Thanks to my fine filmmaker, Sean Marc Nipper of Reel House Films, for these short films on marketing beer to women.
Thank you for giving a great session*. I really enjoyed your entire lesson. The thing that stood out the most to me was your suggestion on how to get a better understanding of what flavors people like to transform them into a beer drinker. I never really thought about asking a wine drinker what flavors they like in their wine and use that as a gateway to beer. I have always tried to start with a blonde, amber, etc and work my way up, typically finding that wine drinkers usually tend to go with something more flavorful anyways. I’m excited to have the opportunity to try my new technique.
Megan Scheerhorn, Marketing Coordinator
*Beer & Sex: Marketing Beer To Women, Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Conference, Kalamazoo MI January 2017
Over the yeas I’ve been asked a number of times: So, how do I put together a women’s beer group?
Today’s the day I want to shed some light on successful components to planning and executing a women’s beer group.
- Education has to be the primary purpose. Educating a new segment in a population to an idea must drive the endeavor forward.
- Single gender education has some unique benefits so do it right. Full respect, no pandering or pinking and by all means make sure it’s worthy of the time you put into it.
- Title: this is the easiest and toughest for some people. What do I name it? Easy: use the words “Women” or “Females” for starters. Simple and descriptive rule the day here. Check to make sure the name you think you want to use isn’t being used by others as well (trust me, says the logo-infringed upon business owner). If it is, think again for another choice.
Conversely, never use denigrating or less-than-full-respect terms for women & beer: babes, broads, girls, chicks, and all other ilk of slang terminology holds everyone – and beer – back.
- A regular schedule is in order to get any sort of momentum. Whether you design a 3 part series or year round program, hold it consistently – day wise, time wise, location wise. Consistency builds brands.
- Charge guests for it. Part of the value proposition includes monetizing the education. Create a budget expressly for this effort and follow it. More guests will show up and take it seriously when you have a fee attached. $$ = investment of time and effort for everyone.
- Provide goodies. Free doesn’t make the world go round, but goodies can. I often get small glasses in tip-top shape at the thrift stores, put my vinyl stickers on them and give them away at tastings. Meaningful mementos of use are a great incentive and fun for all.
- Invite select media and press to attend, one at a time. Make M&P seats as valuable as the others. Budget 1 seat per event for proven press pros to enjoy, record and report. Show them a good time – just as you do all your guests – and do not expect glowing press in return. The job of the press is to report, as they see fit professionally to do so. Give them a good story and news they can use.
This gets us started today.
Want more tactics and strategy on how to put together a women’s or men’s or general beer enthusiasm group? Call me. I can help.
The power of getting where you’re going is a milestone.
“Milestones are constructed to provide reference points along the road. This can be used to reassure travelers that the proper path is being followed, and to indicate either distance traveled or the remaining distance to a destination.” – Wikipedia
Where is it you want to go? What do you want to measure? What road are you creating that you’re heading down?
Milestones in beer are infinite. What was the first beer you tasted? What was the first beer you really connected with? Who were you with when you enjoyed a special beer? Where were you? How do all of these experiential milestones factor into your beer life going forward?
A few milestones for me include:
- First sips of beer in the company of my parents. Curious, though unremarkable. No big deal.
- First beer at college parties. Socially more of a big deal, taste wise – unremarkable to my taste buds.
- First taste of a sour or wild beer. Life changing, I loved it.
- First brewpub I patronized, though for the vibe & food, not the beer.
And so on.
As a researcher of women and beer, I find it interesting to learn about others’ milestones in beer. Finding out what resonates and what is benign. Hearing stories and tales of their experiences.
It places Women Enjoying Beer in a singular space, with an insight library of personal recollections and opinions unique to the entire beer world.
When beer makers, importers, distributors and retailers want to really know the milestones for women and beer, were at the ready to serve. Sharing the information through our services is how we are aiming to complete the milestone of a gender-free beer community. One in which gender is irrelevant (because it is) in relation to beer.
What are your beer milestones?
Beer for everybody. Everybody for beer. That’s a milestone worth aiming for.
The tricks and treats this time of year are obvious ones:
- Women enjoy the treat of beer, as do many other people.
- The trick is making sure women are addressed as any beer buyer, drinker and enjoyer: via taste buds and brains.
This Halloween season enjoy the beer you like – enjoy it with people whose company you like – and enjoy in moderation.
How to market beer to women is no trick. It’s simply knowing your audience, potential market share and supporting population. That’s a treat we can all enjoy.
By addressing women.
Mature markets is a misnomer, first of all. They aren’t mature if the entire population isn’t equally invited into the conversation.
One of the goals of the Brewers Association, for example, is to figure out how to grow in mature markets. Markets keep evolving and advancing, receding and changing so growth is a relative term. So I’d ask: how do you want to grow? More importantly, how do you define growth? What are those components driving your definitions? How will the definition change going forward?
