WEB Can Help Grow Your Business

Everyone wants to be reminded of good stuff. And part of that is learning about the good stuff.

Good stuff begets growth – when people learn, they are the right kind of consumer and provide for growth, whatever your definition of growth is (not necessarily larger).

We’ve got lots of that – good stuff – that can help your brewery and beer business grow.

Want some ideas? Let’s start with just a few.

1. Focus groups, even thus far, from hundreds of women have yielded dozens of categories of information per marketing beer to women. Valuable and useful information.

WEB can help you grow your beer business

2. On premise expertise. Want to figure out how your taproom, pub, brewery, and restaurant crews can better and still responsibly sell more beer and brush up on their customer experience skills? WEB has that kind of knowledge for you.

3. Educational workshops and discussions. WEB has numerous ways to help open the conversation with your consumers, within your crew, as well as from consumers to staff and staff to consumers. They’re all related and all different. Know which one to do when.

4. Events execution. WEB works with you to customize events to best fit your goals, market share, vision, and budgets. Most importantly – WEB helps you get more women holding your beer in their hands, more often.

Need more reasons? Call me to talk about it. 515.450.7757.

This operator is standing by and the women are waiting.

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Stolen Women Enjoying Beer Sign

Stealing is really uncool. And it’s very disconcerting.

This is what the stolen sign looks like

Yesterday Kate, my Women Enjoying Beer colleague, was running errands in Southern Oregon. She went in to transact a quick errand, and when she came out one of the magnetic signs on her car was gone.

I’m flattered that someone thinks it’s cool but theft is not the answer.

So – to whoever stole it, return it. If you see it and are not the thief, remove it from the car you see it on (as long as it’s not a dark green 4 door Jeep Wrangler or pale silvery blue Honda SRV), and call me at 515.450.7757. I’ll pay the postage to get it back.

Honestly. This makes me angry.

We should expect and get better from our neighbors and community memebrs.

Ironic that we went all over the country for the Home Free Tour (20K miles) and they made it all the way…now, in our own back yard, it gets stolen.

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Small World

Here’s a direct quote from an email removal request:

“I would appreciate your removing my email address from you[r] list as I live in Pittsburgh and I think I am on the other side of the world from you and your activities. But thank you anyway.”

Small world - from one coast to the other

Very good. Permission marketing dictates, as should our uncommon good sense, that we act appropriately on this (which I did immediately and from which this person originally asked to sign up).

What struck me was that it really is a small world, two coasts or borders of any country are only separated by miles and mindset.

Be a geek, not a snob, honor thy consumers requests in a timely fashion, small world or not.

Permission marketing is another big point for the female consumer. Ask them how they want to be communicate with and then do just that.

“But that’s so much work!”

Not really – in fact when you ask, they’re helping you figure out how they want to be reached and will be way more receptive.

See it as opportunity. Anytime there’s a conversation, there’s opportunity.

Open the doors that’re knock knock knocking…

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Value For Female Beer Consumers

All value, all the time.

Wouldn’t that be a dream channel for real life?

All value, all the time

Well, if you’re in the beer business, you can make this a reality and attract millions more consumers. Millions seems to lofty? Consider even dozens or hundreds more consumers would make a difference.

How? By properly courting the female consumer.

Let me tell you about value for the female consumer.

Value for women includes:

  • Time value otherwise known as the experience. If they are going to take the time to do something, they want it to be worth while.
  • Enjoyment value. They want the involvement to be enjoyable.
  • Educational value. Women like to and want to learn. A better educated consumer is a great thing for the beer community too.
  • Dollar value. Be it $8 for a six pack of canned beer they want or $22 for a dinner table bottle of special beer they want to share (like yummy Bruery Beers). Whatever the price tag, it’s not the low or high of the actual dollar – it’s how much it’s worth to them.

Value.

One of the top three things women consider in their relationship to beer. Drink that up.

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Tools

What tools are in your tool box?

