The companies that own the rights to the 16 luxury alcohol brands in the world that cracked our list have cracked the code on how to position their brands in such a way that customers immediately start associating their brands not just with quality, but with luxury. This positioning is usually done by price. Most companies that provide premium and high-end products usually do so with a hefty mark-up. For example, Starbucks’ coffee is usually more expensive than alternatives from its competitors, which is why Starbucks is considered a premium brand, in addition to having excellent coffee, cozy restaurants and fancy terms like “venti”.
Ok, maybe Starbucks is not the best example to show how luxury brands are positioned. Watches is probably a better one. Most people are familiar with Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Breitling. These watches carry price tags of thousands of dollars and even though they are of excellent build quality and are sometimes made from expensive materials, they nonetheless remain watches. The basic function of a Rolex and a Timex is the same, to tell time. However, through the higher price tag, Rolex represents a luxury item and Timex is just a watch.
Luxury brands don’t just provide their owners with sales of expensive products, but companies often diversify their range of products to offer cheaper alternatives which generate much higher revenue due to a larger number of products being sold. Alcohol is a great example that illustrates this. For example, Johnnie Walker is a brand of whiskey which is owned by Diageo plc (ADR) (NYSE:DEO), and its most expensive Blue Label goes for as much as $200 per bottle, making it one of the most expensive brands of whiskey, not including rare and old blends that go for thousands of dollars. At the same time, there are cheaper bottles of Johnnie Walker whiskey.
What also makes alcohol an interesting type of product when looking at brand positioning is that companies don’t have many avenues to stand out in terms of quality. In the case of cars or smartphones, companies can compete with each other in terms of design, build quality, and special features, while everything with alcohol is pretty much the same, with the exception of some details like the quality of ingredients. Take for example vodka, the plainest of alcohol drinks. Vodka lacks both taste and smell, yet there is cheap vodka that you can get at Wal-Mart for less than $10, and then there are more expensive brands like Grey Goose, which costs over $30 per bottle.
Having said that, let’s take a closer look at our list of 16 luxury alcohol brands in the world. For some of the brands, that offer a wider assortment that is oriented towards more consumers, we will also provide the brand value, while for more exclusive brands we will mention some of the products they are offering and their prices.
For less expensive alternatives, we suggest you take a look at the 10 best bourbons under $50 after perusing the following list, which begins on the next page.