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Pay attention to the customers’ frame of reference, not yours.

Not your industry lingo, jargon, speak or vocabulary.

heineken-customer-service-cakeSpeak customer – that does not mean dumb it down. Your customers aren’t stupid. It means stepping outside of yourself and simultaneously your industry language to dialogue with the customer.

The first step in successfully inviting the customer to join you in enjoying and understanding your beer is to make sure they feel like you two are on the same (grammar) page. Alienation with jargon is easy – and easy to avoid.

Careful. Like Mike says, become a student of your customer.

Industry speak is one of the easiest ways to turn people off and turn them away. Yes, you’re passionate about your beer – stay that way. Be a geek, not a snob.

But you’re not your customer. Pay attention to them, not you.

Familiarity breeds alignment.

It’s easy to do. So do it.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by craftyconfections

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One Hundred +

Today marks the 100th post for Women Enjoying Beer. Big Thanks!! to all who have read it, read it regularly or sporadically, linked out to it, and chimed in. Please – more comments would be terrific.

  • What do you want?
  • How can WEB help?
  • What can I offer you to grow your business?
  • How can WEB increase your recreational enjoyment of beer?

Talk back. Here’s your permission.

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Good Friday

Hello all – Forgive me as I’ve been remiss about posting this week. The Open Road had taken my attention. So I’ll be back on track starting immediately.

Thanks – and keep reading!

Ginger

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A Very Tasty Style

Reading about sour beers makes my mouth water. They’re one of my favorites – and apparently many people all over are discovering them.

p1020517They’re complex, delicious, surprising, a great food complement, refreshingly different than a lot of other styles, gorgeous in their appropriate glassware and just plan incredible to drink.

Nate apparently agrees.

Next time I to get to California, you can be sure I’ll be looking up Patrick as his brewery specializes Belgians, a very tasty style which is apparently and generally the parent of sours (someone correct me if I’m wrong).

I like to pair a sour with a rich chocolate or fruit dish. Try it today – after all, beer is and remains an affordable luxury.

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Can Anyone Send Me Some??

p1020266One of my favorite beers happens to be Full Sail’s Session Lager. The last time I had it was when I took an (all too) brief trip to Oregon this past spring.

Alas! While I appreciate and respect that the beer is not available in the state I currently reside in, and I know it’s a pain (with some legal mish mash thrown in) to get the beer here…I’d LOVE some of their new Session Black.

Can or would anyone be willing or able to get me some?

…my mouth is watering…

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Did I Pass This Forward Already?

Education & Beer

Education & Beer

If I did not, here it is. Fal Allen’s exhaustive list of terms.

Even if I already did, it’s important to remember: The customer is not the expert.

Give them education or give them bad beer (with apologies to Patrick Henry).

KEY HERE: A lot of people do not know what “Craft” beer means. Explain it to them, help them learn and distinguish. At the same time, teach them what non craft beer is as well. Turn about it fair play in the education arena.

I’m not saying customers are stupid; I’m saying that you have to educate, constantly – your own staff too. Customers are smart – they know what they want to know and sometimes do not know what they don’t know (you know??).

Give it to them.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by sarasita

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Let Me Ask You…

Why do you do what you do?

Why is it important to the people you serve?

Why does the existence of your organization matter?

What does growth mean to you?

How are you proactively searching out clientele?

Are you putting yourself in the customers shoes?

How can you make business better?

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Regular Jill's

dalla-fort-worth-airports-askylinkTalking to people comes naturally to me. And for the most part I’m glad to strike up a conversation with another person when opportunity seems ripe.

Take Tara and Aud for example.

I met Tara when I sat down at the Chili’s bar in the Dallas Fort Worth airport a few months back. She was friendly (should be as a tender) and seemed relaxed and glad to be there (she told me she was). She answered my questions (hadn’t had Shiner, why wasn’t the local beer on tap, did she like her work) and made my experience pleasant. Late plane – not a big deal when I can have a beer while waiting.

Aud – met her at the same place. She’s from California – where I was headed – and was relaxed and seemed fine with our informal conversation. Smart, engaged, loves her work, beer enthusiast (likes the Pales).

Information – like great people – is everywhere. You gather it formally or informally. It’s all relevant, all telling, all interesting.

Message today = Good real women exist everywhere and they want good beer.

Who have you talked to lately?

Photo courtesy of Flickr by Jimmy – Lin

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Unacceptable Trend

This article is a classic example of what is happening at an alarming rate.

I’ve been reading such news via the BA and find it disturbing. Local Business are the heart and core of a community. Europe and the UK are way better at some things – having local pubs without alarmism is one of them.

Local businesses – pubs included – support, employ, provide a connection, offer space to those who are engaged in staying close to where they have chosen to call home.

Since I conduct research on women & beer, I’d throw out this offer:

Looking for a brewer or pub group to simply pay my expenses to come to the UK and conduct research into how women can possibly help reverse this trend (lower percentage drinking beer in the UK  – teens % wise – than the USA = 25%).

Simon and Roger can attest to my enthusiasm on this  topic.

Takers contact me directly.

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The Conundrum With The Word 'Craft'

‘Craft’ as it pertains to beer means nothing to any beer drinkers.

Let me fill that thought out a bit.

First remember – I am a huge enthusiast. I’m also not the one you need to convince to drink beer, craft or otherwise. (drop any expert mentality here too please)

Calling your beers ‘Craft’ beers  means nothing to most peo0ple; certainly most of the women I have talked  to not in the industry. Sure, some have a vague idea of what it may infer. Most have no clue as to what it specifically means.

So what does that mean for craft brewers? It screams of opportunity.

So here is a HUGE educational opportunity. Educate your consumers, your supporters, your patrons on what Craft Beer means to you – if you promote your beers as craft.

