The first step in making a problem go away is to identify if there is indeed a problem to begin with, or simply a minor disruption, challenge or otherwise speed bump in the road.
Who are you trying to sell your beer to?
I don’t use the word ‘problem’ lightly – in fact I don’t even like the word. It connotes there is in fact something wrong. For instance, I hate it when I’m being served and the response to my query is “No Problem”. Problem? I hope not – who said anything about a problem at all?!
Problem insinuates that there are some serious issues to be examined, figure out the origination and then take real steps to eliminating the problem. Let me give you one example.
There is a real problem with the American Brewers not fully realizing that American women make fully 75 – 85% of all purchases. There’s a real problem that you can see because they don’t seriously and authentically attract women in their marketing. And we’re not talking about advertising here folks, that’s different. Branding and your marketing is everything you do for that brand. From personnel at a product launch to a tapping at a guest brewpub to the printed images you create for an event poster to your online presence. No one can honestly say they don’t market – that’s baloney.
Everything you do is marketing. And everything you should be looking at for your marketing should involve knowing your target market. And everything you know about your target market should include women. And everything you know about women should be broken down into a few more categories.
Knowing how to segment your marketing is akin to knowing that each beer you make is different from the other. Of course they are – if they weren’t several would be redundant. So of course your market segments are different – otherwise you wouldn’t need to know the different between what a 55-year-old woman wants vs. a 25-year-old man. And how to approach them. And how to make sure they are getting the experience they want. And making sure there’s no incorrect form or behavior to turn these customers off.
One brand that markets well to Women: Ninkasi
And if you’re thinking ” I shouldn’t have to market my beer to women at all – this beer will sell because it’s great beer” that’s not the whole deal either. Yes, the product should stand on its own quality and flavor merits. So what. That’s what everyone else thinks to. You’ve got to make your work stand out. Reach out to those who will try it, buy it, and support the brand through their purchasing habits.
Because the problem, Houston, is that the vast majority of American Brewers – all of them nano to mammoth – don’t get it. This isn’t a gender issue – it’s a marketing issue. As in “know your market” before you presume to want to sell a product. Therein lies the problem.
Most think that beer fans who will drink your beer because it’s this or it’s that will be enough. Well, that won’t be enough. With the explosion of the breweries opening in America, ain’t no way any realistic business person can tell me that the 70+ % of men who already drink beer will keep it going. There’s only so much of that existing beer consuming segment to go around. You must cultivate new market share – and that should be women.
Another small part of the problem is that many brewers and people who start breweries do not have the business acumen to do it. I’m not saying they’re not smart. They are – about beer. They need to have solid business experience on the team to make it work successfully no matter who they are. The passion for the product, in this case beer, will only go so far.
Yes, a problem is already here, though most don’t or refuse to see it or are so balled up in what they can get done in the next few hours before some more schmidt hits the fan that they won’t ever see it. If they do ever see it, it’ll be way too late.
Problem mediation involves outside parties or at least inside parties that will be heard. Problems need solutions so dodge the bullet, recognize that there is a problem, and go after it.
Fix the problem before you need a drastic and expensive solution. Market your beer to women.