In an emerging category, your company has its work cut out for it. Not only do you have to educate customers on what your product is, but also on when and how they should use it. For Ghia, a brand focused on non-alcoholic aperitifs, that meant designing the entire imbibing experience, from how the product should taste to what glassware it should be served in.

Ghia founder Melanie Masarin relied on her own upbringing in the south of France to inspire the taste of the company’s signature drink, which has a distinctive bitter, botanical flavor unlike the sweet sodas or mocktail alternatives that already existed.

“I loved this kind of fresh, bitter flavor. And so, I wanted to create this new-age bitter or Italian amaro that would just be better for you,” Melanie says.

Ahead, find out what Melanie learned from being one of the early non-alcoholic spirits companies in the US.

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Design your products for moments

Melanie had some specific occasions in mind when creating Ghia: It’s for the drinks at the bar before dinner. It’s to be served at a friend’s dinner party.

“We’re conditioned to think that if we’re not drinking, we’re having a lesser experience,” Melanie says. “That’s an experience that has less belonging and less acceptance. And we really wanted to break that stigma.” 

A Ghia bottle
Ghia bottles were meant to fit in on a bar cart, and stand out on a retailer’s shelf. Bobby Doherty

That’s why it was important for Ghia to integrate the purpose of those social moments into everything from the copy on its website to the design of its bottle. “We really wanted a bottle that felt like a jewel, something that people would proudly display and not be embarrassed because they’re not drinking alcohol,” Melanie says. “It always goes back to making our customers the hero and finding moments where we can help build them up.”

Create a world around your products

One of the…

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