Ditch The Appetizers, Sell Them Beer

To everyone who helps operate a beer with food establishment:

Ditch the Appetizers, Sell them Beer.

Why do so many places feel compelled to cut into the already thin margins of food as attractant for business for ‘happy hour’ or other reduced price events?

This practice makes no sense – in fact it can only damage the business. And never mind reducing prices on beer. That’s sacrilege in real life. Good grief.

Here’s what we need to all focus on: VALUE.

Value is the worth we place on some thing, experience and all other whatevers in our lives.

Are they worth our time? Our money? Our attention? Our repeat business? Our talking about them? Our sharing them? Our buying them to give as gifts?

Value is what matters most.

Value is what matters most.

Value is the true proposition we can all embrace and really sit back and ponder. It’s how we perceive worth. It’s also a smart business practice: to price on value.

For instance, I don’t offer my services by the hour – that’s simply encouraging the practitioner to keep you in the loop for longer to make more money. Is that really an ethical idea? No. Is taking care of your customers within one project rate better? Absolutely. Will you sometimes spend more time and others spend less in accomplishing what you agree to do? Yes, and it all evens out in time.

Appetizers are teasers. They warm up our palate and theoretically get our (literal) juices flowing to entice us to order more food. Is offering a reduced price appetizer the best way to get people to come to your business? It may get them in but it won’t keep them. There’s no value in discounting.

Don’t ask for a reduced price and don’t offer one. Offer value, in all ways, all the time.

Beer deserves to be a full value for everyone, all the time. Get the appetizers, order a beer and simply let it all be.

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Defining “Free”

Free: not costing any money; not held as a slave or prisoner… (full definition here from our friends at Mirriam-Webster)

Free isn’t free – it’s an exchange. You’ve heard of the What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) – well, free is in that camp. There has to be a value exchange of some sort. Money, time, rewards.

'Nuf said.

‘Nuf said.

Some may argue that bartering or swapping is free. It’s not. It still requires an exchange – of time, expertise, money, supplies. Whatever is of value is included in the transaction.

So when people ask for free advice, beware. Adrienne sums it up – spot on. Read about her “No, You Can’t Pick my Brain” here. She’s got a gratis preview copy you can download. If it speaks to you, if you find yourself shouting YES!! to the space around you, reference it, use it, and share it forward. That’s the exchange that makes it worth your while and hers to exercise the activity.

If it doesn’t speak to you, you need to buck up and understand value. Value is part of the exchange. “Free Advice” isn’t free to give if your product is the expertise and advice requested of you and the invaluable knowledge you offer. Said another way, would you NOT pay an architect for the conversation? Would you NOT pay the medical specialist for the consult? Of course not – you need to put forth equal investment, as they have spent years acquiring the knowledge you seek and rely on.

Free means being able to say yes, no and negotiate – on your terms. Free is not something for nothing. Authentic respect demands a value proposition that works to mutual benefit and reward.

Yes, you can pick my brain for a price. Just as I pay the grocer for my food, the landscaper for design work, and the insurance agent for my policy. My brain is your resource. Therein lies the value.

By the way: Adrienne is launching a Pick My Brain Tour. Details here. Hope to see you there.

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Women + Beer Survey Insight: Report #1

As promised, today we’re digging into sharing some insight as gathered from the 2012 Women + Beer Survey.

Report #1: Why Do You Drink Beer?

While there are many categories of reasons and the nuances are numerous, one of the most common themes is Affordability or at least the perception of affordability.

Let’s make an exploded view of this seemingly simple statement to understand it more.

Affordability goes directly to the heart of one of the 3 Universal Truths we regularly discuss: Value.

Value and affordability are both their own moving circles, with overlap possible – or not. Overlap of the two require the person to tie these two concepts together, however they do, in order for them to work in harmony. Let me give you 2 scenarios to exercise this idea:

1. A long time friend is coming to town. She wants to get together and go for beer and dinner. We order a $25 dinner table bottle of a beer we both want to enjoy. The value of the entire experience is that my friend is coming to see me and that’s HUGE value of time and enjoyment. Adding the component of beverage and food ups the value for me and her, so we’re still good. Affordability in this case may well go hand in hand because we see it as an overall experience of our relationship, which has high value which will most likely lend us to ordering whatever fits our budget for the night (however conscious or unconscious that decision piece is).

