Mountain Biking & Women

In a few days I’ll be in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. Since it’ll be my first trip there I’m excited to see an area of the planet friends and colleagues often rave about as truly gorgeous. An outdoor paradise. Sign me up!

And it’s because of an invite to present a keynote talk at this conference that I’ll be going. The fine folks at Crankworx initiated the conversation – they want to continue to grow their industry and better serve a broader population. Enter: Marketing to women.

Like some of my other clients, the organizers “stumbled upon” the WEB site and wanted to hear more. Finding out if there was a fit for their conference in the message and insight I could deliver happened next. Suffice to say, it’s looking like an excellent fit. Here’s why.

1. From what my hosts tell me, mountain biking is still majority populated with male enthusiasts.

2. They recognize that women are a significant portion of the population and envision getting more women into the sport and support because of this obvious reason.

3. They recognize that you have to Know Thy Market. Knowing how to market to different population segments is key to success; we’re marketing to women experts, hence the invite.

4. They understand that while they found me via Women Enjoying Beer – and there’s a strong connection of beer and biking – there is much to be gained in bringing in and hiring an expert to address a topic that is universally important, across categories.

5. I get to enter the room on a mountain bike. (Good sports to be sure!)

It’s always refreshing to get to work with people like Jennifer, Nicole and Darren at Crankworx since they see the vision. And as Simon Sinek states, and which I agree with, a vision is something that you need to be able to see.

They want to see the success of their beloved industry; they want to see more people in general come into the fray; and they want to learn how to successfully market to women.

Oh – and I think we may do an extra beer tasting event as well…why not. Join us.

Cheers to all of that! Ride on.

 

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Brought to Task

Occasionally someone challenges me when I bring Pink and Girls to task as it relates to being used in the beer world.

Make no mistake: The use of girls in relation to women and beer is unhelpful, damaging, and not clever.

By definition a girl is a female child, under the age of majority, and sometimes used in an offensive and denigrating manner.

You want equality? Don't call women 'girls.' They aren't.

You want equality? Don’t call women ‘girls.’ They aren’t.

Those who wish to stand up and crow about it being okay are not okay. Feminism is the goal of equality for all – and women intentionally calling themselves girls thinking they’re clever and that they have the right to do so are pushing the cart backwards, whether they want to recognize it or not. Equality will not be accomplished by calling women girls when it suits a certain few.

It wasn’t girls liberation, it was women’s liberation. And plenty of women have and continue to die for equal human rights based on our gender.

I absolutely fail to see how using girl where women should be used is in any way shape or form acceptable. Plus I challenge you back: Tell me how progress can be made by calling women ‘girls.’ No such thing.

Calling women girls lessens their full value as human beings. It doesn’t help reduce domestic violence, it doesn’t help reduce battery, it doesn’t help reduce the symptoms of the 23% wage gap, it doesn’t help get rid of the rampant objectification of women everywhere. Go ahead – tell me it’s okay to call yourself a girl and then want to be treated with full respect. Seriously, it’s unbelievable to me how women defend their position and desire to be called a girl.

And for the record, were not talking about femininity here. That’s different.

If you want to rant, go for it. Go do it somewhere else. I’m not interested in anyone – especially women – defending women being addressed as girls.

I believe in gender equity. I believe that everything we call ourselves matters – in every forum, that the use of colors in reference to a gender is out of whack and I’ve no time for women who will stick their chest out to accuse me of not supporting women.

Get over yourselves  and your attitude and get with the equity program. Women are women, they aren’t girls, chicks, babes, broads, gals, or anything else. They’re women.

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American Craft Beer Week

What is Craft to you?

Actually the best definition or parameters to me are to make something that is well crafted. With a nod to my friend and colleague Marty Jones, paying attention to the care and creation of something is far more important than an end label. I hate labels and much prefer and endorse a wider lens.

Cheers!

Cheers!

When you put though forth – before the process begins – when you craft something with care, then I can support that. To simply label something if it fits with someones definition (wherever they chose to come up with it) isn’t holding any water for me. What if the product fitting the definition definers is really poor quality, what if it’s sexist or ageist or racist? Does that still allow it to fit. With a blanket label, yes it does.

That’s a bad deal to me and negates some of the authority of the self designated governing body.

Craft can be whatever you want it to be to you. It’s like art. And good taste. And delicious. We can only define those for ourselves.

Cheers to well crafted goods, products and services. I can live with that – so happy American Craft Beer Week, and whatever it is to you.

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Benefits Of Having Your Beer In Communities

Fresh from the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference and soon headed for the Craft Beverage Expo, here are 5 reasons why beer – and perhaps your brand of beer – is good for communities.

1. A beer production facility is good for local economics. The equipment, infrastructure, and relationships a brewery creates is real money for towns and cities. Find ways to support your local breweries like contacting your mayor and council to tell them as much.

2. Beer has always been a family oriented beverage. If we look to America in the 1800’s, we see a huge immigration of hard-working people who moved to the country to realize their own dreams; many of them were to open and operate responsible breweries. Those bucolic images of families on the lawns? Many came from the biergartens of Europe.

Beer = good for communities

Beer = good for communities

3. Beer makers pay serious taxes. Said another way, those who make beer are willing to pay taxes to do and make what they love. They pay an additional tax – excise tax – that few manufacturers have to.

4. Beer brings people together. As a highly socially oriented beverage, beer is best enjoyed in the company of others. People in groups are pretty good at self moderating, watching out for each other and tempering potential ill effects of alcohol.

5. Beer complements food – and therefore the restaurant business. With 4 primary ingredients to start, beer is a flavor pairing opportunity waiting to happen. It’s fun to mix and pair, match and try.

For those who are scared of alcohol in general or turned off my beer in specific, reconsider why you feel that way. If you’re and adult and can make up your own mind, choose to support beer. You don’t have to drink it to enjoy the positive benefits.

In moderation, with the true goal of enjoyment and not drunkenness, beer brings a great deal to our communities in America and the world over.

Cheers ~

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Making Beer Education Happen

What would have to happen and what would have to be true to make education happen?

In the case of women + beer: simple opportunity.

Ginger & Roger, founder of Prud'homme, in Toronto

Ginger & Roger, founder of Prud’homme, in Toronto

Opportunity and education combine to form a powerful purpose and progress. When you combine them they will generate positive synergy and get more women into beer. Here’s how.

  1. Women and men all enjoy flavor. Educate about flavor first, not style or brand or anything else. Flavor is where it starts.
  2. Create and provide opportunities for women to learn about beer. Single gender events, when done correctly , are incredibly successful. For females this means no pink, girl/gal/babe/ladies/chicks. For men this means no macho crap, sports themes or tools.
  3. People want and seek out educational opportunities. Make them happen. Whether you give tours for 30 minutes or 4 hour classes, education feeds the hungry mind.

Beer education has been heightened by various programs. With a nod to Cicerone and Prud’homme, these visionaries behind the value and progress education generates have bred a whole new batch of businesses bringing high quality opportunity to the masses. This is a good thing, as Martha would say.

Education. Opportunity. Two things that will move us forward. Like I say, love and money comes and goes – education lasts forever.

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Half the Population Is Interested in Beer

What would happen if half the population disappeared?

IMG_3070Well, for one thing, beer makers would struggle if not flounder. See the thing is, is that beer is made all over the globe by women and men alike. It’s drank everywhere far and near, no matter where you are. And to eliminate women from the beer equation would spell doom and failure.

  • Fact: Women enjoy all flavors and kinds of beer.
  • Fact: Women have always been involved in beer.

Over half of the global human population is female. Really.

So it’s time to beer makers, retailers, and distributors to really SEE what they’re missing. Women.

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The Cred of TED(x)

“We’d love to hire you, but you don’t have any experience.” – too many potential employers to count said to fresh college grads post interviews for their first jobs

“Really…you’re speaking at a TED(x) event? Well, let me see what I can do [now that I know that]…” – a few prospective clients, yet uncommitted

Ever had one of those experiences above happen to you?

What is it about credibility? What is it about supposed experience in doing something that makes the selection of someone who has not done the requested task or attempted feat all the sudden credible and desirable?

Is this starfish less credible as a starfish since it's out of water?

Is this starfish less credible as a starfish since it’s out of water?

Fresh out of college, I remember hearing that first line too much. Why are you telling me this? If you were interested enough to interview me, and go through all those hoops to do so, why did you just waste my time and yours and get hopes up only to tell me you had no intention to hire me in the first place? It’s wrong to set someone up for that kind of scenario – in all directions and for many reasons.

Innovators and explorers didn’t interview nor ask for permission. They went for it.

As a soon to be TEDxNapaValley speaker (4/12/15), it’s baffling to me that when I mention that I’ll be speaking, new found interest rears it’s head. Really, they say….well, that changes things.

How? How does it change things when one minute before we were talking about the issue I called you about, and now you’re interested. What shifted? What changed in those short 60 seconds before I shared that nugget with you?

Exactly nothing changed.

What changed in your mind is that I now have some sort of mystically attractive element. Now you want to see what them choosing me was all about. Now I’m credible.

It’s fascinating and maddening all at once.

And I’m the same person I was 60 seconds ago.

It’s like beer companies and the sales within the industry which are starting to happen more, and more publicly. The beer isn’t changing. In fact if the “smaller” company is being bought by a “bigger” one, then the beer quality may likely improve. Small isn’t where credibility lies. Credibility lies in the execution of vision of the people in the organization.

The cred of ted. I’ll circle back post event to let you know how it went and share the video.

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Realities of Gender Equity

I’ve realized in putting my TEDxNapaValley talk together (to be delivered 4/12/15) that Gender Equity is a noble goal. And while everyone may say they’re all for equal rights and equal opportunity, they really aren’t.

Self test: When’s the last time you proudly called yourself a feminist?

Feminism = equality for all. If you’re not a feminist you’re a sexist.

Self test: Do you think it’s okay to call women girls?

Calling a woman a girl is denigrating, disrespectful and infantilizing. I’m appalled at how many women do this to themselves, with no thought to it and certainly no consideration of the larger picture for all females.

Feminism starts at home. Say it aloud: “I am a feminist.” Get comfortable with it, get stronger with the delivery and use it often.

You’re not all for equity and equal rights if you don’t.

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If You Think You Can

If you think something can be done a certain way, go make it happen. – L. Fogelman

  • What’s holding you back?
  • What will make you dig in?

If you’re waiting for a safety net, you’ll wait til you die. Don’t wait that long.

The key to leaping, is that you have to LEAP. Then the net will appear. The leap is both literal – taking action, and figurative – mentally engaging. Letting go to move forward.

What do you have that has the sizzle to it? – L. Fogelman

Use your sizzle to move you forward. Sizzle only happens when you apply heat. Action. Movement. Fire.

Go make something happen today.

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Smart Partnering

Today’s post is inspired by Loren Fogelman.

I’ve gotten to know Loren over the last 4+ years and am so glad for the relationship. She’s sharp, well spoken and focused. She’s taught me a lot – both incidentally and on purpose – and I was flattered and pleased to be invited by her to collaborate on a professional education series.

Loren sharing her magic at a recent workshop on Vision.

Loren sharing her magic at a recent workshop on Vision.

With 2 down, 1 to go and more in planning, here’s what I can tell you about well matched partnerships.

  1. There’s no ego involved. We both want the others’ success and know ours will come with it.
  2. They are focused on the guests, end goals, and bigger picture and possibilities.
  3. They’re big positive thinkers.
  4. They help you learn, challenge you helpfully, and are complementary to you.
  5. You bring all the same to them.

I’d encourage you to visit her site, read her book (I’ve got my autographed copy, highlighter and pencil handy while reading), and consider her services.

FYI – we’re happy to take the show on the road. Contact me to hire us to give your company and groups the high value education like this Lunch and Learn.

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Creativity = Business Success

How do beer and chocolate go together? What’s the business element? How do you combine seemingly unrelated ideas productively?

Check this out:

http://www.kdrv.com/chocolate-fest-is-a-treat-for-businesses/

Go connect some dots.

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Beer & Chocolate Tasting at the 2015 Oregon Chocolate Festival

Mmmmmm…Chocolate and Beer – what a lovely coupling!

Enthusiastic OR Chocolate Fest Beer + Chocolate class attendees

Enthusiastic OR Chocolate Fest Beer + Chocolate class attendees

So went two successful highly tasty and entertaining classes to that end last weekend at the 11th Annual Oregon Chocolate Festival. Karolina Lavagnino, Sales & Marketing Director of the Neuman Hotel Group, started the fest 11 years ago to create excitement and business in the shoulder season between winter and spring.

I started giving the tasting classes 4 years ago with immediate success. The rooms fill quickly with enthusiastic people, open to trying new combinations and thinking in new ways about what we eat and drink.

This year we were moved into an outdoor tent to seat up to 65+, up from the 40 seats in previous years. And WOW!! The rush to get in felt like a concert was going down. Both days our fantastic security pro Stephanie helped us with the flow, and Ben, Dana and Christa (crew from the Springs) were spot on with their assistance.

Here’s the menu we enjoyed:

Ginger & Stephanie ready for the crowds!

Ginger & Stephanie ready for the crowds!

Saturday: Oakshire Brewing Beers with Dagoba Chocolates

  • Amber + Milk
  • Watershed IPA + Lavender Blueberry
  • Espresso Stout + Dark

Sunday: Standing Stone Brewing Beers with Dagoba Chocolates

Pairing beer and chocolate is so easy, fun, and simple that it’s amazing more people are new to it. Experiment at home: get chocolates and beer – a variety of both – and invite some friends over to sip, nibble, and explore.

The best palate starts with an open mind.

See you at the fest next year!!

  • Thanks to all the energetic and very fun guests. Come see us next year – and know we’re available to hire for your private and business events as well.
  • Thanks to the Hotel Crew. Everyone from security and service, organizers to staff is super helpful, upbeat, and competent.
  • Thanks to Sean Marc Nipper, Reel House Films Filmmaker, and Erika Bishop, Producer, for their efforts Sunday in capturing the fun on film.
  • Thanks to My Fine Husband for his assistance and unflagging support.

 

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Travel, Travel Everywhere….Upcoming Happenings Including TEDxNapaValley

Join us for the following upcoming workshops and events.

  1. Oregon Chocolate Festival 3/6 – 8/15

For the fourth year running Ginger has been invited back to conduct beer and chocolate tastings at this flavor filled festival.

Saturday: 1 – 2 pm featuring Oakshire Brewing beer + Dagoba Chocolate Sunday 2 – 3 pm featuring Standing Stone Brewing beer = Dagoba Chocolate

Pouring BeerIt’s a pleasure to fill the rooms, provide lively education about beer and chocolate as edible partners, and be at the lovely historic Ashland Springs Hotel. Fest founder and organizer Karolina and her crew put forth a worthwhile, relaxing and delicious event.

Full details can be found here.

  1. Ashland Chamber of Commerce Business Workshop 3/11/15

Dana and the team at the Ashland Chamber are putting on an afternoon of 3 business-focused sessions – full details can be found by clicking here.

Ginger will present Say What?! 10 Do’s and Don’ts To Amplify Your Marketing. Members and non-members are encouraged to attend.

  1. Business Builders workshop #2: How Goal Setting Is Killing Your Success.
IMG_2804

CiderCon Chicago 2015

Fest Ginger at Taste small Gail Oberst Powerhouse Loren Fogelman and Ginger have partnered for this big value series, with Loren leading this session. Words of Wealth started the series and #3 will be Pow!! Right in the Wallet, the Power of the Customer Experience lead by Ginger 4/9/15.

Info and registration information is available here.

  1. WESO Showcase 3/12/15

WESO is all about supporting women business entrepreneurs. For the 13th year in a row, their signature Showcase event is happening in Medford, OR and welcomes women and men who want to keep growing their business endeavors. Set up for successful education, networking, fun and support of a local charity, this free 3-hour event will be chockfull of value.

Agenda and details are here.

  1. TEDxNapaValley 4/12/15

Ginger is thrilled and honored to be among those selected to present at TEDxNapaValley 2015. The theme of the event is Redefining Success and she’s speaking about how Gender Equity supports the theme. Hosted at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Center, 14 speakers will be presenting.

Tickets and full details are available here.

  1. Marketing Beer To Women 4/14/15

Delivering signature and singular research data on the female consumer, Ginger is conducting a action packed info filled education session immediately prior to CBC this year in Portland, OR. All people and businesses that realize the enormous impact the female buyer and consumer has on the beer industry should register and attend this event. Limited seating.

Sign up today with this link.

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Write Your Life Story

If you were given a day to write your life story, how would it read?

A story is the gift of sharing experiences, trying to put into words what you’ve seen, been through, and enjoyed. It’s the journey of the ups and downs, ins and outs and the rest of the platitudes that include making our way through life as we know it.

So how easy would it be to write your life story?

What do you suppose her story is?

What do you suppose her story is?

If you’re a brand – beer or otherwise – what’s your life story? How did the brand come to be? What does the company stand for and what does it not tolerate? Why do you have a story to begin with and who may be interested in it?

The story is the core of a successful endeavor. Being able to tell the story succinctly when needed, in expanded version when appropriate, and hitting the core principles of what you and the brand are all about is the story.

Go on. I challenge you to write your story today.

Let it flow, don’t get balled up in grammar and spelling, cohesiveness or form. Simply start writing. Sleep on what you write, giving it a day to ferment. Come back to it tomorrow and read it, adjust, add, and keep writing.

Successful, dare I say ‘great’, brands are the ones with a compelling story who are able to communicate that story clearly.

So what’s your story, morning glory? I’m interested. Send me your brand stories at ginger@womenenjoyingbeer.com

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Training and Education: Are They The Same Thing?

I’ve heard people say ‘training is for dogs, education is for people.‘ While I think my dogs would be fine with this statement, I’m not.

What is the definition of training? What’s the definition of education? Are they interchangeable like many people exercise them to seemingly be? Or are they in fact different?

Mirriam (Webster) tells us this:

Education

: the action or process of teaching someone especially in a school, college, or university

: the knowledge, skill, and understanding that you get from attending a school, college, or university

: a field of study that deals with the methods and problems of teaching

Training

: a process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for an art, profession, or job

: the process by which an athlete prepares for competition by exercising, practicing, etc.

Are these people being educated or in training?

Are these people being educated or in training?

I agree with Mirriam. Me thinks they are different…and yet we do use them interchangeably. Why is that? Perhaps because no one has put any sort of grounding appendage down firmly to state “this is only what education can be, this is absolutely what training is.”

In a way it doesn’t matter. In another way it does. The Power Of Words does make it matter.

As a professional educator and trainer, I want to know the difference. It alters and guides my perspective, goals, and tactics to accomplishment. Having just given another workshop on the Power Of Words, I know in fact that they do differ and the difference is important and distinct however seemingly innocuous or subtle. The difference is still there. Otherwise they’d share the same exact definition. 

Cheers to education and training. Employ them both as tools and partners for success.

p.s. Here’s a thoughtful video about the power of words

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How Do You Deepen Relationships?

In the beer world, everyone hugs. Relationships may start with a handshake – and they quickly graduate to hugging. Everyone hugs. Because everyone has a regard for everyone else, almost without exception.

So do you hug customers who support your beer business? If so, how and why? If no, why not?

Hugging's good.

Hugging’s good.

Beyond the first and foremost making-sure-it’s-appropriate, hugs are a remarkable and personal way to build connections. Connections build relationships. Hugs build both.

Here are my suggestions for the business week ahead (obviously as appropriate):

  1. Hug your co-workers.
  2. Hug your suppliers, vendors, and service providers – this includes the folks who get your recyclables and trash.
  3. Hug your customers – if a full-on body hug isn’t in order, a side hug is a bit more comfortable for some and totally acceptable. Ask beforehand – it’s a good idea.
  4. Hug yourself for a job well done.

Hugging amps up the endorphins – check this out. Hugging makes people happy, starting with the hugger. Hugging makes the world a happier and more compassionate place.

Start with a handshake. Deepen your relationships with hugs.

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WEB’s Last Vending Fest: KLCC BrewFest

It’s with bittersweetness that we will be ending our run with festivals – popping the bright orange WEB tent, selling high quality goods for women and men, and thus move on to other platforms.

The last fest we will attend with a full line of goods is the KLCC BrewFest, Eugene Oregon

February 6 & 7. It’s a well run, well done, and lots of fun festival supporting their local pubic radio affiliate. Come see us, stock up and take advantage of never before sale prices.

Full festival details can be found here.

NOTE: Women Enjoying Beer is going strong. We’re simply winnowing the retail side of the business to focus more on education, training, speaking and consulting. When you’re in the market for a lively and enthusiastic, engaging and informative speaker, call Ginger at 515.450.7757.  A great variety of people, companies and associations hire us – those who want to improve and increase their bottom line. All referrals are greatly appreciated.

Many thanks to all of the crew over the last 3+ years who’ve dug in and helped (so many to mention!), the fantastic festival partners who’ve made it all run, and of course all the patrons, buyers and supporters. It’s a true highlight to see people at the different beer festivals across the country.

You can still buy some goods on-linehere’s the link to what remains available virtually. The rest will be sold down at the fest.

Cheers to wrapping up one stage and onto the next!

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Nielsen Thinks Women Have Been Addressed per Beer – What Do you Think?

Please read the following conversation and tell us what you think. Take particular note of the very last sentences, which are RED. What say you?

From an actual email exchange.

Part 1: From a professional brewer, 15+ years in the industry

Since I could not listen to the presentation a week ago I just today looked through the presentation you gave. One item certainly caught my attention. On slide X you point out that beer both in general and craft specific skews heavily towards men. On the next slide you show the ethnicity skew towards “white.” Based on the %’s in the 2 charts and population numbers in the U.S. it appears that the bigger opportunity in terms of total number of potential consumers for beer in general and craft in specific is the female market. That said, I am unsure what the index numbers mean and do notice that Hispanics index lower for craft beer than do females as a % of adults. Does that imply more opportunity?

You certainly have to choose a focus with time allotted and so I’m curious why you decided on the Hispanic focus when the larger opportunity appears to be the female market. Does Nielsen gather data on women and beer much like you have with Hispanics and beer? What is your take on the opportunity that women present for growing the beer category?

Thanks for considering my questions.

Part 2: From a VP at Nielsen

Thank you for your thoughtful question.

First off, in terms of the numbers themselves…

  • Hispanics 21+ account for 14.8% of the overall adult population currently, but only 7% of the Craft Beer volume, thus an index of 47
  • Females 21+ account for 52% of the overall adult population currently, but only 28.4% of the Craft Beer volume, thus an index of 55

So, you are right, the BIGGER opportunity in overall size lies with Females; however…

  • While Craft Beer is underdeveloped with Hispanics (that 47 index), Beer overall is NOT  — Hispanics accounts for 16.6% of overall Beer volume (vs that 14.8% of population), so Hispanics drink Beer at levels consistent with their population, just NOT Craft Beer.   That’s one reason why we focused on Hispanics
  • Secondly, if you consider the future growth rates, Hispanics as you likely know, will only become a much larger percentage of the overall population, and a lot of that growth will occur at the younger legal drinking age end – that’s a second reason we focused on Hispanics – the FUTURE potential that lies with Hispanics
  • Thirdly, at Nielsen, we have a Center of Excellence focused on Hispanics, so we know a fair bit about them.

That doesn’t mean that Females aren’t a big opportunity as well… they ARE just based on numbers (way more Females in total than Hispanics in total).  However, they just don’t drink a lot of Beer in general.    On the other hand, we know that Flavored Malt Beverages and Ciders have successfully addressed that opportunity.  And we know from various surveys that certain styles appear more to Women than others.

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