Adage from Sullivision: Tools left in the toolbox never built anything.

And, adding to that, unless you pick up the tools to build something new or repair something in need of attention, you’re never going to get anywhere.

For those of you in the beer business community – breweries, restaurants, vendors, suppliers, retailers, distributors – you’ll never go one step farther earning female market share unless you pick up the right tool to genuinely garner the female beer consumers’ attention. You don’t deserve it if you don’t use the right tools and you’ll certainly pay for it if you use the wrong tools.

How do you know which tools to use?

Ask women what they want, gather data from them, apply it properly. As a specialist, I can tell you that there are so many ill fated attempts to market to women because the lens is all wrong.

The lens has to be from the woman’s perspective; not from yours, no matter how smart you think you are (or actually are). And regardless of if you’re a women in the industry – being of the industry is different than being the consumer.

You’re not the woman, she is. Ask her, act on that information and you’ll both come out ahead.

Like Marti Barletta says, the first rule of marketing is to understand your market. The second? Understand your consumer.

Here, here!

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How Do You Quench Your Thirst?

What quenches your thirst? And what specifically are you trying to quench?

In the beer world, quenching – for me – involves context as well as what’s in my glass. What to consider?

thirst quenching beer

Well, time of year and climate of locale for one. For example right now, in Southern Oregon, it’s hot and dry. Bring on a refreshing session beer (a range of them is great). As the evenings cool down, I’ll always welcome a full flavored stout or porter with some ice cream or other yummy complementary dessert. A crisp hoppy Pale or IPA with fresh citrus fruit in a tart – mmmm! also makes a swell choice.

Consider also availability of beer where you’re at. What’s fresh on tap at the spot you’re sitting or driving to or through. Fresh is always better (as long as it’s not green). Available beer could also be some home brewed beer as well if someone decides to offer to share.

And what about what’s new? Consider what’s new to the market as well as what’s new to you. What haven’t you tried – or had in a long time. What’s newer to the market, perhaps even an exclusive roll out or tasting event of a special beer.

Quenching involves your physical thirst as well as your metal thirst. What makes you satiated and happy – although I’d actually put happiness with satiation.

Have fun quenching this summer.

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Beer Is Not Wine CBS!

I feel ultra compelled to share the following with you.

As a member of the Brewers Association, one receives a daily Monday through Friday e newsletter chock full of great information, conversation, happenings and so on. Horst Dornbusch posted this spot on piece this week.

This, sadly, made me laugh out loud – and then get slightly pissed off.  ‘To wit’ indeed Mr. Dornbusch.

I’m in your camp and wanted to share it with WEB followers. If you agree readers, SPEAK UP !! Call CBS, NBC, FOX, whoever demand accuracy and proper representation and get them to realize Craft Beer is NOT a novelty nor nearly this ridiculously monochromatic. You get the idea. Act and we shall all receive.

Here it is.

“Mainstream Media Still does not (!) Understand Beer

Beware of false saints!

I followed Julia Herz’s link to http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/07/03/earlyshow/saturday/main6643411.shtml?tag=pop in BA Forum Vol. 16-0706, which guided me to “CBS Early Show features wine expert Ray Isle talking up ‘Beervana’ in Portland, OR.”

While it is commendable that organizations like CBS have begun to recognize the existence of craft beer as an important part of our culture, I believe the piece behind the link shows how far we still have to go in educating the media and much of society about craft beer. To wit:

* Why on earth does CBS need a “wine expert” to showcase craft beer? As if there weren’t enough brewers or beer journalists who could have lent a (competent) hand!

* And then there was this zinger in the write-up: “Rogue Dead Guy Ale: This is a darker, more intense style of ale (technically, it’s a German style called a Maibock).” This is inexcusable (even though in Texas, equally inexcusably, a Bock must be called an “ale” by law). I really must tell my friends in Munich about this American “Bock” innovation! With such brew-technical nonsense, Mr. Isle has shown himself to be a mere vacuous pontificator, a false saint!