2. I decide to go to an outdoor event, say a concert of a sports match. With or without friend/s, I get to the facility and, knowing in advance I can’t bring my own, I anticipate buying what they have available for beer. If its $2 canned beer night, guess what – that’s great! It fits my idea of what I may want the event to be like, in totality. OR it may not – wherein I settle for what’s available. If I like what’s available, I order one or two or whatever is appropriate. If I’m less happy with the choice yet happy with the event, then I may only buy one beverage – and it may or may not be alcoholic in nature if a choice is available. Affordability and value have equal import, yet entirely different circumstances. As does every situation in our lives.

IMG_0268Within these two seemingly simple scenarios, there are myriad options and paths to go down in the  decision-making process. We make some of them so fast and automatically, that we hardly give ourselves time to get thirsty. Sometimes we belabor them, drawing out the various situation and selecting what we like the most, having put more thought into it.

We want these reports to be valuable and the input that was freely given is. You have to know how to use the insight though – it’s not a face value study that we’re compiling. Yes, much of the info is straight forward. And all of it has context.

  • If you’re a beer professional, then this is your signal to keep educating about the value and the affordability of your beer, in many ways.
  • If you’re a beer consumer (and we all are to begin with), then start thinking about how you make the decisions you make as it concerns relating affordability and value together.

This is the tip of the women + beer iceberg. It’s exciting to be creating and compiling, sorting and interpreting all the incredibly useful information that beer oriented businesses will be able to apply.

If you want more on Report #1, it’ll be available for purchase as of Monday 6/10, with upwards of 30 separate facets on this question alone, all of them with their own expanded insight section to accompany and help you utilize this singular knowledge. We’ll keep the series going, covering all 50 of the questions. Some of the 50 questions will require their own report, as there’s simply a lot of ground to cover, and some will be joined with others as they were designed as multi part inquiries and need to be published together.

Cheers ~

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What Is A Marketer?

We hear the word marketing bandied about everywhere. So do you know what marketing is, and what a marketer does?

The short answer is this: They’re listeners, advisors, and guides. Giving you the benefit of their skills, insight, intelligence, and expertise to assist with your success in reaching the designated target market you wish to sell to.

You have to be able to bring a product to the market and specifically to the market that will buy your goods. That’s marketing. And it’s not just a good thing, it’s essential.

A fitting marketer will help you have plenty of success.

A fitting marketer will help you have plenty of success.

A marketer is a huge part of successfully investigating a desired market location and researching bringing a product to that market. It can be a good or service of any sort. The market location can be specific geographically, for a brick and mortar store, or a virtual online location for global access.

No matter “where” you want to be, a marketer is the one who has the skills, expertise, acumen, and way of thinking to bring your ideas successfully to market. The AMA covers it well in this definition.

Women Enjoying Beer is a company with marketing services on the menu. We offer marketing services to widely varying clients. Already operating companies, companies in formation, private individuals who want guidance and expertise, and many others. We get a lot of free work requests as well, though they’re not “Please give me free work” direct requests. They come in the form of various asks: Can you just tell me…, Can I pick your brain…., Would you be willing to share some ideas…

In all these case the answer is Yes! of course we can help you. And you need to expect to pay for the high value input you desire, just as you expect high quality from your cheese monger and plumber.

Calling on marketing professionals that match your goals, style, and philosophy is a wise investment. Indeed, doing it right means you do it once. Getting it half way there with the wrong person…well, which half do you want?

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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.

