MANY BREWERIES HAVE THE NOBLE GOAL OF GETTING MORE PEOPLE TO DRINK GOOD BEER, BUT IT’S IMPORTANT TO REALIZE THAT YOUR AUDIENCE ISN’T EVERYONE—IT CAN’T BE. SO, WHO DO YOU WANT (AND DON’T WANT) DRINKING YOUR BEER?
More often than not when branding a brewery, we’ll hear that “everyone” is their audience. “We want to be inclusive!” This is one of our favorite industry tropes, along with, “Oh, we don’t have any competition.”
While a lot of craft breweries set out to get more people to drink local beer, it’s important to realize that your audience isn’t everyone. It can’t be. By telling a compelling story through branding and positioning, you’re going to connect with a certain kind of person. And if you do it right—through great beer, branding, marketing and service—they’ll be your biggest fans and evangelists.
In fact, if you really do this right, you may even turn some people off. But that’s ok, that’s part of this. You can’t be everything to everyone.
The same beer that interests a 55 year-old, seasoned home brewer may not resonate with a 22 year-old lady who’s just getting into better beer. Figure out how you differ from other breweries, figure out who’ll go crazy for your experience, and start delivering. These are your people. This is your tribe.
By trying to be everything to everyone, you’ll end up with watered-down messaging, and even worse, watered-down beer. You’ll become bland—another “me-too” brewery. And who wants that?
Fernson Brewing Co. out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota identified a clearly defined (underserved and thirsty) regional market before opening their doors. See how we helped them tell this story here.
What type of beer gets you excited?
If you only brew beer you’re passionate about, people will take notice. Your beer will be better and this care will directly translate to your excited customers.
Do your homework
What other breweries are open (or opening) in your market? What makes them special? Who buys from them? Do these breweries target the promiscuous craft beer drinkers or are they offering more niche styles?
Who do you want (and don’t want) drinking your beer?
Do you want to reach craft beer newbies with a refreshing cream ale or target grizzled craft beer vets looking for high-octane, bourbon barrel one-off experiments? Your branding and design (and of course, your beer) can directly influence who buys your product.