2011 NBWA Feedback

Here’s what the attendees had to say about our 2012 National Beer Wholesalers Association convention talk, Blue Skies Ahead: Women Craft Beer Buyers + Craft Beer + Social Media = SUCCESS! 

  • “No powerpoint [best part], just talent at communicating; what an engaging speaker! Best seminar I’ve been to in years; great topics.” ~ Executive Vice President
  • “Fact based, useable content, directed conversation.” ~ Craft Brand Manager
  • “Presenter made you feel very comfortable and engaged in the presentation.”
  • “Thanks! Took a ton of notes and got some great ideas!” ~ Sales Execution Coordinator
  • “It was all very good, would like to have more time, longer to cover this seminar. Great value for me to expand my business.” ~ Craft, Specialty & Import Brand Manager
  • “Great enthusiasm – very engaging. What women look for and need/want from social media; idea of same sex tasting” ~ Inventory/Human Resources
  • “There was no powerpoint [best part]; was very informative – great ideas!” ~ Assistant General Manager
  • “Speakers knowledge and female drinkers want education, socialization, and value. Ginger is effervescent and a great speaker and so much fun.” ~ President

Comments »

Importance Of An Up To Date Website

Today’s topic hits home, particularly: Having an up to date website.

Forgive our recent silence as we were going through this very thing (and still finishing up on all parts of the site).

It’d been a while coming for us to take care of a few internal site workings so late last week we got to it. And it’s one arena of business and life I feel unsure of. We all want and ‘need’ to have the online part of life. However, when it’s not quite right and you’re in the middle of something that may be impeded due to updates and maintenance, well – it’s hard to be patient.

And patient we must be.

And there are many talented people available to hire to help you – ask around for a few recommendations. Even if you’re unsure like me, finding the right person to help is key. Here’s one excellent choice.

Make it easy for people to find you

A successful online presence is important, ne – critical, to some this day in age. It’s the yellow pages of days past and if you want to be findable for your customers, you must be online. Somehow and in some way.

Keep in mind that while you may own, run and operate the site, websites and all forms of online media are about the customer. The person who is engaging in the conversation. They need to be able to find you, dig around, make choices and have the info at their fingertips to either support you or find what they need elsewhere.

Having spoken at the NBWA convention again this year on women, craft beer buyers and social media, I have found the feedback on the realization that a website is the first step to be very encouraging. Many distributors in particular and really small breweries don’t have sites. GASP! Get yourself a simple info based, nicely designed site up no later than when you open your doors (however virtual or brick and mortar you may be).

An up to date website is a key part of doing business today. And most likely will be for the foreseeable future. Keep it up to date, make it simple, and get the info out there for your waiting customer.

Tip: Schedule time every month to review at least one of your pages, if you don’t already have the right dedicated person to keep it up to date daily.

 

Comments »

Going Rogue

Christine recently signed up for the WEB Mem(beer)ship Prosumer subscription. makes perfect sense: the brewery she is with wants to be at the front of the pack, and in many ways they are. Thanks to Christine for her support and recognition of what WEB can do for beer businesses.

Thanks Ginger.

I’ve been checking out your website. WOW, so much information. I’m starting with your Marketing to Women series and plan to move through your categories.

Thank you for providing so very much to think about, just hope I’m able to do you justice and implement it all!

Cheers!

[She’s from a Major Pacific Northwest Craft Brewery]

Comments »

Did You Hear The One About The 3 Year Old Dressed Up As A Hooker?

Here’s the clip. Take a look then come back.

Shine the light: Sexism is Bad

If you have or had a 3 year old daughter, would you do this to her? This poor little girl has no comprehension of the bigger message it sends. You should be appalled, and if you’re not you should go in for a lobotomy. And the mom should do some community work in shelters for battered prostitutes or at an STD clinic.

WEB is exactly about culture shift. This case is an example of extraordinarily poor judgement by a mom. Shame on her – it’s not cute, it’s tragic and terribly ignorant and selfish.