Growth isn’t only or always about volume or quantity. It can be myriad definitions, as it suits the parties involved. I laud businesses who focus on growth as stability, internal improvement which then radiates to external audiences. Growth that lessens environmental impact, improves the quality of life of those involved and gives to the community around the entity is smart. Growth that increases capacity or volume sheerly for “more” is misguided and doomed to bust, sooner or later. Balloon walls are only so forgiving.
I can guarantee that when beer invites women into the conversation, markets will evolve – they will grow in participation – they will advance with more voices, more education and more participation. Until then, well, good luck beer.
Market growth isn’t that difficult to figure out or to accomplish. For example:
- Do the images and picture you use equally feature women and men? if it’s lopsided, you can fix it right now. I’ve yet to see a beer magazine have an equal mix of women and men. Who will be the first one to rightly accurately represent the population??
- Do labels, beer names or brand names focus on the beer, and steer clear of anything sexual? If your beer can stand on its own, it deserves a place in the market. If you are relying on sexist images – of any sort – then get out of the way for the rest.
- Are you talking to everyone who approaches your beer with equal enthusiasm? If you reduce people to brains & tastebuds, vs. reproductive make up, then you’re doing it right.
Beer needs women more than women need beer. Heck, women – and men for that matter – don’t ‘need’ beer at all. Growth of beer is reliant on women and the sooner the professional beer industry community sees that, the better off we’ll all be. In fact, I’ll drink to that.
Ginger Johnson Releases Trailblazing New Book on Marketing Beer to Women
Women Enjoying Beer founder to host book-release event at Portland’s famed
Ginger Johnson, founder of Women Enjoying Beer, is releasing a comprehensive new book that instructs beer-industry companies on how to properly market beer to female consumers.
The book — How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer — is a first-of-its-kind and valuable how-to book for the modern beer industry.
The book’s insights are based on surveys Johnson conducted with female beer drinkers and Johnson’s eight years running Women Enjoying Beer, the nation’s only female-focused beer marketing company.
Johnson wrote the book to fix a shortcoming in the beer industry.
“I wrote this book,” Johnson says, “because beer companies don’t completely and respectfully market beer to women. They are incredibly overdue in realizing they must reach out to women with a dedicated effort. It’s not about pinkifying – that’s pandering. It’s about acknowledging with full respect that you want female beer drinkers to be your customers.”
“Women in America make 75-85% of all purchasing decisions,” Johnson notes, “and they can make or break beer companies. So it’s time for beer makers to retire the old sexist and juvenile jokes and get serious about beer and women. If they don’t, they’re missing a huge opportunity.”
On Wednesday, October 26 from 5-7 PM, Johnson will host a book release event at Portland, Oregon’s Belmont Station (4500 SE Stark St.). Johnson will read excerpts from her book and discuss its findings, and answers questions on how brewers and beer-focused businesses can boost their efforts in marketing to female beer consumers.
Admission to the event is free, seating is limited and books will be available for singing and purchase ($49) at the event. Reservations are required and can be secured by sending an email to email@example.com or calling 515.450.7757.
“In 2008,” Johnson recalls, “I looked around and wondered why more women weren’t enjoying beer like I was. That moment was the catalyst for my company and it has driven me ever since. The enjoyment of beer has been foundational to the development to the United States, and it’s a damn shame the beer industry has yet to fully recognize and address women as beer enthusiasts.”
Numerous beer-industry companies have benefited from Johnson’s expertise.
“I see women filling our stores every day, buying all kinds of beer,” says Rob Hill, New Business Development Director for Total Wine & More. “This is a reality to be understood and not ignored. Ginger’s passion and expertise for this historically misjudged consumer segment pour out of the pages of her new book.”
“Let’s face it,” says Hugh Sisson, founder of Baltimore’s Clipper City Brewing, “the craft beer industry – and the beer industry in general – has tended to overlook the female side of the market. Ginger Johnson is not only adept at educating brewers to open their eyes to this under-served market segment – she also gives brewers practical ways to reach this enormous audience.”
How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer can also be purchased here.
Thanks to everyone who came out the book events in Denver last week, during the Great American Beer Festival.
- Kokopelli Beer Company got us off and running (and sipping) by hosting 2 events: the first for beer pros & media, talking about the book, what’s in it and how to use it. The second was a screening of my TED talk for everyone. Both groups were engaged, fun and participated actively.
- A tour of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science by Dr. Nicole Garneau was a real treat. I’m a tour junkie and the behind the scenes is always the most interesting ‘exhibit’ around.
- Visit Denver then took credentialed media around on buses to 3 breweries in Denver. As is their style, they take good care of us as guests and the bonus of Ed Sealover as our guide sealed the deal.