31 Facets of Women & Beer Series starts here

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Marketing Beer to Women, Part 1: Three Universal Truths

Three Universal Truths with women and their relationship with beer:

1. Education. Women want to learn about beer. Beer Education can be obvious like developing an ongoing “Beer 101”, “Get to know your beer”, or “Beer Basics” for women only. Holding women’s only classes are a smart choice since many women feel much more comfortable learning among the same sex. It’s true that same gender groups do in fact learn differently and sometimes better because there is no sexual tension of any sort. And even though many women and men say they are still going to totally be themselves in mixed groups, it’s highly unlikely that they will in fact be as freely participative than if they were in single gender groups. Like it or not, mixed gender groups create a totally different dynamic than single gender only groups. Frame it like any other affinity group: invite only those who are high likelihood targets and leave the others alone.

photo courtesy Kate Parks

2. Social. Beer is a social libation and women want an element of social interaction in relation to beer. Some women like to sit back and observe or be a more quietly engaged participant. Some women like to be in the center of the action. Either way and everywhere in between those two ends of the spectrum, know that a social component is important in engaging women in their learning and enjoyment of beer.

3. Value. Women want a solid value, be it spending $20+ on a dinner table bottle of special beer or two bucks for a PBR. Value ultimately lies in the experiential circumstances and context of the occasion, however formal or casual. Value is also one of the strong memory ties that bind and encourages either a repeat or “don’t do this again” experience for the consumer and the brand or style. When women have had a good time with a beer, they will for sure remember it and not only recommend it – they’ll want to duplicate the experience and share it with others.

Know these Three Universal Truths for Women + Beer to now be self evident.

Tomorrow – Part 2: Know Your Market

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WEB Upcoming Events & Happenings

Here we are into November already – and we’re hoping the fall has been very good to you. Be sure to enjoy some fall beers including Pumpkin beers. They can vary all over the flavor map so get a few friends together to each buy a different kind, then do a tasting comparison some cool evening. A savory root vegetable and/or meat soup with fresh crusty bread can pair nicely with the sweet maltiness a lot of fall beers offer.

Fall into fall beers

We’ve got a great looking line up of Upcoming Eventswow!! Take a look and be sure to sign up sooner than later for the ones you’re interested in. Registrations will be up shortly on the Events Page.

December: Happy Hoppy Holidays!

We’ll meet at the lovely Lithia Springs Resort in Ashland to celebrate the end of the year together Thursday December 2nd, 7 – 830.

Locally based Summit Distributing is graciously partnering with WEB to provide 4 oh-ho-so-tasty beers that we’ll pair with scrumptious holiday eats. Only 20$ per person, $18 each if you register 4 or more people at the same time.
There will be a bonus pre-event shopping time from 4 – 7, and of course afterward as well. See what women who enjoy beer are on your list and come ready to take in some *special event only* prices on Beer Gear. (cash and check accepted)
p.s. Lithia Springs Resort has generously offered you a goodie too – if you want to stay at the Inn the night of this event, you can have half off any room! Call Robin directly at 541.690.6946 to book it.

Plan ahead for these beery events

January collaboration: “This is the One!!”
Come join us for an inaugural women & beer event at Kaleidoscope Pizza. Women Enjoying Beer & Kaleidoscope are partnering to launch their fabulousness to women at this tasty event.
Sign up today for a full 5 course dinner  where select terrific beers will be paired with delicious foods specifically made by the talented Kaleidoscope kitchen for the evening.
Plan to meet at Kaleidoscope Pizza on January 11th from 7 to 9 pm.
WEB followers have first dibs on tickets until 11/15. As of November 16th Kaleidoscope will be letting all their fine patrons know and it’s sure to fill up very fast.
We’ve only have 50 seats (really). All reservations can be made here (they won’t be taking them at the restaurant).
At only $35 per woman for a 5 course, full service evening – it’s a spectacular value.
What a grand way to get into the new year! Hope to see you there 11 January 2011.
p.s. this would make a really cool holiday gift!

January: New Year Budget-Watcher Special

WEB will have the first ‘regular’ meet up in the New Year Thursday the 20th, 7 – 830 pm (location pending). We’ll feature beers from the fantastic locally based Summit Distributing and have a nice tasting and pairing of 4 delicious winter beers with 4 matching foods.