Women help perpetuate this by doing it to themselves; perpetuating the myths that it’s ‘okay’ or desirable to focus on being sexy or that prostitution is sexy. It’s not. It’s degrading and no one wins.

The beer community best take note: when beer ads portray women as sex objects, you only help the degradation, rest assured. And the insultatory tone and so-off-base idea pisses women off.

Wake up everybody.

  • Women: don’t you dare think this is appropriate. We only allow ourselves to languish and not go forward – we go backwards. Want equal rights and equal pay? Then demand respect, make sure you don’t do something this stupid and short sighted. Get rid of the idea that sexy Halloween costumes are good for you or fun either – they’re not. If you think you have no other value beyond skin level, then find a strong woman to help you see the light.
  • Men: Do not put up with this. Make sure you are truly respecting the females in your world – whether you know them or not. Demand respect and removal of sexualized images from the beer world. It’s not the world I want to be part of yet it’s still there in the corners, certainly in some pockets more than others. And the craft community is far from guiltless here too.
  • Beer community: Wake up and change sexist labels and overtly sexual adult humor. It has no place in the family beverage that beer is and should be portrayed as. Do we not already have enough of an uphill battle??

Sexism is harmful, never funny nor cute. Pay attention, force respect and change. You owe it to every female you care about, including yourself.

4 comments

4 comments »

Realistic Brand Growth

The reality of brand growth is this: Sometimes a rocket is launched. After much planning, strategy, market research, product development and feedback. After examining how this should go to market, how it shouldn’t go to market and who else is out there doing something even remotely similar or who is building yet another mousetrap.

Sometimes brand growth happens serendipitously and incidentally. Call those fads and flashes in the pan because the flash will be gone soon enough with no long term plan. Unless you’re plan is to be a pan flasher and then let it fall where it dies. I call that ‘cometing.’ In this instance the serenditpity will only carry you so far. Hip or cool only lasts until the next uber hip or cool thing comes along to replace.

Do you want to gamble like that with your brand?

Realistic brand growth leans heavily on marketing. Marketing is not a four letter word – it’s simply bringing a product, good, or service to market. It’s a facet of business every business needs to be aware of and savvy to. No excuses no matter what the business format (non-profits are still businesses) because theoretically you’ve been smart enough to want to sell something you think other people want; hence bringing it to market.

Reminder: marketing can be as subtle as it can be obnoxious. It’s important to keep the marketing in line with the brand personality and mission.

What's your brand growth plan?

Realistic brand growth involves looking at who makes the majority of purchases, who influences the income and outgo, and who will be the primary buyer of the items your hawking.

In the USA, women make 80+% of all purchasing decisions, across categories. Females also make up more than 50% of the global population.

It’s a smart realistic brand growth goal to engage women, no matter the product; and especially in selling beer. They are the ones to court successfully and respectfully. Never confuse a buyer with a drinker here. They’re not the same thing. And although with beer sometimes there is overlap, it’s never an absolute. “If this, then this” is not the rule here.

Brand growth is reliant on smart business practices, one being market research before you launch and then continuing that research while you are open. Realistic brand growth = realistic goals and results. Slow and steady, said the tortoise.

Time to get real(alistic).

Comments »

Who Owns The Brand?

Who owns the brand?

Is it the manufacturer? Is it the distributor or the retailer?

Ultimately, it’s the consumer. They own it because they are the ones who decide – or not – to embrace it. To try it, recommend it, shun it, and make it live or die.

When the consumers embrace it and keep breathing life into it, then you’re successful. The secret then it to make sure it’s a brand that consumer want to embrace and buy into.

Who owns your brand?

Authenticity, respectability, credibility, drink ability, accessibility, and responsibility. These are the facets the brand can kind of control, yet never entirely. It’s truly a consumer driven world.

Look at the worlds biggest brands. Biggest is never best. It may be better *yet* it’ll never be best. How could it be? Big isn’t nearly as nimble or adaptable. The bigger they are the larger they fail. Ginormous brands, by their very size, hemorrhage something somewhere and things can simply reach mitigation points, instead of truly healthy growth.

