31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #31

On this New Years Eve, we wrap up this series with a final facet: Women, Beer & Food.

Make it automatic: Beer & Food, Beer & Food, Beer & Food…..repeat it in your head or aloud until it’s automatic.

I’ve had women tell me in no uncertain terms that they want to learn about beer paired with food. They only had to tell us once. And I’ll tell you why it’s important to heed this critical directive:

  1. Beer and food go together. That’s the first most obvious one.
  2. Beer and food should go together. If you’re promoting alcohol – beer – then you should feel a sense of obligation to make food part of that promotion. Moderation goes hand in hand with responsibility.
  3. Beer and food complement each other so well. They bring out flavors in each other that when standing alone may be missed.
  4. Women want to duplicate the pairings they have at events. Be sure to share menus, suggestions and ideas. WEB always posts our menus the day after events for everyone to reference. It’s green, available and they can do with it as they wish.
  5. The beer community and food community have much to share and benefit from mutually when they collaborate.
  6. We like beer and food together. Do you? Then offer it as such.

Women, beer and food. This is yet another universal truth: they go together, and should. Combine them and you’ll see much success.

Happy New Year for Women & Beer!

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #30

With only two to go in this series, let’s get to it.

Facet 30 is how women see beer, otherwise known as Perception.

Perception is reality. Like it or not, what people perceive is many times what they think to be reality or truth. And while reality and truth aren’t the same thing by a long shot, perception is one of the most powerful influencers out there.

Women want to perceive beer to be something they can enjoy, something they are invited to explore and discover and something to enjoy with others.

Some women do yet the vast majority of women still don’t perceive beer as a drink of choice.

The perception that beer is a male oriented or dominated or only drink is false – YET if that’s the perception, it’s a tough nut for some to crack, dismiss, or get past. For some it may be easy and for some it’s difficult.

We’re changing patterns, behaviors and ideas. Those the the nuts to crack here.

It’s up to the brand to send out the right perception to women that they are in fact welcome, encouraged, respected and wanted. Things like boobs on labels, sexy ‘girls’ or women, degrading suggestive titles…throw all those out before the new year starts.

It’s up to the beer brands, distributors and retailers to encourage and perpetuate the perception that beer is for women. Women will embrace it more and more when the image of a smart, happy, average woman is portrayed in beer marketing, advertising, swag and attitudes.

The perception of women enjoying your beer can be your reality when you properly market to them. New year, new opportunity to a better branding image, no disrespect to be found anywhere and quality beer to boot.

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #29

Beer and good health. Those two can go hand in hand.

Moderation is the key, of course, as it is with darn near everything we consume. Multiple studies come and go, are released with much buzz only to die down, around health and alcohol consumption.

WEB isn’t here as an authority on health studies. We are here as an authority on women and their relationship with beer. Women, in general, are pretty good at moderation, perhaps partially because they are primary caregivers (whatever the household structure or other bodies involved). A sense of responsibility for women (and men) influences behaviors. 

As a beer oriented business, never encourage over drinking, choose festivals that portion out the beer (no give ‘unlimited’ samples), and be really in tune with the consumption of your patrons.

There are many reasons moderation should be observed – in beer, food, goods, electronics, and everything else. For now suffice it to say women want to enjoy beer and good health. And there’s every reason they can and should.

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #28

Successful events attracting women to beer universally involve 3 elements: Social, Education and Value.

We’ve covered these three over and over – and they bear repeating. And I want to make sure the connection of having all three are understood for events development.

How many festivals are you involved with each year? In order to make the investment (donated/reduced cost beer, labor, supplies, travel), choose selectively.

Choose well run festivals to get women to your brands

Not all festivals and beer oriented events are nearly created equal nor should you participate in them all. Not by a long shot. Do your due diligence, don’t just throw money around. Match the events to your brands and goals. Attracting women should be one of your goals.

Take a hard look at existing festivals before you join in: Are they truly female friendly? Do they include the three elements above, thereby attracting women (not just for tag alongs)? If there are images of people involved in the marketing of the festival, are they respectful of women?

If it’s a new fest, ask the critical questions: What are you doing to attract women appropriately and respectfully? Are there plentiful bathrooms AND handwash stations?

And here’s a bonus idea today: if you want to attract women to the festivals you’re involved with, ask the organizers to offer group pricing to women who come together. When given incentives to do so, women for sure take advantage of these kind of special goodies – and there’s no patronization involved.

