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The no- and low-alcohol category is pretty obsessed with – well – alcohol. On mimicking it, militantly cutting out, or calling out all the things it stops us from doing. You’ll have seen campaigns asking us to unwind without hangxiety. One LinkedIn user remarked that Elon Musk’s Head of Comms probably has an easier job than an alcohol marketer in Dry Jan.

When establishing a new category, businesses often lead with education on product itself. We know driverless cars first and foremost to be driverless; no and low beverages contain little to no alcohol. When the non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip launched, the genius of their one-liner was its simplicity: what to drink when you’re not drinking.

But once you've got product-market fit, businesses need to move from talking only about what their product is (or indeed isn’t), to what their brand believes. The reason some dry January campaigns feel a little – er – dry this year, is because the category has moved on. It’s no longer enough to stand against alcohol; you need to stand for something else. Eventually, Seedlip became a world-building brand centred on the art of nature.

The team behind the low-alcohol beer LOAH knew this when they approached Sonder & Tell last year. They needed to be more than a replacement drink for their curious customers. And so we built a brand that placed people in a state of mind opened by flavour, creativity and inspiration –  not alcohol. One that felt like a mind-expanding conversation with a beer in the sun.

We called it blue-sky drinking. And we created a brand world with scope for fresh collaborations – from working with illustrators to partnering with Shoreditch Design Triangle. It’s informed their redesign, and importantly it’s given the team permission to enter new creative conversations. Because no one wants to hear about a hangover.

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“The sky is an infinite movie to me. I never get tired of looking at what's happening up there.”

― K. D. Lang
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The space of low-no alcohol beer has a very brand conscious customer, and now more than ever, people are looking for moderate options. This means there are a lot of opportunities to explore, but there’s also a stigma to break: drinking a no- or low-alcohol beer means sacrificing quality or flavour.

We spoke with William Hedley, LOAH’s co-founder, about the importance of listening to what customers want, the impact ‘blue-sky drinking’ had on their business, the celebrities he thinks reflect LOAH’s personality, and more.

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Developed with hundreds of medical and mental health experts, Reframe is a revolutionary alcohol habit-change app. It’s also an accountability tool, asking users to think about drinking through coaching, logging activities and positive psychology. Their social feed reminds us of Daye, because they’ve used their scientific positioning to break down cold facts and stats in an accessible way. And it's worth a look if you’re engaging with a more mindful drinking journey this January.

Draft a quick campaign concept for your brand based on product attributes. Then reframe based on what you believe in. How does it change?

Hit reply to submit your prompt.


Alchemy – Rory Sutherland
Obsessed: Building a Brand People Love from Day One – Emily Heyward

45 of the Best Brand Advertising Campaigns of 2022 – Famous Campaigns
Can You Really Make Your Own Luck? – Stylist

Culture Vulture – Shit You Should Care About
Making Your Stories Magnetic  – Gabrielle Dolan
Can You Breathe Your Way to Feeling Better? — Today in Focus

Browse our page to see what the team is reading and a few of our favourite brand and copywriting books. When you buy from you're supporting independent bookstores. And we're donating the 10% affiliate cut from our store to BookTrust, the UK's largest children's reading charity. 

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Sonder & Tell · Sonder & Tell, Unit 28 · 40 Bowling Green Lane · London, EC1R 0NE · United Kingdom