How come we never hear about the worlds smallest companies? Maybe because they are so small (in size only) that with only a few raving fans and very focused market, the circles of chatter don’t radiate outward.

So is smallest best? Not necessarily. Small usually means a regular theme of struggle, in some facet. There’s a Goldilocks in there somewhere and the consumer will help you determine that sweet spot.

Regardless of the size of the brand, bear in mind that the consumer is in charge. And therefore they must be treated how they want to be treated, with respect. It all starts with them, even if it was your own big idea.

Like one of my college professors stated: Good, better, best. Never let it rest, – till your good is better, your better – best.

Comments »

Marketing Beer to Women, Part 6: Offer Social Opportunities

Did you read yesterday’s Series post, Offering Educational Opportunities? Apply all those ideas with a social facet.

The key with social opportunities is this: it’s a pretty personal decision. How social does a woman want to be should be entirely up to her. Set up the opportunity so she feels comfortable keeping her mouth shut and observing, being right in the middle of the mix or somewhere in between. Both are personal interpretations of what kind of social interaction a woman wants in her relationship with beer.

Just like letting her pick the beer she wants to try or drink let her choose the level of social interaction she’s comfortable with.

From personal experience I can tell you that while I’m a very gregarious and friendly person, sometimes I simply want to sit back and stay quiet. Being more of the observer, taking it all in for a change. What you gain from that kind of outing is just as valuable and enjoyable.

Chances are good, she’ll get more and more comfortable and pretty soon she’ll be in the middle of the mix!

Marketing Beer to Women Series starts here

Comments »

BeerRadio

My good and long standing friend KP and I used to joke about having our own radio show someday. This idea stemmed from our conversations when we were together – they were always lots of fun, funny, and usually got other people laughing too. We have easy banter, can talk about lightweight and substantial stuff equally and above all want to have fun with it.

Join us for BeerRadio

Fast forward to now. KP is still a very good friend and I now have a radio show. She’s already agreed to be a guest one day soon.

BeerRadio is the show WEB launched ala our community radio station, KSKSQ.org, in February of 2011. At first I was thinking of recording it 2 times a month. Well, I quickly understood what a great fit it is so we’re live every week now. We run from 5 – 6 pm every Wednesday, usually from my World HQ base location in Southern Oregon and sometimes from the field.

So far:

If you like what you hear – no matter the station or topic matter – support it monetarily. Send in a donation, underwrite the program, buy an ad or volunteer to help  the station survive and keep affording the community the resource you value.

All of these shows are archived by one of my fabulous radio station colleagues (thanks Wayno!!) and permanently accessible via the Program Archives. You can stream them live from the station website too.

Like I say when we throw a get together, the guests make the party. Thanks to all the fine guests we’ve had and the ones coming up. We’ll keep knocking on doors of beer community members who want to enjoy an hour’s worth of conversation about them, their relationship with beer and different topics that come up. We try to ask questions that are not necessarily already talked about and it’s relaxed and very informational.

Thanks also to Jason and Carson of KSKQ who took a chance on BeerRadio. Cheers gents ~

p.s. Lisa’s Beer O’Clock is a terrific listen too!

Comments »

Women Are The Market You Must Invest In Now

Professional Beer Community Members:

When will be the right time for you to think about women as a market share, as the ones who make 80% of purchasing decisions and are the majority global population?

When you started your company did you wonder where you’d grow, who would support you, and how you were going to get there?

I am constantly mystified by the lack of professional beer community members’ inaction to engage women as a full fledged market segment. Are you “so busy” that you don’t want to make time to think about the future? You’re already buying commodities and products years in advance (e.g. hops, equipment) to fuel your breweries and business down the road. Who’s going to buy all that beer?

Saying you’re too busy is an excuse. We all have the same 24/7/365. And we know what it’s like to wish for 35/8/400 just like you do. So do all the women out there you’re not yet paying full attention to. All market segments start small first.