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #25

As per the previous post – social responsibility – let’s get to Fiscal Responsibility for Facet #25.

Being fiscally responsible resonates large and loud with women. Here’s why.

Alarm for women = fiscal irresponsibility

Many women are heads of households. We already know they control and determine 80 – 85% of all purchases in the USA. They want to make good fiscal decisions themselves. And they want to support businesses who run financially sound operations.

When they shop and therefore when they are in the market to buy beer (on or off sale) they will be much more likely to support businesses they know to be fiscally responsible. If they know the company is sound and in the black, consumer confidence goes up and stays up. When they hear or feel like things are shaky – weeelllll…they may just divert their attention and dollars to a company they do know to be sound. Or at least one they have not heard is running in the red.

How do you communicate this in a tasteful manner? Talk about it on your site (yes, you must have a site…that is managed and monitored on a regular basis…). Share with them, as is appropriate, different things you do with your dollars, causes you support, money you’ve given to the community WHILE running an in-the-black business. As long as you are tactful and not boastful, sharing the general state of your financial situation is a big positive to women consumers.

Fiscal responsibility runs at the surface for women. No matter their income levels, women want to buy with confidence. Knowing your beer brand is solid goes a long way towards her continued and future purchases.

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #19

What do you serve your beer in? This is applicable whether you are exclusively draft beer or open and pour from different containers.

The vessels you use, Facet #19, are important to women. First they should be important to the beer. Then you educate your consumers – the most powerful of them being women.

The bonus here? Women are excellent students. Offering Beer Glassware Class to women only wherein you have a litany of different glasses available to explore and taste from is an outstanding educational investment.

And it can be economical. You can have a full set of class glasses to utilize for this specific purpose. You can ask that each woman bring their favorite beer glass from home. That can be a great icebreaker and stepping off point. Heck, it could even guide the entire class. Going around the classroom with each women, finding out why she brought that glass, suspending judgement, using each for questions, learning and conversation would be fun and very effective.

And please – let’s bust the tapered pint in the you-know-what! It’s a bad glass for most beer. (Sidebar: I’ve always wondered why brewers, who are so intensely passionate about their beer, tolerate sub par glassware…and bad pub food as well…)

Ultimately it’s up to you as the host and instructor to have a full range of glassware to discuss and feature. There are several fine beer glassware makers and much of it is readily available through a variety of channels.

Know that the educated female is interested in knowing what glassware will be best for her beer. It isn’t about ridiculous off-based incorrect stereotyping women: thinking that they only want or like ‘pretty’ glasses. Seriously, don’t insult them that way.

Teach them what glassware means to a quality beer, tell them what to look for and some appropriate matches for glasses + beer styles.

Smart design developed in harmony with the beer experience is what it’s all about. Teach her that and you’ll greatly elevate beer while respecting the intelligent market share of women.

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #16

Today’s Facet is part of the previous 2 posts, based on the Three Universal Truths of Women and Beer. Facet #16 is the Value part of beer for women.

Value for women = experience = time happily and well spent

Simply:

1. Women value their time. Make their purchasing of your beers easy, simple and fun. There’s huge time-well-spent value in that.

2. Women value their experiences. Women are heard pressed for leisure time, especially if they are the primary household caregivers. Make their experience well worth it and they’ll value it highly.  It’s what our memory tells us, drives us to repeat exbeeriences, or share them with others. There’s value in experiences.

3. Women value their dollars. Women are hard workers and still inexcusably are paid less than men, dollar for dollar. Regardless – they want the money they do spend to be worth it. Whether it’s a ‘cheap’ beer at a ballpark (classic example for a reason) or a $$ dinner table bottle with friends. Dollar for dollar, their dollars need to equal money well spent. There’s value in their monetary investment.

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #15

Facet #15 is Social value for women that beer brings to life.

social aspect = important for women and beer

We’ve talked about Facet #14 – education – many times along with the social component. And we’ll keep hitting it because it’s so foundational for women.

Women want a social aspect to their beer experience. Whether it’s quietly enjoying a beer by themselves somewhere they want to be in their own quiet sphere (social can be solo) or a noisy music thumping scenario where beer is part of the whole experiential juggernaut.

Let women decide how social they want their exbeerience. Ask women what they want for social surroundings, if she wants to involve you, and then give it to her. This is easy stuff, people.

