Everyone Who Bought IBM Is FIRED!

The old saying “No one ever got fired for buying IBM” was an adage about playing it safe. Investing with a blue-chipper never got anyone into any real trouble.

That was then, and this is now and this is YOUR distillery!

Playing it safe in the current beverage industry might possibly be the riskiest thing you can do.

We all know this is a game dominated by the big players who have bigger bank accounts. It’s a brutal feeding frenzy and again, unlike the old days of IBM dominance, it is not the strongest who will survive.


According to DISCUS President and CEO Chris Swonger “… direct-to-consumer is becoming an economic lifeline to craft producers and other producers in the industry.” As state government regulation loosens, are you in a position to guarantee your brand stands out from the rest both to consumers and retailers?


Sure, you have a great logo, cool bottle design, a unique distilling process. Your vodka is distilled over four times, your gin has twenty-one different botanicals and your bourbon sits in oak barrels for over two years. Sorry to disappoint you, but those are the same claims every other of the 1367+ distilleries in the United States makes.

These are the same safe claims IBM would be making if they were in our industry.

Find whoever in your company came up with these unique selling propositions and fire them immediately.


So how do you rise to the top of the distilling mash? The answer is simple: you need to make certain that you consistently stand out from the pack. You need to decommoditize your distillery. 

The true value of a distillery is the sum of its product revenue and brand value. Product revenue is a hard number (units sold by price per unit). Brand value, on the other hand, is much more subjective and often the least paid attention to factor in a distillery. Yet, it’s the key metric, when properly developed, that will markedly increase the value of a company. 


Let’s take Liquid Death, a recently minted canned water product. Revenue for the company is around $49m. Yet the company has been valued at over $500m. More than 10x its revenue!

Why? Because the company knows how to market the shit out of its brand. It has followers who will tattoo the brand on their bodies! Check out our previous blog here to learn how the geniuses behind this band quite literally decommoditized one of the biggest commodities on the planet: WATER!


The big players have enough capital to force their name into any conversation. You are smarter, nimbler, more passionate, and—well—different from the big brands, even though you may not yet show it.

The good news is consumers are moving, in droves, away from big brand mentality. People are scrolling right past big-budget campaigns in their SM feeds and stopping, sharing, and engaging in more niche, specialized content that they identify with. The same passionate people you likely started this business for and want to connect with in the first place. 

All it takes is ingenuity, courage, and the ability to uncover and accentuate your differentiating factors. You focus on what you do best, distilling, and we’ll focus on what we do best, decommoditizing your brand. Call us now.


Jesse James Wroblewski

Differentiation Consultant

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