YOU MUST THINK ABOUT WOMEN NOW.

As consumers, as supporters of your brand, as your survival – and of the survival of the entire industry. Heck, how about as integral family members that support the brewers directly? Don’t they deserve attention and action?

If you are stuck on the idea that only men, the current already 70+% of the male population, that is already engaged, is going to fully support the industry, think again.

With the mercurial growth of the craft beer community AND the enormous not-slowing-down global population, you’re going to have to see the light sooner than later if you want to survive.

Here’s a familiar story:

“I wanted to respond to your request [WEB had been asked to consider it previously, it wasn’t a cold call] and let you know that while we think your insight would be helpful for our members, as the newest XXX group/chapter/organization/arm, still trying to get a little breathing room in the treasury, we cannot afford the requested terms at this time. I have seen some of your work on the BA forum and New Brewer, and hope we can make it work down the road.”

While it’s ‘nice’ to know we’re getting noticed, what’s not happening is people really truly seeing the short sightedness of not taking action now. Did you have the money to open your brewery without taking a loan or money from supporters? You borrowed on your future. “Helpful”? How about critical. “Hope” is empty. Action speaks. And women are listening – although they’ve little to tune into right now.

The Craft/Beer Community (all supporters there-in too) would be wise to echo their roots: Look past the next few years of simply trying to meet demand (of which you’ve created and apparently wanted…). You didn’t start or get into your business to only think about the next week, month, or few years, did you? Well, did you??

Like Hugh Sisson told me at the CBC last year, why aren’t more people taking advantage of finding out what they can do per marketing beer to women?? Great question, Hugh.

Now’s the time, actually yesterday was even better, for all professional brewing community members to be seriously interested in what’s going to happen 5 years from now when you haven’t fully pursued marketing your beer to women.

The craft beer brands will be even more saturated with choice and you’ll start cannibalizing each other with existing buyers.

You should be frustrated that not more than the paltry high 20 something % of women are enjoying your beers. Would getting only 25% of your grain order be satisfactory to you? Or only selling an average of 27% of your beer that’s ready to go?

Regardless of what your brand looks like and appeals to now, liken it to equipment maintenance. You know you need to get the filters changed and certain things checked by professionals periodically, yes? The same follows here. Securing the right expertise to ensure you’re headed in the right direction with relevant, timely and current information is as critical as getting your grain on time.

Does this sound like a rant? Maybe. Just know WEB is the voice of hundreds and thousands of women all across the country who want to engage in your beers. It’s the voice you need to listen to now.

It’s frustrating to be sitting on explosively useful information that can fuel your long term success and yet no one is interested in it.

There are some enlightened souls throughout the industry (too few) who grasp and understand how important this is: marketing craft beer to women properly. It’s frustrating to be at the voice for a very large group whom your (you, not me) business depends on and have that voice be all but (still) ignored. Women are speaking up to WEB because they want to be heard, they have something to say, they want you to listen…and….it’s not happening.

The time to start saving for retirement isn’t when you’re close to retiring. It’s decades before. Your investment needs to start now.

What are you waiting for?

Comments »

Shattering Miss-nomers: There is no such thing as a "Ladies Beer"

  • Ladylike
  • Feminine
  • Beer
  • “What kind of beers do women like?”

photo courtesy Kate K Parks

Let’s shatter the misnomer some people think (women don’t like beer) here and replace it right now: WOMEN LIKE BEER.

Women of all kinds like all kinds of beers. Women like beers they’ve had already, they like beers that haven’t had, they don’t like all beers they’ve had nor will they like them all either.

The key is to remove beer racism. Remove any thinking or preconceived anythoughts from the idea that there is such a thing as a ‘Ladies beer’ (and kill the term ‘Ladies’ too while we’re at it).

All people will engage when given the chance in anything they may be interested in. Women are part of these ‘all people’. Don’t think of craft beer as a drink for just men, as some brewers have clearly and mistakenly communicated over years and years of time and advertising. I seriously doubt that the bad ad progenitor actually asked women “would you like to be portrayed as all jiggle and no brain” in past campaigns.

