San Francisco, CA (June 23, 2009) -- The producer of a new premium Japanese shochu (soju) who has extensive experience in social media marketing, is pairing with San Francisco retailer D&M Spirits for a highly successful new product launch. James Key Lim, with viral marketing experience as a veteran internet and ecommerce consultant, put Haamonii Smooth shochu on the market last year and is now building sales from Japan to New York.
Shochu, distilled like vodka from grains but half the calories and the proof, began in Asia and now has become the beverage of choice (outselling sake) in Japanese homes, bars and restaurants. "We're distilling our prestigious shochu from premium grains," Lim explains, "to develop a smooth, balanced product giving a mouth-feel of harmony, which is 'Haamonii' in Japanese."
In the social media world, Lim is using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn combined with off-line support from retailers and events."Since shochu is traditionally enjoyed in very social situations, we're able to extend this sharing experience to our customers through social media, casual tastings, parties, and Tweetups that give them a sense of why shochu is one of the most popular spirits in the world," Lim says. "And, of course, we're reaching all of our Facebook friends with news about Haamonii Smooth and its growth. Through LinkedIn, we’re networking with industry to understand how we can better serve our customers and retailers.
One retailer in particular, D&M Spirits plays a vital role in getting the product to market. The retailer has a tradition of innovation and new product launches, and saw Haamonii Smooth as a winner from its inception. It both supports U.S. sales online and physical sales in San Francisco. “We have seen astonishing sales over the last three months; we’re talking an increase of 150% compared to last year. James’ social networking has clearly done wonders for Haamonii. Not only has it helped him, it has brought in new customers that we would not have otherwise found,” stated Kristine Espinola, Marketing Manager, D&M Spirits.
Haamonii Smooth has won a total of three medals including a gold medal from the Beverage Tasting Institute, four at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and was the favorite of the San Francisco Chronicle tasting staff.
Haamonii Smooth shochu social media links: