What Women Want

Since my speciality is authentically and accurately marketing beer to women, I get

Minneapolis Focus Group, May 2009

Minneapolis Focus Group, May 2009

asked over and over “What do women want?”.

While I am unable to answer that question on the big scale, I am able to offer some insight on the female consumer beer front.

So far, I’ve identified over 30 categories, specifically (and growing) that women are talking about in relation to beer. Everything from health & beer (needs a ton of enlightenment) to where women drink to flavor & taste issues.

Get in touch when you want to find out how to better reach the 50.9% of the population that happens to be female.

There’s potential coming out your mash tun.

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It's "Women" & "Female", Not "Ladies"

One immediately recognizable constant in the work I do is that women tell me they do not like being called Ladies. It’s old fashioned (in a not so good

What not to do

What not to do

way), fuddy-duddy, feels like a cheezy bar is advertising to get men who’ll troll if they host a “ladies night”.

So don’t do it.

Use Women and/or Females. Not girls (underage, under 12, infantile, condescending), not broads (harsh, cheap), not babes (do I even have to say why??).

Women, Females is accurate – appropriate age connoted, respectful, universal, not insulting to anyone.

Simply relate it to the important females in your life – whether you’re a female or a male. Would you treat them with disrespect? If the answer is no, then turn it about when you advertise and market.

This is really important – pay attention.

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Good Example

Here’s a good example of a definition in a website format.

Wrapped Full Sale Session Lager bottles

Wrapped Full Sale Session Lager bottles

Most women in the focus groups I conduct (and I find it’s true with many men as well in conversation) are unfamiliar or unsure of what specific industry terms mean. “Craft”, “microbrewery”, “brew pub” – they all need constant further clarification for the average consumer.

This is not a gender issue – it’s an expert mentality issue. Don’t use jargon. Get out of your expert mentality – you’re selling a product to the average consumer. And like any averages, there are more knowledgeable and less knowledgeable people…aim for the average where definitions are concerned. You’ll never insult someone by offering a definition that is non-condescending. They’ll either confirm they know (which solidifies their enthusiasm) or learn.

Definitions could be used for a solid pre-shift, a fun piece of wall art, or a basis of a contest – “how many can you inform?!”.

Just be sure you do something about it.

Define, educate, improve the customer experience. Everyone reaps the benefits.

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Follow Up From Yesterday

One more thing from yesterday’s idea stream…

When you train staff, employees, associates, distributors, whoever – make sure you compare in a reasonable way.

Example: do you compare a lager your have on tap that less people may be familiar with with Budweiser? If it’s accurate, fine. If is not, not fine.

Let me ask you this on that note – would you compare your ground beef burger to McDonald’s?

Bad and inaccurate comparisons are damaging all around.

Message: Make sure comparisons are accurate. Better yet – learn and teach how to describe each beer at it stands on its own. Describe flavors, foods it goes well with and the why.

VOILA!! Give your beers the respect they deserve. Give your customers good education by properly educating your staff first.

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Here’s a good post by Amy. She’s right on on several points. One of my favorite excerpts:

Educate your staff about beer. I don’t care if they all hate beer; if you have it on tap, your staff should know what it is. They should be able to describe a Kölsch and how Schlafly’s compares to Reissdorf’s. That goes for your wine selection as well. There’s no reason I should hear “ummm… let me go ask” when I ask about a new beer on tap and what it is. Sell me your products!!”

p1020395Education is one of the easiest, most efficient, highest return aspects to your business you can do well. Research tells me this over and over and over…

What are you waiting for?

5 minutes, 2 minutes, 2 hours. Start where you can (although this should have been part of your basic business plan) and get to it. You will reap rewards – happier more competent staff selling more beers to happier more educated customers spending more money on your beer more often. Brew. Repeat.

Well done Amy – I’ll buy the first pint when I get to town.

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IPA Education

Jody & I enjoying a good beer in Montana

Jody & I enjoying a good beer in Montana

This post covers the story of IPA well – India Pale Ale. It’s a great fun educational opportunity – which women have told me, indirectly and directly over and over and over is important in purchasing habits and developing buying patterns.

When you educate, you create knowledge, you create buy in and buy of (your beers).

Host an IPA event – no “ladies night” though – that’s a no no. Please – women or females.

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The Mirrored Window

The Mirrored Window is an excellent resource if you’re into focus groups – conducting them specifically. Judith Langer is passionate about what she does and shares it well in this book.

Good read with a good beer.

Thanks Judith!

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Did you get to enjoy Savor this past weekend? Unfortunately I was not there (this beer-foodyear) – hoping to go next year.

Beer awareness and de-demonizing beer is a good battle I plan to continue to help fight.

Beer – just like one bad snowmobiler, one bad teacher or one bad apple – is not the devil. It’s the one ‘baddie’, not the whole group. Over the years people have come to blame beer as a scape goat. Untrue. (Look instead to the corrupt sheepherder.)

Indeed, we all need to take FULL responsibility for our own actions, and the consequences of those actions.

Savor, I believe, is all about raising awareness that beer is a premium, affordable luxury. That, incidentally and happily, helped America grow and thrive.

Hats off, I say! Savor your beer (don’t guzzle or slam it) and you’ll be making progress. Beer is tasty, luscious, refreshing, satiating beverage. Enjoy it as such.

Savor it.

Photo coutesy of Flickr by lendandec14

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This I Know To Be True

Education leads to Awareness.

Awareness leads to Change.

So – how important is education to you? To your business model? To your future success and survival?

Are you aware? When’s the last time you brought someone in to rally the troops, really provide some good information, refresh, reinforce? Someone to raise awareness, educate, incite change?

Now’s the time.

the p.s. here is ‘what are you waiting for??’

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One Of The Best

There are umpteen beer festivals every year. And each of them is deserving in their own place, context, reason & season. Many are fundraisers – like the one I just

Enthusiasts at the 2008 GABF

Enthusiasts at the 2008 GABF

attended in Stillwater MN (Ala Rotary). All are great opportunities.

The Great American Beer Festival is one of my personal favorites. Why?

Well, I first went with my boyfriend to the 2003 festival. It was a HUGE eye opener. I had started dating him several months before, he’s a professional brewer so it was a very fun, slightly overwhelming indoctrination of beer. Wow.

Since then, I have attended just about every year, with my Husband (aforementioned boyfriend) and friends. Every time it’s fun, educational, and a terrific place to people watch. The souvenir tasting glasses you receive when you attend are a great reminder when you’re back home, thinking about good beers.

I’d encourage you to attend a variety of festivals this year. The people who put them on are in earnest, the brewers who attend (usually donate their beers) are eager to tell you more about them, and you’ll meet some great folks. Who you’ll most likely see at another festival again.

So if you go, look me up – we’ll enjoy a good beer together. (I’ll also be at the PBS meeting.)


p.s. LOVE the Madison WI festival too…then there’s…

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What Not To Do

Here’s a perfect example of an uneducated, uninformed direction.

Quite unbelievable when you think about it. How could a company that seems to be so progressive, on the edge, screw this up so badly??

Did they talk to their target market AT ALL?? Did they ask them what they wanted (not through the Dell lens or the expert lens of the mens lens) – obviously not.

Don’t be this example. Or this one – even worse!!! YIKES!!!

It’s not just an “oops!” – it’s potentially fatal and very damaging at the least.

It’s absolutely mind boggling to me that a company would put forth so much effort, and money, and be so terribly ill-informed and ignorant on purpose. It should be mind boggling to you too.

Still shaking my head…

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Day 4

p10202561Thanks to Erik for posting on the days events April 24th – appreciate it.

Check out our comment banter on his blog for a little more…I always appreciate those who engage in dialogue vs. monologue.

I’d agree with you again Erik in that I wish there had been WAY more time to go in depth. This is the proverbial and literal tip of the tip of the iceberg.

Let me know when we can connect, Erik – the beers will be on me.