Okay – I take that back. Do it if you don’t respect women or want to insult the females you care about in your life (family, friends, colleagues).

There is no such thing as a ‘woman’s beer’. Just like there’s no such thing as a ‘man’s beer’. Anyone who even remotely thinks that (or that idea is the answer) is seriously misinformed. Or pandering. Or both. However well intentioned – they are misinformed. This kind of thinking sets movement in a reverse motion, not moving forward.

The next time someone asks me, “what kind of beer do women want/like/enjoy?” – I’ll smile and tell them the answer I give myself: The One In Front Of Them.

One comment

One comment »

Still Not "Getting It"

Here’s (yet) another example of the mark missed in marketing craft beer to women.

Here’s what’s good about it:

  • Dedicated effort aimed at women and beer
  • Professionals who happen to be women are involved
  • Apparently wanting to cater to women

Here’s what’s still off about it:

  • Call/label/title them ‘Women’ or ‘Females.‘ Research shows that these two terms are universally acceptable. “Ladies Night” – what does that make you think of? A bunch of intelligent beer savvy women or a dark dingy bar with questionable men lying in wait for the women to show up… Do you host “Gentlemen’s Nights”? Get rid of Ladies Night.
  • Pink is for barbie, Victoria Secret and Breast Cancer.** Female consumers, once again based in research across the country of average women, don’t want their products pinkified. We don’t market men’s products with baby blue. Remove the color from beer. Maybe we should call them ‘boys’ instead to keep up with ‘girls’ groups…..
  • “…two women were brewing a beer that will likely cater to many female customers. The light, lager-style ale is low in alcohol and hops…” Likely?? Really?? Did you ask them first?? I’m almost speechless. Who says that women want this kind of beer? The inference is dangerously off. Seriously, this is what sets us back the most. All people enjoy all kinds of flavor, whatever your gender is. Yes, women and men enjoy a lighter bodied style of beer sometimes (for some it’s never, for some it’s always) but to intentionally perpetuate this bad and incorrect stereotype for all women is wrong and insulting. Lump your own tastes or what you may think your local market share is but don’t put all of any thing in one box. It don’t fit. Do the research to really find out the correct answers. I can tell you first hand that many, many West Coast women want and demand a hoppy, bitter beer…

The majority of the population on the planet are female. Women directly and indirectly affect fully 80% of purchasing decisions. In all categories.

If you want to build market share in any business, good or service, wake up and smell the beer. Ask women what they want before you assume or put your own opinions on them with out asking them first. Seriously, how is this not obvious??

**Hundreds of female consumers all across the country share they do not want products marketed to them in the color pink. They state clearly in research focus groups  that the use of pink is effective and appropriate for those brands that already own it: Barbie, Breast Cancer, and Victoria Secret.

7 comments

7 comments »

Women, Beer, and Social Media

Johanna Blakley has it nailed. Relying on old school (read: outmoded) demographics to reference in driving business is based on presumptions. Presumptions that are incorrect and out of date and unuseful.

Watch her talk here.

The traditionally gathered data and methods of this gathering are outdated and somewhat impotent, so be careful who you ask and listen to for demographics.

WEB’s research would echo her ideas as well: it’s not about statistics of an age group or anything else that has been conventionally paid attention to. It’s the preferences, the psychographics she references that matter.

23% of any age range on any topic is irrelevant if you don’t know the why beyond the stat. Is that good enough for you?

Or are you ready for some new math?

Comments »

Place Of No Return

Wow. As an optimist and a silver lining person, it is unusual that a place has so remarkably disappointed me that I feel compelled to say as much. This weekend that very thing happened.

We were in Portland OR for a few reasons – most surrounding the beer community. So it’s almost a forgone conclusion we will get out to a pub or brewery or taproom we’ve yet to patronize. After all there are numerous places and opportunities.

Leave the dirt in the garden

The place in focus will remain nameless. Because I doubt that a hashing of the whole thing would matter one iota, quite frankly. Simply use this as a double check for your own place.