* A quick look at his food pairings, too, reveal Mr. Isle’s rather unsophisticated understanding of beer: He singles out as suitable pairings “grilled seafood, raw oysters, that sort of thing;” “chicken, potato chips, pretzels, you name it;” “hamburger;” “anything from fried shrimp to French fries;” “sausages on the grill, barbecued ribs, that kind of thing.” How pedestrian and utterly predictable!
“That sort of thing, that kind of thing, you name it,” and—who would have thought—hamburger, pretzels, and fries (!)…such is the august advice from a culinary “expert.” To me this is proof that there is still a huge wall of ignorance about good beer out there that we must not tire to tear down!
Horst Dornbusch
Cerevisia Communications
West Newbury, Massachusetts

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Terroir

All About Beer has a really informative, good to read article this month entitled  How Does Your Beer Taste? And How Do You Taste Your Beer?

Terroir in our beer

Part of what we taste involves terroir.

Terroir has been a term long used in the wine world. It’s starting to be applied in the beer world too – as it should be.

Terroir is defined by dictionary.com as, well, it’s not there. Heck, the spell check in WordPress doesn’t even offer it. Hmmm…so let’s go to Wikipedia (there’s a message right there).

Wikipedia states, according to its aggregate style information:

“Terroir (French pronunciation: [tɛʁwaʁ]) comes from the word terre “land”. It was originally a French term in wine, coffee and tea used to denote the special characteristics that geography bestowed upon particular varieties. Agricultural sites in the same region share similar soil, weather conditions, and farming techniques, which all contribute to the unique qualities of the crop. It can be very loosely translated as “a sense of place,” which is embodied in certain characteristic qualities, the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the manufacture of the product.”

It goes on:

“The definition of terroir can be expanded to include elements that are controlled or influenced by human decisions.”

Finally I’ll clip this snippet “Terroir in other drinks”. Yet – alas!! No even a hint of a mention of beer.

Curious since terroir is all about the influence of where the ingredients were grown or raised. Beer has 4 primary ingredients. The water, grain, hops and yeast will all contribute so many flavor characters, and arguably all 4 could plainly exhibit their own terroir. Is that terroir to the 4th power?

Julia Herz has talked about Terroir per beer. We should all be listening to these ideas.

Tasting goes well beyond the obvious. That’s why you should savor your beer.

Even if it’s hot and you have a great session beer in front of you. It has its own terroir so take at least a few sips and give it the opportunity to expand your thinking and please your taste buds before it simply quenches your thirst.

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Opera & Beer

Mirella - come join me in OR for a beer!

I’m a later comer to Opera – perhaps. In the last – oh – say 4 years, I’ve become interested in it. Interested in the musicality of it (I have a big history and appreciation for singing), the performance aspect of it, and the sheer passion that it exudes. The music is moving, lively, engaging, and beautiful.

Don’t take my word for it though. Start listening to whatever kind of Opera music you like and go from there.

Here’s a fun article about Mirella Amoto and her path of passion to beer.

Mirella – let me know when you’re in Oregon next, pints on me. You sound like the kind of person I’d like to hang out with.

p.s. Canada is a favorite destination for me as well…

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Accessory Benefits

Beer has “many accessory benefits.” – John Hickenlooper, 2009

Mr Hickenlooper has some beer roots – he helped found Wynkoop Brewing, wherein this effort started the rejuvenation and refurbishment of Lower Down Town Denver, Colorado. He tells us beer is in [Denver’s] DNA.

I’ll buy that. And the beer too.

So what are some of these accessory benefits?

1. Employment – the small brewers of the country (2m barrels produced per year or less) employ 100,000 people. Never mind the ancillary employment (liquor stores, retailers, suppliers, etc.)

The wages are the tip of the iceberg – what of supplies, crops, building materials, transportation; employment benefits like insurance, medical, and training all trickle too.

2. They help anchor the communities they are in. They give back – generously – and are genuinely invested and interested in their ocmmunities.