Keep in mind most things that are made period are crafted in some fashion. (between the lines = don’t tear something else down to build your goods up)

Don’t be a snob, be a geek. Getting women to drink beer altogether is progress. Getting them to learn what craft beer is – is next and then go from there.

Over and over and over in focus groups I conduct women have no real idea of what the craft label means – it is primarily an industry and existing enthusiast/beer geek term. Fine – just make sure you are sharing the definition liberally and non condescendingly.

Here are some definitions brought to us by the Brewers Association.

When people understand the definition of a word, then they will choose embrace or not. Regardless, you have educated people and they will be better off for it. Everyone will be better off for it.

It’s easy to do – have servers offer a fun easy-to-understand definition, post a sign (Craft beer = …), play a game with consumer to get their definition and then come together on it.

Define, explain, check for comprehension, deliver.

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Can Can

styled-earrings-made-from-a-recycled-aluminum-beer-can1One Myth I’m out to bust with my research and work in women & beer (consumer angle) is that cans are bad for flavor.

I feel compelled many times to climb on the soap box, or barrel as it were, and say “No!” try it, you’ll like it…Drinking blindfolded would help.

This post is a great example of how you can help bust that myth.

The great thing to promote for canned beer is that the planet benefits more – recycled aluminum cans take 95% less energy to recycle, are lighter weight (good for shipping and transporting therefore reducing emissions), and are acceptable to pack in/pack out to outdoor enthusiasts.

Use these pieces of information to help promote canned beer. Women will respond.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by Urbandwoodswalker

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Are You Open?

Said another way, how open are you? What are you open to? What are you not open to?

This is not an “Hours of Operation” question. It’s an inquiry and examination of what you’re open to. And more specifically what you are open to in accurately and authentically earning female market share.1875

  • Are you asking?
  • Are you listening?
  • Are you responding?
  • Are you learning?
  • Are you changing?
  • Are you developing?
  • Are you then growing?

How open are you? Closed doors yield traffic turned away, business missed.

And marketing accurately and authentically is about a business opportunity. Grab it.

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What's Your 'Line'

waiterAnother excellent resource today – all about the Customer Experience. Keep in mind the internal AND external customers we all serve. Both are equally important.

Kudos to Eric Ripert on this well done publication On The Line.

If you haven’t picked up, I am very high on outstanding customer service & experience. The difference?

  • Service = What you Give
  • Experience = What you Get.

What are you giving and what are you getting?

Take a good look.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by kait lilley

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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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Bad Stereotypes

Granted, I don’t know of any good stereotypes…Generalizations are different. Stereotypes set up backwards, thwart progressive thought and hinder forward movement.

Plus small minds have always ticked me off. They tend to be narrow, selectively ignorant and mean spirited.

In any event, Allegra McEvedy is right on per this Times Online. Sent to me be the very fortitudinous and  sharp Rhonda Kallman (co founder of Boston Beer).

“McEvedy, a keen drinker of Guinness, feels very comfortable holding a pint. ‘The stereotypes around beer annoy me and get my back up. It is a fantastically crafted drink, but the most important aspect of it is taste and environment. I like to drink Sagres lager, London Pride, Guinness in winter, or Doom Bar beer in Rock in Cornwall. All of these have wonderful flavours — just like a glass of wine.’ ”

She’s English and the women there drink a much smaller proportion of beer in the UK (13% vs. American Women at 25%+).

Message du jour: get past stereotypes, in fact – throw them out, out, out!!! You only do yourself a disservice, never mind the victim of the stereotype.

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Quality by Dr. Michael Lewis

I have a high amount of regard for Dr. Michael Lewis. He’s a class act, educated, affable, well spoken, extremely well versed in all things beer. A gentleman.

So I was really pleased to be able to take in his presentation at the latest Craft Brewers Conference in Boston, this past April.

One indication of the aforementioned qualities is this quote, which he offered during his talk:

“Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s bad or poor quality.”

It was in response to people referencing big brewers in the discussion. Indeed – to brew consistently, whether you like the taste of the beers made by industrial brewers or not, is quite remarkable.

Quality always outshines mediocrity or poor product.

How’s your quality of the beer, the customer experience and the authenticity of your brand (who you are)?

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Limey

One characteristic that women find appealing in advertising when it’s done properly – to attract them to your brand – is humor.

Subtle, funny, appropriate, intelligent.

Here’s a great example.

St. Louis Brewery is consistent in their message, quality, and who they are. Well done, Dan, Otto & Crew!

Enjoy a good laugh and a good beer today.

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How Clean Are You?

You know the adage “Cleanliness is next to godliness…”

All idolatry aside,  cleanliness is important.

mop-bucketAnd you know what? Most women feel the same way.

When you have a clean establishment, they want to be there because they know you care. If the floor or corners are dirty, missed by the broom and mop – it’s noticed. When the bathrooms are unkempt and dirty (not just messy) – yesh! MAJOR negative. When the glassware and dishes are not paid attention to – that’s a no-no.

Said another way – if you don’t care then they certainly aren’t going to – enough to not patronize your business. This translates outward too. If they’ve been to your place (brewery/pub/taproom) and it’s dirty, they’re way less likely to purchase your products, beers, & goods from other sources as well.

So here’s a goodie for you: Keep Your Act Clean.

Cleanliness will have positive payoffs when marketing to women consumers – craft beer, lumber, clothing, whatever.

No one – women & men – likes to shop in a dirty messy place – and remember dirty is different than messy or sloppy. Dirty is much worse. Dirty says you don’t care, that you are unsanitary, careless and therefore your standards are low. (Stay tidy though, too.)

Tsk tsk. Such an easy thing to pay attention to and do well.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by sarahkiff

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