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California Small Brewers Association

If you’re a ‘small brewer’ and are located in California perhaps we’ll have the pleasure of meeting up at the CSBA meeting this next Tuesday, May 19th.

The honor of presenting at one of their semi annual meeting has been given to me by the group and their Executive Director, Tom McCormick. A big thank you for the opportunity to be of service to the industry that I am passionate about.

Looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and meeting new ones who will hopefully become familiar.

Call upon me when I may be of service to your guild, organization, business and group to address accurate and authentic marketing of craft/beer to female consumers. It’s an enormously undertapped market segment (gender is the incidental identifier) and a huge business opportunity.

How is your beer and brand relevent to women?

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Ginger: “You’ll get another chance.”

Jim: “Yes, but I didn’t get this one.”

To my good friend Jim, who is sipping Belgians, in Belgium right now, hats off.

Chances to me are happenstance, unpredictable in every way. Risks are calculated, anticipatory.

And I sure don’t want to let Jim or anyone else who wants to enjoy a good beer miss a chance again if I can help it.

Listen to the beer when it chants “take a chance…Opportunity awaits. Nothing to loose.

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Customer Experience Workshop Offering

The Power Of the Customer Experience

This particular workshop session is designed for individuals & small groups (up to 6-8 per company) – a larger group session made of of lots of different businesses.

Here’s your opportunity to attend, refresh yourself and enjoy the company of other engaged, motivated, smart people who also understand the full value of the Customer Experience.

Call me or email me by Friday May 1st to reserve your seat.

Only $30/per person for some energizing professional continued development. ($25 if you pay in advance by May 1st)

  1. Details:
  2. Location: First National Bank, 405 5th Street, Ames, IA.
  3. Parking: Please park in the street (spaces are plentiful & meters are cheap) to respect  the use of the banks customer parking for First National’s banking customers.
  4. Wednesday May 6th, 9:30 am – 11:00 am. Please be prompt.
  5. RSVP’s needed: due by May 1st; this email address or call 515.450.7757

Thank you very much – Hope to see you the 6th!


The Power Of The Experience
is a participatory workshop offered by Snap!
about the Customer Experience through the vehicle of You

Dynamically Covering:

  1. Good Customer Experiences & Poor Customer Experiences
  2. Handling Less Than Ideal Customer Situations
  3. Applying Techniques & Best Practices
  4. The Effects of practicing Best Practices
  5. The Effects of Poor Practices
  6. Key phrases and words to avoid
  7. Specifics on how to handle Less Than Ideal People situations
  8. How to find or generate an answer to questions you may not have the answers for

Definitions Covered:

  1. Customer Service
  2. Customer Experience
  3. Types of Customers
  4. Adopting a Servant Mentality

If you want your dollars to really matter, this is no average workshop. Think of it as the anti-dry-and-boring-workshop workshop.

Just ask Matt Thompson, Dean of Student Services at Southwestern Community College http://www.swcciowa.edu/ . Snap! was in Creston, IA, home of SWCC early this spring & presented the workshop twice. By the next morning the college president had come by Matt’s office, stating she had heard so many great things about it that she wanted to already plan for the next workshop.

Can you afford not to stay in tune with the best customer experience you can offer?
Call me today to set up a time – let’s talk about it.

P.S. Sharing the cost with others makes your investment stretch even farther. Get a group together – with other businesses, service clubs, organizations, and groups.

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Still On Adrenaline


The Craft Brewers Conference is over for 2009 – and the pulse goes on. What an incredible experience to enjoy the company of so many remarkable people, quaff great beers, eat sea shore fare, and really connect.

Oh – and the fact I got the opportunity to present which was fantastic! “Where’s the Other 50%?! Developing & Serving the Female Craft Beer Enthusiast (Consumer) Market” I’ve gotten positive, specific feedback (more always welcome if you were in the room for it).

So for the moment – whilst I do a bit of catching up, THANK YOU!

Prolific & hearty thanks to all the attendees who were open to meeting, talking, conversing and in general keeping the Craft Beer movement healthy and going forward.

