How Bartending Helped Me Understand The Consumer 

By Kianna Rodriguez

Shaking Up the Consumer 

As a bartender, I understand that the job isn’t just about mixing a great cocktail. Customer relationships are at the heart of what I do. Bartenders possess not only drink-making skills but the ability to connect with customers through conversation and advice. Bartenders possess a special skill, almost a superpower called listening. Bartenders listen to feedback on drinks and learn what makes customers tick. We listen to customers’ thoughts and motivations. By engaging in conversations with them about any topic that they want to cover. People come in and talk about various topics from their relationships, friendships, and work life to home life, politics and more. As a budding advertising and public relations professional, I can see how this deep dive into the feelings and thoughts of the customer should inform my work.

Creating a Meaningful Relationship 

We listen to the customer and learn their favorite things, their careers, their background, and their hopes and dreams for the future. But we also learn about what they fear in the world, from people to places to things. Taking in all this information is beneficial to my college career as an advertising and public relations student. Why? Because I can see a deep understanding of the consumer as the only way to help a brand connect on a meaningful level. I can help brands find new ways to connect with customers.

All brands need to find a way to connect to their customers on a different level. For example, Dove released a campaign called “Reverse Selfie”  which showed the effects of social media standards on young women. Young girls heavily edit their pictures and constantly stare at themselves in the mirror. Now when they are looking in the mirror they are not admiring their beauty but judging their imperfections. But Dove knew the new generation was getting impacted by beauty standards and how girls “should look.” They showed, in reverse, how girls don’t need to live up to unrealistic standards.

The campaign aimed to “reverse” the negative effects of social media on young girls. 

Another example is Apple’s campaign called “The Underdogs” which shows a team of four at a company creating the design for a round pizza box and presenting it to their boss in short order. Apple knew they had to connect to people in a new light and chose to do this campaign about how Apple can help people succeed with their products and software. They knew they had to connect to their audience in a different way, they knew people worked hard to reach their goals and they showed that their company is here to help the consumer achieve their specific goal. Apple shows that their merchandise is to help people that want to achieve their goals. They show in the video how to use almost every Apple product and the capabilities of the products, like tools that can be used for work to be more productive. 

Listening to Consumers

These brands listened to their consumers. They learned how to connect with them on a deeper level. They learned what motivates customers to behave in a certain way. Being the right type of account planner means finding the right motivation to influence a campaign. As a bartender, I listen to what concerns people and what excites them. I take that back to my advertising and public relations classwork. I find a deeper, meaningful way to connect to consumers. Finding that deeper connection means consumers express a higher level of customer satisfaction and loyalty to the brand. I take this information and help our campaigns engage consumers on a deeper level. My job as a bartender helped me engage consumers and understand their feelings and emotions, which really matters for the work we do at The Martin Hall Agency.

Dove. (2021, April 20). Dove | reverse selfie | have #theselfietalk. YouTube. Retrieved October 27, 2022, from 

Apple. (2019, April 2). Apple at work – the underdogs. YouTube. Retrieved October 27, 2022, from 

Rawat, A. (n.d.). 10 ways bartenders can self-learn & improve their skills. Bartenders Business. Retrieved November 1, 2022, from

Prange, J. (2022, February 9). Bartending 101: Conversation do’s and don’ts for bartenders. TouchBistro. Retrieved November 1, 2022, from 


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