We’re giving you the only inside track of available qualitative psychographic information on women and their relationship with beer. It’s up to you to do something with it. They’re waiting.

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #14

We’ve talked about the next 3 facets several times. We’ll hit them again since they are the only universal commonalities WEB has isolated per our research* thus far (*qualitative, psychographic research).

Facet #14 is that women want education with their beer.

Education is beer mission critical

Education for women on their beer is critical.

  1. An educated consumer is a consumer any business wants, especially when it comes to a ‘new’ kind of consumer – one previously either totally unfamiliar with the brand or product category, or simply one that has not been included in the conversation (women fit both here).
  2. An educated seller is what the female consumer wants, right Sam? I’ll answer that slightly rhetorical yet absolutely true statement. YES. Women want sellers of goods and services to know what the heck they are talking about. They want honesty and tact, diplomacy and truth.
  3. Offering women’s only beer education is powerful for women and for sellers, be they breweries, distributors, or retailers. Agree with it or not, it’s a proven fact that single gender groups learn differently if not more effectively in single gender settings. In fact we’re not even asking you to like it – we’re telling you it’s so. 

Education is mission critical. You have loads of ideas from this site alone. Now go do something with this information. Women everywhere will thank you with their wallets.

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #12

Knowing your market is facet #12.The very first step in successfully marketing to women is recognizing that women are in fact different than men.

Chuckle at the seemingly obvious if you wish. Answer this then: why do so many breweries and beer brands still not acknowledge this fact and do something about it?

One question we get asked with regularity is “why should women be marketed to differently than men” per beer? We’re here to etch this in your mind: you have to know your market. The answer is “because they are different!”

Know your female market

Women respond in their own ways, have their own reasons for buying into different beer brands, have their reasons for purchasing – or not purchasing – a brand of anything, and overall make decisions differently than men.

Just as you wouldn’t market tampons to men or elder care to teens, you can’t successfully market beer to women with a male target in mind. They are different and therefore should be approached and respected for as much.

Yes, it’s about the beer AND you have to nod your head to her buying power.

When you market your beers to women, you have to start with her first. That’s why we are a research company. It drives the education which is the true key to any progress.

Know that women are their own market and address selling and promoting your beers to her, starting with her first, and you’ll see success.

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #10

Consideration of beer serving size is Facet #10.

Women who are early in the learning curve may only want sample or smaller sizes in order to try more while not having to order a pint. Any bar anywhere worth their malt needs to be sure to offer and sell a half pint size serving of beer as a regular menu item.

Besides the sheer size, many women tell WEB in research that they want to try a variety of beers and a smaller portion helps them do that responsibly.

It’s pretty basic and smart business idea to offer at least 2 sizes of beer servings: half pint & pint, 10 ounce & 16 ounce, or whatever combination you decide on.

One brewpub I know of offers a ‘taste’ for 75 cents. Brilliant! Little 3 ounce pour, just enough to get a good taste and whet their whistle inexpensively.

It’s a good choice for all patrons too – not just women. Many people still think all beers should be served and consumed cold (another myth to bust) and a large serving gets too warm by the time they are towards the last fourth of the beer. Read: they don’t like drinking warmer beer. Even if you think that beer is fine warmer, it’s not up to you: it’s up to them.

Offer at least two sizes of beer servings, at two different price points, and you’ll please her and keep her coming back.

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #3

Let’s talk next about canned beer as Facet #3.

Maui & Black Star: tasty canned beer

There’s still a lot of old memory prejudice for canned beer. That it still tastes ‘tin-y’, that it’s low rent, that it’s cheap beer or that it’s ‘bad.’

Throw all of those out. The best way to get women to embrace canned beer is to do tastings and pairings with canned beer.

Some may already know that a canned beer is better than a bottle in that: there’s absolutely no light that can penetrate the can (vs. any color glass short of completely opaque) and that there’s very low head space inside the can for less chance of oxidation.

When we give a woman a fresh, well taken care of canned beer, she’ll embrace the experience. Changing behavior and ideas is the key here.

And this ‘can’ be true whether or not she actually likes the particular beer or not. When you educate on the qualities of canned beer and it’s truly healthy beer your teaching with, then she’ll be willing to try other canned beers.

We’ll cover more canned beer ground tomorrow for facet #4: canned beer and… tune in.

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