Marketing is always the big topic here at BSG. As we explain to our existing and prospective clients, without a well devised marketing plan, it is tough to differentiate your brand apart from all the others in your industry.
Due to our association with the American Bars website and app, we see a great deal of the beer industry, especially craft beers and micro breweries. Brewers always note that the first essential is great beer, or what might be called “true taste marketing.” It’s an obvious point, but it’s extremely important. The quality of your product and service is paramount prior to going forward with anything else.
If you have a great product or service, your customer acquisition costs will go down and the long term viability of your brewery will go way up.
It’s expensive to convince people that lousy or even ordinary beer is good (ever wonder why Budweiser and similar brands spend so much on advertising…). If you’re making great beer, the marketing gets a whole heck of a lot easier.
The next essential needed is a compelling story. No, not some of the crazy folk tale that many create for the brand itself (Space aliens, led by Elvis, came and visited, choosing us to bring their message of music and tasty ice cream). Back to beer for a moment, being a craft brewer is already an inherently interesting story — a small business trying to make a great local product and share it with the world.
Remember, people make buying decisions based on emotion, not logic. This especially true with products like craft beer – authentically conveying a compelling story about your beer doesn’t just sell beer, it creates loyal customers and brand advocates.
Marketing is too often boiled down into tools —What sites should we advertise on? What’s our social media strategy? Should we sell t-shirts? You have lost the story. BSG believes in focus. Believe in the brand essence and message first, and then strategize the various ways to spread the word.
Speaking of spreading the word, BSG recommends focusing those efforts as much as possible, specifically on becoming an industry influencer, whether that’s locally or on a more national scale. Drill down and find others.
This incredible trust that you invest in people you know is something that you can leverage by targeting people that are “mini-influencers.” These are people that are seen amongst friends, family and colleagues — the insider types. People trust them to make those kinds of recommendations. These are the types of people that you can reach at tastings, festivals, on-premise promotions.
More next time…