3. They’re passionate about their beer. However it manifests, I’d bet big money that the person who helped found the company (brewer, operator, investor) is passionate about beer. Passion moves things forward.

4. They’re fun loving, smart, engaged folks. They come from all kinds of background – technical (brewing or otherwise), law, education, public service, white collar, blue collar – you name it. Great diversity = great information melting pot for the good of the whole.

This is a shorter list that could be greatly lengthened. Hopefully you get the idea.

Supporting your local brewer goes way farther than your own back yard.

Avoid myopia. See and share the vision.

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3 C's

3 C’s of Craft Beer, ala – one of my favorites (sharp, in the know, professional, etc.) – Julia. I’ll extrapolate the 3 C’s with some of my own meanings.

Complement – what goes well together?

Contrast – what really strikes a chord being different?

Cut – what can help make a pathway through (perhaps a hoppy beer through greasy foods)?

Sure – we could wheel of more starts-with-a-C words. How about clarity, color, content, context, carbonation, commodity, craft cleanliness, community, commitment.

Any others you care to share?

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Flat

“Flat is the new up” – Julia Herz, Brewers Association, 2009 CBC

Up starts from the bottom – just as it can start from the top (or maybe the bottom is the top??)

Anyway, from the start (top or bottom) movement starts with the consumers; then moves to the retailers; then moves to the distributors, then moves to the breweries.

So we can make the leap that when you educate your consumers, they’ll request something from the retailers who then request it from the distributors who then talk to the breweries. Full closed circle.

The majority of women (from gathered WEB focus group data) say they will request something – perhaps a beer? – when they know how to go about it.

Make the ‘new up’ be truly an increase. Help your consumers by making it easy to request something or provide input, get feedback from them (ease of website contacts is a really good place to start). And then do something with that proffered info.

Let’s make the new ‘new up’, up.

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Giant Oak Market Share

  • Who’s your target market?
  • Who’s your primary buyer?
  • Are they one in the same?
  • Do you seek new market share?

WEB started small...now we're up to 24+ at each monthly meeting

If you’re a brewery, brewer or brewpub and are searching for ways to get more beer in more glasses of educated consumers, look at the mighty oak idea.

Joel Salatin puts it this way in his book Holy Cows and Hog Heaven.

“Giant oak trees do not propagate themselves by dropping 20 ft. babies out of their tops. They propagate tiny acorns, because that is the smallest viable structure of the parent….Its size is its strength.”

To paraphrase for WEB purposes and beer, you have to start entering a market with tiny efforts. The efforts take water, light, food and attention to grow.

  • If you think marketing to women is a novelty or ‘small’ market share, think again. Think big.
  • If you think by starting small, where economy of efforts isn’t where you think you want it to be (read – it may be more of an investment than you think you want to afford), know that it will payoff. Period.

Women make up the majority of the entire human population. Hmmm. Isn’t that worth courting?

When you court a market share authentically and accurately, you WILL grow some mighty oaks. Mighty can be pockets of fans, groups far or near of enthusiasts that continue to sneeze and every kind and size of group in between.

Start small. Every idea starts that way no matter how lofty the goal may be.

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Party Planning

The NBWA sent a Guide to Responsible Party Planning as part of their membership materials. Nice.

Reinforcement and refreshers are always a good idea. Here are a few of the tips they offer that we can all benefit from remembering.

1. Make a list of cab services for those who choose to drink so they won’t need to drive. Designate a chauffeur for the night, turn in keys as they come to the party.

2. Always serve food. Yes! Food not only complements the beer and other alcoholic drinks you serve, it helps absorb the alcohol (does not replace time needed to metabolize). Food and drink go hand in hand.

3. Stop serving about an hour before people are going to leave. Great idea! Help everyone be more responsibly vicariously by letting their bodies take care of alcohol consumed with some precious time.

