Online alcohol delivery is a bright spot of growth in a sector where consumers increasingly moderate consumption. Leaders are shifting budgets toward digital channels to capture consumer attention as preferences shift. The top ten brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Spirits are leapfrogging laggards by combining digital investments and partnerships with key retailers and online publications to multiply their online reach and provide consumers with content and research information. As consumer preferences change, Index brands must change alongside them to remain top of mind.
1. Johnnie Walker
Digital IQ: 142
Johnnie Walker spritzes into the top spot of this years ranking thanks to a streamlined desktop and mobile site that efficiently guides browsers to products and then to retailer handoff, among other things. The brand maintains year-round site traffic through extensive gifting and occasion content and recommendations, achieves outsized visibility on Drizly and ReserveBar through official partnerships, and is the most featured brand in ReserveBar’s email campaigns.
Digital IQ: 141
Hennessy hops into second by elevating its insider program for loyal customers and features rich merchandising content on product pages, with video and visual tasting notes to attract new ones. It sees strong visibility and placement across all alcohol delivery retailers and grocers, especially on Saucey, FoodKick and Amazon. Finally, Hennessy is one of the brands most frequently mentioned by publications and boasts the largest Instagram community.
3. Maker’s Mark
Digital IQ: 139
Maker’s Mark stands out with the only actively used mobile app in the index. Additionally, it was featured multiple times on MiniBar during the Kentucky Derby and appears frequently in e-tailer Google Shopping ad campaigns for nonbranded whiskey keywords. Notably, it is also one of the only brands posting educational content on YouTube and is among the top three brands on Twitter, with high interactions per tweet.
4. Tequila Patron
Digital IQ: 138
This brand leaves a hot impression with its Cocktail Lab, which provides best-in-class content and hands off to retailers selling complete packages of recipe ingredients. It has one of the index’s largest email list sizes and also leads in Facebook interactions by pouring large amounts of spend on the platform.
Digital IQ: 137
Absolut sparkles with a built-out recipe site content and is one of a few brands with nutritional information on product pages. The label leans into corporate responsibility messaging and boasts a strong brand presence across MiniBar and Caskers, standing out in a crowded vodka space through e-tailer marketing campaigns.
Digital IQ: 137
Jameson elevates campaigns through its “Now” section in primary navigation. Additionally, the label leverages UGC on product pages and hands off to multiple e-tailers. Finally, it uses strong SEO to lead its peers in ownership of core branded keywords and cultivates an active Instagram community.
Digital IQ: 135
Smirnoff’s strong organic visibility on unbranded vodka terms, particularly vodka flavor keywords helps it land a spot in the top ten. It also boasts best-in-class e-tailer handoff on its mobile site.
8. Jack Daniels
Digital IQ: 134
Jack Daniels thrives with one of the best Facebook presences in the index and one of the largest community size growths. It doesn’t neglect important mediums and makes heavy investments in video display advertising.
9. Captain Morgan
Digital IQ: 131
A Strong e-tailer presence helps keep Captain Morgan in this year’s ranking. The brand also boasts the best brand visibility on grocery sites, including Target, as compared to its peers.
9. Crown Royal
Digital IQ: 131
Crown Royal shines with a robust text ad strategy. The brand bids on unbranded and branded whiskey keywords, resulting in high mobile traffic.