- Book signings at GABF itself were good – both Thursday and Friday nights. The opportunity to meet with and talk to people who know the book holds real (ROI style) value is always gratifying.
- The big World Premier Book Launch party at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, with my venerable crew Diane, Dave & Marty, was a success. Our partner in this event was Ska Brewing – pints up to them for ‘getting’ there’s something to this. T’was fun to have a crew of Ska peep present & participating.
- Wrap it up by attending a Brewers Association Press Conference – super useful insight – and then a special session of Paired – beer & food pairing at the GABF – and you’ve got quite the week!
- The cherry on top was a radio interview with Gary Valliere, American Craft Beer Radio, Saturday, as we eased on down the road home.
- People met, reconnections with friends and colleagues, many conversations & a few beers, books discussed signed & sold. It’s all part and parcel to my world in the beer community.
What was your week like?
- Are you a professional and in some way selling or marketing beverages to women?
- Do you want more high-value customers?
- Do you understand the value of both building more long-term customers AND professional development for you and your team?
Then call Ginger today at 515.450.7757 to register for your seats at this exclusive event.
VIP Professional Marketing To Women Seminar
Date: Thursday November 10th, 6 – 8 pm
Please join us for cocktail & beer hour + hors d’oeuvres between 5 and 6 pm. The program will start promptly at 6 pm. We recommend you arrive by 5:45 to settle in.
Location: our friends at Immortal Spirits, Medford OR
Agenda of The Evening: Based on the newly published book, How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer, this singular groundbreaking-book seminar is designed for beverage pros who want to develop and hone their customer service and selling skills. The program will go through specifics in the book, you take note and makes notes in your copy of the book, and walk out of the event with Real Useful New Insight to apply to best sell beer to women.
This seminar is designed for beverage and beer brands, brand representatives, beverage marketers and operators, distributors and importers, retailers and restaurants and bars that sell 21+ beverages.
You get a custom menu 3-course delicious dinner prepared exclusively for you, for this event. Our fine friends at Immortal Spirits are planning a menu to include beverage and food for each course. It’s one of my Third Places and they make stellar spirits and pour delicious beers.
Why Should You Attend: Because women buy 75-85% of all goods & services in America. Because you want to sell more beverages. Everyone who sells adult beverages needs women. Women want these drinks. This exclusive seminar connects the dots, giving your company a competitive advantage over those who do not attend.
Registration required by end of day 11/9/16
SEATS ARE VERY LIMITED. Call today to reserve your seats (payment in full saves your seats; registrations are non-refundable once purchased.) And frankly: you should be there if you’re in the business.
Investment: You’ll more than recoup your entry fee of only $99 per person. The ROI will happen quickly when you apply what you learn at this seminar and from the book in totality.
If you love your beverage, if you want to sell more, if you respect women as the world’s most powerful market then plan on joining me for this incredibly high value event.
THIS WILL SELL OUT. Call today 515.450.7757
The videos we’ve been posting get you started…reserving your seats assures your increased success. Talk soon.
This morning I sent an email to all 252 Women & Beer Survey responders. The input they provided helped form the foundation of the book, How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer.
Do you know a woman – or are you one – who replied to the survey? Then, thanks.
The original survey was 50 questions in length. That’s a good amount of time sitting in front of the computer, entering your thoughts and opinions. See, this survey is qualitative – it’s ‘messy’ data. It’s all opinions, thoughts, ideas, factors in our decision-making. I love every moment of reading and interpreting it as well.
Qualitative date tells us the Why behind the action. It’s a critical, oft neglected part of research. I’ve heard some people who work in various data collecting companies say that gather this kind of data is hard and unwieldy. So? It’s the most important stuff. Only knowing statistics – what has been measured and leaves out the Why – is to leave out a huge part of the picture.
The book was a 7 month intensive investment for me. It forced me to set aside other work & revenue generating activity. I had to think seriously about doing so, since I’m my own business. Everything I do affects the top & bottom lines. I discussed it with my family to ensure I had their support (I did).
It’s with pride that I am now crowing about and carrying around the book to show and sell. Many people have already expressed an interest, several have purchased it. You can buy it here online now and yes, we absolutely ship internationally. Women & beer are everywhere. That’s an easy request to fulfill.
Be in touch when I may be at your service: education, consulting, speaking on women, women & beer, beer & food. Workshops, pro education, media & press requests, and consulting. Book events, both public and private, are happily executed as well. Thanks.
Hear Ye Hear Ye! Read All About it!
- Women Enjoy Beer
- Women Drink All Kinds Of Beer
- Women Enjoy Beer For All Kinds Of Reasons
- The Book Is Finally Available!
- Order A Fresh Copy Today By Calling 515.450.7757 (available online post 2016 GABF)
- World Premier Launch Party Seats Limited. Details Here (Lannie’s)
Get your copies today.