4. Never hesitate to take keys away. Worst case scenario, someone gets mad – but they don’t end up dead or hurting someone else. Isn’t it better to have someone angry than dead?

There’s more. They have a lot of good info – check them out online.

And have safe summer fun.

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Good Beer Reads

Here are a few books I’d suggest for the beer enthusiast.

1. Brewing Up A Business, Sam Calagione

2. Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer, Maureen Ogle

3. B is for Beer, Tom Robbins

Magazines?

1. All About Beer

2. The New Brewer

3. Beer Connoisseur

There are a ton of publications, journals, and books (never mind Kindle and websites and blogs) to feed your intelligent beer side.

Now – go get a favorite beer – or a new one you’ve yet to try, settle in, and read. Feed your brain as you treat your body to the affordable luxury.

p.s. it’s still American Craft Beer Week!

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I Believe…

I believe that you can’t say thank you enough.

that it’s important to live with fortitude and gratitude.

that myopia is deadly.

that taking care of ourselves is the first step in taking care of everything else.

that curiosity leads to intelligence.

that awareness is a big part of progress.

that volunteering should be required.

that I am grateful every day for innumerable reasons.

that common sense isn’t terribly common.

I believe in self discipline, self respect and authority.

in punctuality, reading and growth.

that administrators of knowledge have a responsibility to share that knowledge.

that throwing a passion tantrum occasionally is highly effective.

that being loud doesn’t mean you’re right.

that we are life long learners.

in preparing for life, teaching to objectives, monitoring progress, adjusting to the situation, and moving forward.

that success begets success.

that good humor is a critical ingredient in life for us and those around us.

that we must in flexible.

that we must have standards.

that we should enjoy our vocations and have fun as often as we can.

that everyone deserves a second chance.

that on occasion we have to suck it up.

that no is the hardest word to accept.

that informed education is the only path to ensuring the perpetuity of democracy.

that integrity and ethics should guide us.

that being an adult means wanting critical feedback, thanking the source, and then acting on it.

that growth is sometimes uncomfortable.

I believe that affirmation and confirmation are important.

that talk isn’t cheap, it’s invaluable.

that it is not important to always ‘ be right’, it’s more important to do right.

that not crowing about our own achievements is not always becoming; it’s better to let others notice and crow for us.

that words and voices are powerful tools.

that being thoughtful tacks actual thought.

that passion can be constructive and destructive – use your passion responsibly.

that engaged and intelligent people make things happen.

that being humble is important.

that arrogance is never attractive or appropriate.

that replacing your’ ‘but’ with an ‘and’ makes all the difference.

that follow up and follow through are critical.

that connections to each other and the world around us matter.

I believe we live in a  truly remarkable country with boundless opportunity.

that being controversial is better than being neutered.

that we can disagree agreeably.

that nobody is useless.

in being a geek and not a snob.

that good teachers have good curriculum and an open mind.

that better is still better.

that smarter and simpler are better.

I believe that this is a short list of what I believe. And I believe I can make a difference.

What do you believe?

– with a grateful nod to Charles , Laurie Bernstein, and my Jackson County Master Recyclers class.

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Earth Day Every Day

Really?? Refuse, reduce first.

Yes, it’s the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. Like another big day, it should live in infamy. More importantly it should live actively through all of us – globally.

Here’s a post from another sitetake heart, take action.

Cheers to environmentally responsible beer. Now, go about and do something about it.

We can only enjoy it if we have lent a hand to be smart about it.

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Beer For Thought

Once is  a while, someone will ask me, “Do you ever run out of ideas for your posts?”.

Me? Never.

Why? Because the beer community and industry is chock full or interesting people who are constantly sharing – whether at conferences, at festivals, in magazines, online, in person or on the phone.

A few ‘good ones’ I’ll share today come from a variety of people in different scenarios.

  • How flexible is your attitude?
  • Change the paradigm without bashing
  • Train the palate, train the thinking
  • Passion with quality
  • Match expectations and realization
  • Change dabblers into drinkers

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