How do you choose one brand of vodka over another? New research from Edith Cowan University has shed light on this burning question. Vodka is one of the world’s most popular spirits – with more than 4 billion litres sold in 2012. But since taste differences are at best subtle, what makes us plump for Grey Goose instead of Stoli, or Absolut instead of Smirnoff?
It all comes down to marketing. For wine or whisky, the country of origin matters. With vodka, consumers don’t care whether it’s from Russia or Poland, Finland or France. The three factors that sway us to choose one brand rather than another are branding, packaging and (the big one) social media.
The research found the ‘personality’ of the brand was hugely important to drinkers’ attitude towards vodka in general, which brands they preferred and how often they would drink certain brands. Packaging, too, directly affected how consumers perceived the quality of the product.
But social media was shown to have the biggest influence on which brand of vodka people consumed and how frequently they were likely to purchase it. You’re more likely to embrace the brands your friends prefer, and once you’ve ‘liked’ a brand on Facebook you’re likely to stay loyal.
University studies of consumer behaviour help marketers make smart business decisions – another reason why it pays to keep Australia clever.