately 80% off the cost of in-store demos.” Why? “Imagine eliminating travel, store set-up and staffing fees all in one fell swoop without sacrificing exposure.” Don’t get me wrong, Shots Box is not encouraging brands to cease their tasting room endeavors, they are simply showing brands that inclusion in a subscription box service can be a great opportunity to boost their brand in a way that a local tasting room cannot while also being extremely affordable. And for those craft distillers that don’t have a tasting room, Shots Box offers a “tasting room” that spans nationwide!
The benefits of sampling keep coming! Michelle Greenwald, CEO of Inventours™and writer for Forbes writes, “Sampling breaks through the clutter of all other marketing forms because it enables consumers to try brands risk free, in a way that couldn’t be easier for them to find or obtain. Other marketing forms … [require] consumers to take precious, time-consuming action to research or find the brand, when many other brands are making the same request of them.” Research has also shown that participating in a subscription box such as Shots Box could be the key to growing a craft spirits brand at a rate previously unimaginable. Why is Shots Box so beneficial? Here are just a few reasons:
- Subscription boxes allow consumers to try your product risk-free.
- Subscription boxes allow you to target a specific, but larger group of customers.
- Shots Box offers an ecommerce platform where customers can purchase full-sized bottles when they’re satisfied with the products included in their box.
- Subscription boxes provide a more affordable, more effective marketing technique.
- Shots Box will collect and share consumer feedback and data on your products regularly.
These sample sizes delivered straight to your door allow the subscriber to sample various gins, whiskeys, vodkas, rums and more without the risk of splurging on an entire bottle. Shots Box allows consumers to try a product risk-free, and these craft spirits are products that normally aren’t available to people around the country. These samples also get spirits lovers excited because every month they know they’re getting ten new craft spirits complete with recipe cards delivered directly to their door.
If a customer likes one, or all ten of the samples, they can simply log on to Shots Box’s website where all of the craft spirits are available for sale in the regular full-size bottle. Subscribers are also encouraged to leave a review so other craft spirits aficionados can be well-informed prior to making a purchasing decision. The reviews also show distillers what they are, and sometimes aren’t, doing right. It’s the ultimate focus group! Without Shots Box how else would a craft spirits lover know about, let alone try, that citrusy craft gin distilled in Florida when they live in Oregon? Now it’s their drink of choice and all of their friends are getting a bottle for the holidays!
Not only can you order a full-size bottle through the website, but If you live in Southern California you can pop in to their brand new brick-and-mortar craft spirits store in Orange County and purchase all of the full-size bottles that are available in the boxes! Don’t live in SoCal? Don’t worry. Shots Box plans to open more craft spirits stores across the country, further closing the gap between distillers and consumers.
As if you needed another reason to fall in love with Shots Box, did we mention that they’re all about giving back? Shots Box donates a percentage of their profits to non-profits who work towards providing access to clean drinking water to those who need it most. It’s called their “Bottle for Bottle” program (clever, right?). So every time you raise a glass of a craft Shots Box spirit, give a toast to yourself knowing that you’re helping to make a difference in someone’s life.
You can find out more info on Shots Box at their website, and be sure to follow them on Instagram (show the new account some love)! Apologies now to the local liquor store clerk because hopefully you’ll be seeing less and less of them.
About JC Stock, Co-Founder of Shots Box:
For as long as he can remember, JC Stock has been running a business. At the age of seven he worked at delivering newspapers, and at age nine he worked at mowing lawns. In 2006, he began his first national service company, and within five years had grown his business from a single employee to 10. Today, JC owns and operates five companies which consist of over 30 employees and four locations from coast to coast.
Driven by success, a desire for growth, and the luxury of simplicity, he has been able to break the mold. When he isn’t working, he is playing. As a home brewer, he knows the pride and satisfaction an artisan gets when someone tries and enjoys one of his carefully crafted brews.