Here’s what we experienced:

1. In driving up to park it looked like the place was deserted, no one sitting in tables street side. While that’s not a crime, it seemed odd that a) it was Saturday night and the place wasn’t packed to the gills and b) usually people like to watch other people or activity outside.

2. The low rent really cheap and cheesy looking (not just kitschy) “Open” sign.

3. The place smelled like dried urine, seriously. Very unclean smelling. Maybe partially because the wood floors, which looked to previously have housed a manufacturing facility, were filthy. Uneven, impossible to clean even had they wanted to.

4. You ordered at a counter from a benign worker (drone?), got a number, sat down at a dubiously clean table. Another worker was lazily making his way around the huge space, squirting an unidentified liquid on surfaces, sloppily wiping them up. In the lights reflection you could plainly see that he was consistently poor at this task.

5. Having ordered a beer and sat with our number, we were sipping on it when the food came. First off, not being a beer judge yet being able to value quality craft beer, it was unremarkable. Not a crime, again, just seems like a waste of materials and labor – however unengaged the crew is. It was dull, not bright and had no healthy head to it.

6. Food arrived. The worker who brought it over set one in front of me, when we identified it was mine, set the other away from my husband not in front of him when it seemed pretty easily obvious the second plate was his.

7. Food t’was more unremarkable than the beer. Seemed such a shame. Good thing it was cheap – but then again cheap is still a waste of money. As lovers of food, the fact we left good sized portions of this bland food on the plate is a big sign. Anyone who sells food should be aware of this and try to do something about it.

8. Since we ordered at the counter, and we had left our credit card up there to start a tab in hopes of wanting another great beer, we returned to the counter to settle up. To the chagrin of the worker, my husband left no tip – it certainly was not deserved in any way shape or form. And frankly, this make sit potentially awkward had we wanted to leave a tip. No service, no smiles, no check back on beer and food, not clean, smells bad. Would you tip?? Self service = no tipping. Bad service absolutely means no tip. They did everything to not earn it.

9. Totally turned off, disappointed that these people call themselves craft brewers and the passion fell off the customer experience truck a long ways back, we left and headed elsewhere.

The true tragedy is many fold. Bored or dispassionate workers = sloppy work, bad customer experience and I can’t believe they were having any fun. Bad environment = easy to fix and inexcusable. Poor beer and food = double whammy. Saturday night should be full to overflowing = poor place is bad for every one’s economy.

This place does a huge disservice to the craft beer community, beer community in general, and any self respecting cook.

Take this as a lesson in what not to do. Tomorrow: What to do.

Comments »

Why Stories Like This Make Me Crazy

Read this. Then come back.

Okay – let me tell you why this drives me crazy (via all the hundreds of women who have shared and talked with WEB). And not good crazy either.

1. Beer does NOT need to be sexed up. Any more. At all. Anywhere. In fact it needs to get sex removed from it. Can we please get over sex in marketing!!??

2. Beer is brewed for genderless enjoyment – or it should be.

Women Enjoying Beer (Photo by Kate Parks)

3. Yes, women and men taste differently. How could they not? We’re all wired differently, we’re all physiologically unique. But beer should not be solely brewed to appeal to women. It should be brewed to appeal to all beer enthusiasts.

4. “Mistress” as a label for one of her beers is not helpful; it’s counter to women getting equal shrift. Who still does not get that words used in labels and titles need to be considered from the vantage point of someone else – not the one naming the widget or beer or whatever. It matters. And last time I checked, no self respecting woman wants to be subject to a mistress situation.

5. This is partially true: “There’s definitely a market for craft beers for women.” You have to start in the marketing level, not at the brew kettle. ALL beers are for women when they are marketed properly. There are literally thousands of beers ready and waiting – surely you can find a few that appeal to you no matter if you’re female, male, or any other gender classification.

6. “It has citrus layers, complexities and characteristics” Last time I checked with beer drinkers, ALL genders appreciated these things. Being orchestrated for only one gender is not the point.

