In just a few short years, Good Boy Vodka (GBV) has gone from being a side gig for its twenty-nine-year-old founder to one of the fastest-growing alcohol brands in the United States. It has accomplished this feat by tossing out the established playbook for building a brand. Instead, Good Boy Vodka has dove into motorsports, partnered with one of the most unorthodox golfers ever, and hammered home a message of charitable giving.
“It’s liberating not to have a deep history behind our brand or a long history in the liquor industry. Every day, we tell ourselves ‘Why not’ when it comes to Good Boy Vodka,” says Alex Pratt, the founder and CEO of GBV. “We focus on creating products around what consumers want, something clean, fun, and flavorful. Most brands go deep into a market and try to build up a huge consumer base before they go wide, but that’s not the case for us. Instead, we focus daily on getting our products in front of as many people as possible and letting them decide if they like them. Many people have told me we are crazy, but it seems to be working so far.”
That attitude of just going for it has worked well for Good Boy Vodka. Pratt launched the brand with one product in the summer of 2021 as a secondary project while he worked full-time for his family’s company, PRATT Industries Inc., one of the largest manufacturers of intermodal equipment in America. A lifelong sports enthusiast who grew up racing boats, he wanted to try his hand at the alcohol industry. The brand quickly found a following, and he dove into it full-time towards the end of 2022.
Realizing that RTDs were the next big thing, GBV quickly pivoted into seltzers, where they found success. But its partnership with golfer John Daly really set things off. Long known for his irreverent style and overall sense of merriment, Daly is one of the most recognizable golfers on the planet. His numerous social media posts often go viral, and his love of a good cocktail is legendary.
Launched at the beginning of 2023, the Good Boy Vodka John Daly Cocktail offers drinkers an alcoholic version of a beverage loved by another PGA great, Arnold Palmer. GBV’s riff on the drink adds their vodka into a lemonade and iced tea mixture. Available in four flavors, peach, blackberry, raspberry, and classic iced tea, each can have a Daly silhouette on the label and the golfer’s signature line, “Grip It & Rip It.”
The partnership with Daly was just the first of several collaborations the brand uses to expand GBV’s reach. They debuted an Indy Car wrapped with artwork showcasing their HUSKI Ice Spritz product launched with Huski Enterprises at the Indy 500 in 2023. To wrap up 2023, they just dropped the news that they have partnered with motorsports legend Travis Pastrana. His RTD cocktail, Citrus Circus, will hit its entire distribution footprint in early 2024.
While finding the right individuals to work with has helped GBV expand into 26 states and achieve revenue growth of 930% and sales growth of 539% in 2023, the key to Good Boy Vodka’s success lies in its message, according to Pratt. The brand has donated to several veterans-based charities through its Good Boy Foundation since day one. Focusing on the nation’s military veterans and K-9 warriors has created a positive message around the brand. One that has helped them gain inroads into retail accounts that are notoriously hard to break into.
“Many big box retailer companies have missions that direct them to give back to their communities. So, we meet with them and tell them that we do things differently than other brands they deal with daily, says Pratt.” “We let them know that we want to be a good partner and work to figure out a charity they wish to support. Then, we will donate on their behalf. The more products we sell, the better both of us do, and the larger the donation. We will come in and do charity-driven events to help sales. That’s a different message than they usually hear, where most brands want to focus on driving cases to the floor. “
Overall, the effects of their messaging, strategic partnerships, and charitable donations are working. The brand is on target to achieve nationwide distribution in 2024, with several more innovations set to roll out during the year. While their RTDs are leading the way, distribution of their namesake vodka is also riding the brand’s momentum. The chances are high that Good Boy Vodka will soon become a national player in an already crowded field. That’s an impressive feat for a brand that was just a thought a few years ago.