Brewery Branding For the Love of Beer

April 29, 2015

The world is developing a taste for craft brews. While there are still some people that are holding onto the big brand beers, many are seeking out a crafted alternative. Even grocery stores have started to offer the option of selecting individual bottles of craft beer to take home in an assorted case. That being said, what are you doing to make sure your brewpub or micro-brewery is part of the craft beer movement?

Whether they have been converted from wine connoisseurs or claim craft beer as their first love, there’s a new demographic that has developed, the craft beer enthusiast. They enjoy spending hours researching on the Internet, special ordering brews, going out of their way to visit breweries on their travels, and may have crafted their own brew at home. Peaking the interest of these newly founded fans is the key to success with your brewpub. The best way to provoke the interests of your brewpub is to develop a brand, create a unique experience for your consumer, and reward them for their loyalty to your brand.

While a logo is important to make your brewpub known, your brand is more than a logo. The brand vision is who you are, what you offer, what you stand for, what makes you unique, and how you will succeed. It makes you relevant to your customers, it’s consistent with your vision of success, and leads you to a winning future. It is realistic, sustainable, focused, concise, and provocative. To put it simply, your brand tells your customers who you are and what kind of experience they can expect when they walk into your brewpub.

It takes more than a good brand to entice customers to walk through your doors, and more than a good brew to make them stick around. For that you’ll need to provide an experience that’ll have them coming back again. Crafting a unique experience should ultimately be inspired by your brand, but should include adding value to your customers, educating them on craft beer (their latest interest), and delivering great service by means of your bartenders.

The best way to become part of the movement is to add value to your craft beer customers by educating them like fine wine experts. Much like wine connoisseurs, your customers are becoming craft beer enthusiasts. Wine connoisseurs know the difference between wine poured from a box and a vintage Bordeaux, so why not educate your craft beer enthusiasts with the knowledge needed to choose the perfect English-Style Bitter? Your brewpub will find success as a brand if you educate your customers as they journey to become knowledgeable craft beer enthusiasts.

By channeling your craft beer palate, you can inspire theirs. As a fellow enthusiast, you know the fine intricacies of every beer and how those flavorful elements can be brought to life within your beer menu. By pointing out which flavors to focus on when choosing a craft brew, you’ll entice your customers to pair their meal with the brew that will bring their palate to life. Crafting short descriptions of your drafts is sure to make your customers salivate with the thought of your latest brew. Breaking down your menu into each drought’s perspective category can increase customer retention, and sell more beer in both the short term and long term. A well-designed menu with insight into specific kinds of craft beers increases customer retention, sells more beer, and acts as a fun and interactive talking piece for your bartenders. Creating an entertaining and informative experience for your customers will have them coming back time and time again. Your customers want to spend time learning about craft beer and you’d be foolish not to indulge their interest in the subject.

Ensuring that your servers and bartenders are living, breathing illustrations of your brand is essential to providing a quality experience for your customers. Whether you decide to bring on experienced staff or educate new hires yourself, your bartenders should be knowledgeable when it comes to craft beer. The passion you have for craft beer should be shared with your bartenders because their passion or lack there of will be evident while serving your customers. Passion is important because there’s a certain level of knowledge and excitement and if your bartenders are enthusiastic about your latest brew, your customers will be too.

Loyalty programs aren’t necessarily an innovative concept, but they are used by a variety of business ventures for one reason, because they work. Loyalty programs work for two reasons. First, they create an experience worth returning to because you’re rewarded for coming back. Secondly, they offer the feeling of inclusion. Your customers want to feel as though they’re apart of a community of people who share the same love of craft beer.

Creating a loyalty program for your brewpub will not only provide a sense of belonging for your customers, but offering special deals and rewards for their membership is far too enticing to pass up. The first step is to decide what you’re willing and able to offer your returning clients but this also gives you a chance to get creative with your rewards. A few options could include earning a free drought or personal stein when you join, a $0.50 discount on beers excluding happy hour, creating a stamp card rewards system, or earning a free t-shirt every mile marker beer. You could also create members only events such as beer tastings, brewery tours, members dinner, etc. Even if you should decide to instill an initial sign-up fee, the list is endless of how you can reward your loyal customers. The intent is to reward them for their loyalty and the longer they continue to spend their time with you.

With the newly created niche of craft beer enthusiasts, now is the time for you to stake your claim as the go-to brewpub of choice. Developing a great brand and bringing that brand to life with every aspect of your business will help to make an unforgettable experience for your customers.