June 24, 2024

Drink Dialogues 02: Beverage branding with David Beattie

David Beattie returns for a second Drink Dialogues session, this time, turning conversation towards impactful branding within the wider beverage sector

David Beattie

Client Director

“It’s a really challenging time for drinks brands in today’s market. But where there’s a challenge, there’s and opportunity to break the mould and create something different, memorable, and remarkable.”

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David Beattie is back.

Following on from our first Drink Dialogues session on the future of the on-trade, David returns to place beverage branding at the centre of conversation.

As well as being Senior Client Director at Continuous, David is an established drinks branding specialist, with extensive experience working with world-renowned brands including Jack Daniels, Bacardi-Martini, Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire, Johnnie Walker, BrewDog, and more.

In our second session, he reveals which drinks brands are getting it right in 2024, the importance of brand partnerships, and ends the interview with one piece of advice to help brands to stand out in an over-crowded market.

Senior Client Director at Continuous and established beverage branding specialist, David Beattie

01. In your opinion, which drinks brands are getting it right in 2024? Which brands are making you excited about the future of the drinks industry?

David: Let me start by saying, it’s a really challenging time for drinks brands in today’s market.

But where there’s a challenge, there’s an opportunity to break the mould and create something different, memorable, and remarkable. And, even against the odds, so many brands are achieving this.

Guinness, for one, is example of a drinks brand that has been exciting me for years.

The innovation Guinness continually shows is incredible. They set the bar really high and, in particular, their dedication to educating clients and customers, on how to cellar, serve, and enjoy a Guinness, in a really engaging and creative way is really commendable.

David commends Guinness for their innovation and dedication to educating client and customers in engaging and creative ways

But they’re not the only one showing incredible innovation.

In a completely different category, there are also exciting and inspiring businesses like TRIP, the award-winning drinks brand celebrated for its CBD-infused collection.

Founded in 2019, TRIP has quickly established itself as the UK’s fastest growing drinks brand within its category.

After following its journey so far, I’m eager to see what’s next for them.

02. How important are brand partnerships when it comes to growth? Should brands be placing more emphasis on partnerships in their strategies for next year?

David: Partnerships – when done correctly – are absolutely vital.

When it comes to brand growth, the benefits are multifold – from expanded reach and audience; to shared resources and expertise; enhanced brand image and credibility; and boosted sales and revenue. It’s a no-brainer.

Partnerships and collaborations are definitely worth exploring and incorporating into your strategy – no matter the size of your brand.

David (left) on Fusion Day 2024 at Dead Crafty, Liverpool

David: A couple of our most recent projects within the drinks world have involved working on the branding for really powerful partnerships.

Evident in the name, Fusion IPA was created in collaboration with the best of the beer industry to support the on-trade scene during a really difficult sales period at the start of 2024.

It brought people together. It drove footfall back into bars and pubs. And it created – and celebrated – a strong sense of community.

We’ve also recently worked on a project with Wrexham AFC and its newly appointed hydration partner, Gatorade. Another powerful example – this one exploring the synergy between the world of drinks and the world of sports.

Our work creating the Carlsberg Lounge at Anfield Stadium for Liverpool FC is another example connecting these two industries.

This project was all about breathing new life into a well-established partnership and transforming it into a tangible and memorable experience for guests. (See the archive photographs of the making of the mural here).

The mural created for the Carlsberg Lounge at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool featuring Japanese muralist Dragon76

David: But it’s also worth noting how versatile brand partnerships can be.

Yes, you can venture across industries and find an abundance of complementary businesses to partner with. But even staying closer to home within the drinks world, there are endless opportunities to reap the rewards of partnering up.

Take mixed drinks for example, looking at a mixed drink or cocktail through the lens of brand, creates the perfect platform to showcase a spirit, a mixer, a garnish – and even the glassware! Some of the collaborations featuring Austrian crystal glassware manufacturer, Riedel, have been spectacular in recent years.

It’s all about uncovering opportunities to make meaningful connections that feel authentic to you, your business, and your customers.

03. Since you first started working in the industry, have you noticed any trends, patterns, or shifts in consumer behaviour?

David: When it comes to trends, I think there’s a big difference between a short-term gimmick and a movement that reflects shifting consumer behavior.

We recently sat down at the studio for a session to review the patterns and shifts we’ve been noticing within the industry as a team. You can read our findings here and our thoughts for 2025, here.

Looking at what I’ve noticed personally throughout my 15-year career in the industry though, I’d say there are few things worthy of note:

Clear spirits

David: Vodka was done and gin was it – until it wasn’t. And consumers got lost in a sea of endless options. Now, there seems to be a shift towards super premium vodka again and gin is stalling.

I find the way both are talked about to be really entertaining. Mainly because, from a consumer perspective, people have very strong feelings about one or the other. Which is amusing because a lot of heavily flavoured gins – without any real juniper character – probably sit closer to the vodka category anyway!


David: I’ve worked on countless briefs to help democratise whisk(e)y across different parts of the category.

But it’s probably safe to assume we’re in a golden age of whisk(e)y availability.

You can go into any supermarket or bar and there will be a really credible American, Scotch, or Irish brand readily available – as well as countless trade-up options too.


David: It doesn’t seem that long ago that the bigger brands in the space were educating people around how long agave took to grow and the need to project longer term.

The most notable shift has been from tequila as a shot towards a fully defined category, encompassing multiple serves.

Stills from ‘The Relentless Pursuit of Flavour’ brand film our team created for Fever-Tree
Soft drinks

David: Innovation and choice in mixers is absolutely wild in comparison to 15 years ago. And I think this is amazing.

Brands like Fever-Tree have been dominating in this category for decades.

Three quarters of a mixed drink is a mixer – and if you’re pairing that mixer with a good quality spirit – the mixer should be of the same quality too. And Fever-Tree made this the focal point of its quest.

Completely fixated on uncovering authentic flavours and quality, we helped the brand create ‘The Relentless Pursuit of Flavour’ film – which evolved into a TV ad, helped Fever-Tree to expand into the US market, and led to double-digit growth ever since. See the full project here.

Drinking habits 

David: I remember, not that long ago, every drinks talk started with the startling stat that one third of young people don’t drink.

At no point did anyone ever consider if they would at some point or whether people’s entry point to the category would change to include the multitude of alcohol-free brands now on offer – or even super premium spirits.

The category is fundamentally different to the one we encountered growing up, so the old cookie cutter approach to drinks no longer applies.

David advises: “It's much better to be in one account and selling well, than in loads and not selling at all”

04. Finally, what one piece of advice would you give to drinks brands that are looking to stand out in an over-crowded market?

David: It’s repeated across the industry because it’s a golden piece of advice – it’s much better to be in one account and selling well, than in loads and not selling at all.

LinkedIn is awash with new accounts for every brand and by the time you go into the outlet – in the on- or off-trade – they’ve been delisted because the product didn’t sell and consumers didn’t know what it was or how to drink it.

Rate of sale is king.

If you’d like to learn more about our experience within the drinks industry, please contact our Senior Client Director and drinks branding specialist, David Beattie, via


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