It may seem that a good craft beer may need no marketing if it catches the fancy of a few influential beer drinkers.
Not exactly true, however.
The group known as “influencers” are a very important demographic whose attention must be captured but a wider net must also be cast and a lot more people induced to try the product if it is to gain real notoriety and success.
Here are a few ways to accomplish this goal:
Coin a catchy name
Craft beer drinkers are a funny lot... and justifiably proud of the fact!
If you can catch their fancy with a easily-remembered, punnily-crafted name, you will be far ahead of the game in terms of traditional marketing.
In addition, a memorable logo and catchphrase are doubly effective as they not only engage the eye but also the ear.
In short, you never know, an outrageous name may even gain a cult following and develop without any more input from you.
Go “grass roots”
Take your product directly to the public.
Free tastings at bars, liquor stores, restaurants and even supermarkets are a great way to start.
It is sometimes difficult to gain access to these venues and it is usually a net loss proposition in the short run but well worth the time, effort and money if you can get the word out that your product exists.
Cultivate these folks as they will often become your most die-hard supporters.
Promote, promote, promote
By simply having your name displayed in a bar – prominently on a wall or casually near the cash register – can be enough to cause a customer to make a purchase.
You should definitely devote a small portion of your marketing budget towards purchasing beer coasters, illuminated signs and other bar necessities that sport your name. The bars will appreciate the gesture and be more inclined to push your product.
Do not forget to be social online
This advice does not mean to hit the local pubs except as mentioned above.
Instead, your marketing team needs to engage potential customers on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest – even LinkedIn can be of come benefit if you are looking to engage potential investors.
Any social engagement is worthwhile as it builds upon itself with little or no effort on your part.
The last two generations of online users have become decidedly more mobile in their interaction that their predecessors.
It is irrelevant whether this is due to new technology or a paradigm switch in how they view the online market, your marketing team has got to get aboard on this latest advertising trend.
All of your promotions and events must be mobile-friendly or they will simply not gather as much response as you would like.
Cross market with your peers
It is essentially impossible for a craft beer maker to outproduce or outmarket such competitors as InBev – the owner of the Budweiser and numerous other brands – or SAB Miller.
Instead, craft beer makers should band together and cross market each others' products. It may seem counterproductive in the short run but it works wonders when a consumer acquires a taste for truly fine beer.