Check out my CBC Special package here. I’ll be putting together another pricing offering – a Guild focused package to help guilds offer more to their membership and further the cause. Inspired by Tom McCormick & Steve Parkes & Heather McClung & Dave Coy.

Call me and tell me how I can be of service in helping your brewery (yours or the local one you support) develop the female craft beer consumer market share.

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CBC Conference Special

For those of you attending the CBC this coming week, here’s a special deal.

Free Audit Of Your Business per Marketing To Women
Included with the consult of marketing your brand to women and all surrounding consultation services as well as travel, lodging, food & beverage expenses. (We’ll work out details in a letter of agreement.)

The Free Audit is a comprehensive look around your facilities, all areas of your operations and business; discussions with any staff; any and all discussion; synopsis of audit.
The Consultation is the plan of action after the audit has happened. The Consultation fees will be calculated on an hourly or project basis in advance, depending on the size of your facilities and what we specifically agree to work on together.

For example, if you have a smaller brewpub and want that facility to be evaluated and reviewed, then the walk through will be free (audit part) the consultation based on that walk through /audit will be what is charged. The consult includes professional suggestions, recommendations, an organized report of the audit, and follow up and follow through per the audit and consultation.

In essence it’s a buy one (consultation), get one free (audit).

Also – please know there is no nickel and diming. Follow up and follow through are critical elements to your success and I ensure that we take care of all agreed upon punch list items to satisfaction.

This special is available for three full months+ after the 2009 CBC (until end of July 2009). A deposit of most efficient and reasonable calculated travel expenses will be due before my arrival to your place of business (think of earnest money/down payment), the rest due upon completion.

Here’s an extra incentive.

If you pay for all services in full by the end of our on site audit & consultation, take another 10% off the final bill. You can therefore get the free audit AND the free presentation AND an additional 10% of the agreed up on figure, which we establish before I arrive, before I leave. You know how much it will be, you provide the down payment, I provide the full services agreed upon and you have the opportunity to save an additional 10% off the final bill. If you choose to pay after I leave, the balance is due net 10 – cash or check.

One final enticement – When you book the CBC Conference Special, I’ll provide (when on site) a FREE presentation to your group (of your choosing – company/employees/vendors/suppliers/any combination) The Power Of The Customer Experience. This is a $500 value, 1.5 hour engagement as a thank you for utilizing my services. The Power Of The Customer Experience is a refresher and reinforcer which covers best practices, dealing with less than ideal customers, good experiences, bad experiences, the customer is always first and more. It’s a lively, interactive, provocative and entertaining way to provide professional development.

Any referrals are greatly appreciated and also rewarded (case by case basis).

Book it, Dano.

Thank you – Hope to see you in Boston.

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A big part of why I’m here is the Education component that is sorely lacking in the USA for beer.

Let me expound.

Since when did beer become ‘bad’? In the pre prohibition days, beer was part of everyday, acceptable, respectable life. Seriously.

In Maureen Ogle’s article in the latest issue of The New Brewer magazine, she hits it straight on – and accurately so.

…elsewhere programs designed to teach children to demonize, rather than respect, alcohol.”

Alcohol – and beer – is not the devil nor the culprit. Parents need to step up, adults need to step up – teaching is key (not in th schools – they have enough to tackle). Therein lies part of the educational component that is sorely lacking.

When we teach responsibility and respect in our homes and other civic platforms, we all benefit and I daresay, negative effects would drop dramatically from ALL alcohol.

I can tell you that my sister and I were taught to drink at home. We were given the opportunity to try, if we wanted, to know what it was – that it wasn’t taboo. That went for all-illegal-under-18/21-substances. Since it was demystified at home, well, the desire to use in excess was virtually non existent for us. I say it paid off well. Thanks Mom & Dad.

So…education is a big part of what will be covered here. Ideas on how to, when to, where to, and why.

Knowledge is power – and responsibility comes from knowledge impartially and factually proffered.

Would society feel comfortable letting new drivers, regardless of age, drive a car without having first taken the drivers training course??

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