The competition is getting fierce out there! So many breweries are jumping on the bandwagon. It’s sometimes hard for us to figure out who’s who and who’s taking this game seriously. While I love that so many breweries are popping up left right and center, I hate that so many are operating on the “If we build it they will come” mindset. You have to be about more than just making great beer. At this point in the game, everybody knows what Craft Beer is and you’re not going to excite anyone by merely opening your doors. You don’t necessarily need to know what you’re doing, but you need to show people that you’re different from the 150 local breweries around you. In order to keep your fans… fans, you need to give them a reason to rally behind your Brand.
Defend your Brand! Winter is coming
You need a strong brand, you need a unique brand, and you need a brand that’s going to sustain you. If you’re trying to figure things out as you go, you’re not too late, but you should start looking a little further into the future. The decisions you make today will determine your future in the industry, as it’s only getting more competitive. Already we’re seeing Breweries fall to the wayside. It’s not because they are making bad beer (well sometimes it is), it’s because their branding is lacking. No one can relate to them and therefore connect with them on a personal level.
Brand why you do what you do
Apart from making good enough beer, it comes down to branding. It’s a big word in terms of business, but really it all comes down to communicating to your customers why you’re here and what you promise to deliver. I’ve talked to more breweries than I can count. Every Brewery I talk to is passionate about what they do and (for the most part) love what they do. It clearly shows on a personal level. But it doesn’t always come through on a business level. People need to know your visions and why they should keep coming back time and time again.
You’re almost there
What we consumers love about Craft Breweries is that it’s beer made locally and that we as community members can talk to the owners, brewers, servers, or whoever and share our passion for beer. You already have this going for you. Now you need to capitalize. Make your brand strong. Don’t know where to start? First, Ask yourself these seven questions:
- What are your core values? What are the reasons you started this whole crazy thing?
- What is your brewery and why are you here?
- What makes you cool? Why do people walk in your doors?
- Other than Beer, what are you trying to achieve?
- Describe your beer. What do you want people to learn from your beer?
- What role should your brewery play in your customer’s lives?
- Describe your competition. How are you different?
Once you have the answers to these questions and have seriously thought out the answers, you’re well on your way to finding your path to carving out your niche!
As always, if you need some help or want a second opinion – fire me an email at email@example.com and I’ll be happy to help you out!