Beerlines

Insights on beer marketing & PR by a beer-war vet

17 August

Five PR tips in building craft beer brands

In the last beerlines post I interviewed PR Warrior Trevor Young as a vodcast. We discussed the current state of marketing communications for craft beer brands.

Here are five key pints points
that emerged from that interview:–

ONE: CONSISTENCY ONLINE & OFFLINE

  • an essential cornerstone of building a brand over time is consistency
  • the more you tweak and vary messages and positioning the less consistency develops
  • without consistency your brand finds it difficult to get any critical mass out there in consumer land
  • get the story right at the start so you don’t have to tweak – either online or offline
  • know your story and key messages cold!
  • retell that central songsheet consistently with consistency

TWO: PUT A HUMAN FACE TO YOUR BRAND

  • it’s what craft brewers can do that the big guys can’t
  • your brand fans want to know the individual humans behind the brand:  less the cold-filtered techy stuff
  • offline, craft brewers are clearly pressing the flesh whenever they can. Get that personality and humanity to come through online as well

THREE: TELL A STORY

  • linked to point two: every culture loves stories
  • develop and clarify a story – the story – that warmly and honesty tells the tale of your brand and brewery: warts and all (ok .. so maybe not with the warts)
  • fans want a real story so avoid spin and over-positive gushy stuff: leave that to the big brewers
  • the story needs consistency: see point one

FOUR: CREATE A CONVERSATION ABOUT CRAFT BEER

  • ‘celebrate the genre’ and make your website stickier at the same time
  • cater for the broader interest of craft beer lovers who come to your website
  • if your conversation is all about your brand I’ll soon start looking over your shoulder and finding someone else to chat to
  • create a dialogue about all things craft brewing – put a broad range of crafty interesting stuff in there to keep my interest

FIVE: DEEPEN THE CONNECTION WITH CURRENT FANS

  • turn current fans into vocal ambassadors
  • marketers often focus on ‘new fans = more sales’ at the expense of ‘current fans + a bit of lovin’ = more fans’
  • existing fans can become passionate vocal fans if they know you’re really interested in them
  • a good conversation with a current fan – or better still, a lapsed one – is gold!

Cheers!