Beer branding

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Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

18 November 2020

Forget the breweries, only beer branding works

Having worked with many craft beer brands, we at Stealing Share know many have one hang-up when it comes to stealing market share. They believe their breweries – not their beer branding – is the key to success.

Oh, many of their breweries are cool. But we’ve had many craft beer brands tell us over and over again that people cherish their beer from the brewery experience. Really?

beer brandingWe are often dumbfounded at that opinion. Especially when some of those beer brands are regional or even national. Who even knows about the brewery?

Now, some breweries are taking part in Small Brewery Sunday, promoted by the The Brewers Association and being held the Sunday after Thanksgiving. In the COVID-19 era, many breweries are on the verge of collapse.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with Small Brewery Sunday. But it’s the wrong focus. Just promoting the day won’t help breweries as pandemic infections increase and states consider new limitations.

“If your branding is aligned with the most emotional drivers in the market – and the beer category IS complicated – then people will seek you out. And even consider a trip to your brewery.”

Make beer branding your focus

Beer has always fascinated us. It’s a category with so many players it’s hard to gain preference. It’s also a category teaching drinkers to always look for something new. Especially among craft beers. To increase sales, they trot out as many seasonal and different tasting beers as they can. Which tells drinkers to ask for something new.

Again, not inherently wrong in and of itself. But that approach taught target audiences to shun brand loyalty. It’s not “I want this beer.” Now, it’s “What do you have?”

You can learn more about our thoughts on beer marketing in our latest web story, found here. But if those brewers, even small ones, want to survive, it’s their own brands that need reconsidering. Not their breweries.

If your beer branding is aligned with the most emotional drivers in the market – and the beer category IS complicated – then people will seek you out. And even consider a trip to your brewery.

 

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