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Before you even think about brewing one drop of beer, you should create a marketing strategy.
This should be part of your business plan and requires you to know who your customer is and what your channels of distribution are. Your marketing and branding will say a lot about who you are and what kind of quality you stand for.
Trying to navigate the communication sector to find the right media channel can be a daunting task. Traditional channels are disappearing and becoming less relevant for the new beer consumer. Television and radio generally send a signal of success, but in turn your consumer might feel as though you are too big for them. You may not want to employ these mediums until quite some time in the future. If your initial focus is your local market, take a look at what unique, community-based marketing opportunities exist to help generate word-of-mouth, such as sampling events, sponsorships or advertising in smaller, local publications.
Your website needs to be simple and inviting. It should be extremely easy to update – as frequently as on a daily basis. There are now many easy-to-use website development programs such as Wordpress you can use to build and maintain your site, without investing an exorbitant amount on a designer.
Social media is a worthwhile part of your marketing strategy, particularly when starting out. Being on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are critical for the modern brewer, although you may find success in other social media as well. Submit quality information and images in a timely fashion and you will draw people to you – but keep in mind that you may need to invest in promoted posts in order to help build that initial baseline of awareness.
This is a place where many businesses fail. Many companies believe that everyone needs wearables like t-shirts, hats, bottle openers, pens and so on. While it’s nice to have these items available, you should exercise caution on the amount of investment for each of these items. Try not to give them away without a purpose. Ideally, they should carry a ‘cool’ factor and be sold. Attaching a dollar value often drives up the image of the product and it’s not taken for granted. Critical pieces of merchandise in the on-premise sector include glassware that has been thoughtfully chosen and designed, tap handles and coasters.
Remember, your marketing strategy should create an emotional bond with your consumer. Take your time and create a plan that will drive interest and sales.
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