So called gender-specific beer is missing the point; in fact it isn’t the point at all. Everyone wants to drink what they like – so all internal plumbing aside, keep trying beers new and different to you.

I guarantee you’ll find one – most likely more than that – that you’ll return to.

Geez….sadly this isn’t an isolated incident or uncommon way of thinking.

Comments »

Magazine Reinforcement

I’ve read several magazine articles lately pointing to a common theme. When you educate women, you fulfill a societal call for bettering the world. Lofty? Yes. Realistic? Yes again – especially within these articles. And it’s happening worldwide.

The Rotarian’s The Virtue of Small Change by Jon Conroy and Fast Company’s Separate and Equal by Kate Rockwood are just two examples.

The connection being that when you educate women, you empower, you progress, you flourish better, quicker and more completely.

This may seem a stretch to some so I’d ask you to compare women educated in beer to the success of your beer business.

If you were to capture just a single percentage more of the only 25% of women who drink beer, if you only got say 5% more drinkers, how would that affect your beer business? How would that affect the ancillary businesses surrounding your beer business? Going farther, how does that impact you community and the world at large?

It’s a big thought that’s easy to start movement on.

Seeking out a ‘new’ market segment, that Kelly & Clipper City also understand, is the first step. “I am in total agreement with your assessment that women are a hugely overlooked market segment…“, says Kelly.

Authenticity, accuracy, realistic goals. It’s all attainable and all within your reach.

Be part of the solution and you’ll help the entire world do better. Think big starting small. Tip the domino.

Comments »

Know Thy Market (#1 of Series)

This may seem like stating the over obvious. However I wouldn’t be specializing in marketing beer to women if there weren’t a need.

Knowing the market you are after, BEFORE you introduce your product to market, is a true basic of marketing. Like the word (marketing ) or not, it’s what you are doing – trying to sell something to the market that will buy your goods.

  • Did you spend time on the front end, prior to opening your brewery, in deciding and identifying your market?
  • If so, what is that market share?
  • Do you pursue them accurately and authentically?

If you answered yes, please continue to read for enjoyment and reinforcement.

If you said no to any one of these inquiries, keep reading. You must know your market – it cannot be incidental – to survive and thrive. To make beer just because you love beer  – if you are hoping to make it a successful business – is foolish (unless you’re independently wealthy).

Women tell me over and over in focus groups they feel like (most) beer companies aren’t even trying to reach them. T & A of days past, too young ‘girl’ type females, and all the surrounding traditional advertising is not applicable. Why should a segment (women) listen when they aren’t even trying to be accurately reached?

Be passionate by all means. Be smart about knowing your market. Market research is pretty straight forward stuff. Hire the right person to help you develop and address it properly. it

Know Thy Market.

Comments »

Distinction

It has occurred to me, from a few recent conversations, that I need to clarify something here.

Women. Men. It’s not a “vs.” situation.

we-are-awareDifferent genders are inherently different in how they approach the marketplace – and therefore how to market beer to them.

Please shift your thinking and consider that we cannot compare apples & oranges here. They are different, not on the same plane. And you cannot legitimately compare things that are not on the same plane.

We’re not talking about unequal either – don’t even go there. That’s not it at all.

It’d be like comparing dogs & cats, chickens & eggs, cars & airplanes.

So it’s not Women Vs. Men. It’s Women. It’s Men.

Photo courtes of Flickr by nurul H

Comments »

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…

Comments »

Direct Quote

Jeri & Ginger last summer

Jeri & Ginger last summer

Jeri, a good friend and mutually enthusiastic beer drinker told me this after our WEB  ACBW event with Dave Coy.

Thanks for the Mai Bock Beer tasting the other night… it was just great. Additionally, I can tell you that it really has changed my perspective on pale colored beers.  I actually even voluntarily drank some (name irrelevant) lager this weekend, without scowling and whining.  ~ Jeri”

If that doesn’t hit it on the head, then you should be.

Courting real women with real beer works. I can help.

Comments »