Regular/single tickets are $20 each. If you bring a beer compatriot and you register at the same time it’s only $15/each. Relax post holiday with Women Enjoying Beer!

February: “What’s The Deal With It?!”

Be with us at Salon Isabella to learn all about what Drew’s fabulous crew can do for you. That’s the deal. The Salon Isabella crew will be offering different stations of information to highlight their services and talents.

It’ll be a free ranging fun evening with beer and accompanying nibbles set up throughout this beautiful salon. Thursday February 10th, 7 – 830, $20/each; 4 or more registering at the same time are only $15/each.

As usual, you’ll be savoring some delicious beers paired with some equally yummy roving munchies. Salon Isabella is located at 108 East Hersey Street – Suite 1, Ashland. Come ‘deal with it’ with Women Enjoying Beer and Salon Isabella!
And lastly today – we’re still on track to launch a Women Enjoying Beer Monthly Bringing Beer To Life enewsletter subscription. It’ll offer beer info, brewery info, travel tips , event info, recipes, tasting & pairing suggestions, fun pieces about women & beer and lots more. Watch for it to launch December 1st. It’d make a terrific holiday gift for the female beer enthusiast in your life (you included!).

WEB will also be launching a Beer Business Enewsletter subscription come January 2011. Keep your eyes peeled for the announcement.

Thanks as always, for your time, attention, and support. We’re continually on the look out for more women who enjoy beer – wherever they may be. Feel very free to forward this along as you wish. We appreciate the spread very much! And – always – let us know how we can be at your service.

Cheers & take good care –

Ginger

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What Makes A Place Return Worthy

Yesterday, I dumped on an exceedingly poor experience. Today, let’s shine some light.

If you read this and say “Ah! These are no brainers” then don’t tolerate it elsewhere either! Speak up – if you’re in the craft/beer community, say something so this does not get repeated (it was an embarrassment).

Okay – what to do:

1. Curb appeal – like it or not, it matters. Make sure your place looks inviting, the lighting is appropriate and not ugly, ugly industrial, too high, weak, fluorescent or otherwise bad. Curb appeal infers you care.

An excellent customer experience can be had at The Publican in Chicago

2. A sign to indicate you’re open or not needs to be nice and readable, not the $2 hunter orange and black variety. Geez, you put so much into your beer (theoretically) why skimp on a bad sign that turns people off?

3. Smell. What does your place smell like – and you can’t be the one to answer it. You smell it so often you’re immune to it. Ask others. Fresh, yes. Like beer is brewing – yummmm! Like industrial pine cleaner (horrific on a taste experience) or urine or garbage, bad bad bad. Clean it top to bottom with your crew 1 – 2 times per year. When everybody cleans it, everybody keeps it cleaner.

4. Clean fixtures – tables, chairs, floors, baseboards, bathrooms. Clean Clean Clean. Things should look, smell, feel, and be clean.

5. Only serve quality goods – beer and food. Simple is good – a simple fresh bowl of pretzels will always be better than a poorly executed and wasted dish of some other ilk. Don’t insult your beer by serving sub par foods.

6. Service. The very words connotes that you will indeed be served – whatever your model looks like. Drill home the servant mentality, train, teach everyday, reinforce, retrain, reteach, reinforce, rinse repeat. the passion for the customer has to come form the top too.

7. Value. Value = experience + company + environment + time spent + dollars. Get all the pieces right and it’s a fit. Get any of them wrong, then it’s time to evaluate and start over.

8. Training and education, leadership and guidance are critical pieces of the pie if you’re a one person show or if you employ hundreds. People love to patronize well run operations. Give them lots of reasons, starting here.

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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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Yet Another Benefit

The Brewers Association is, in my humble opinion, a very worthwhile organization to belong to. They’re constantly looking at ways to advance beer, education, enlightenment and quality tasty beer.

Paul Gatza (BA, left) and Larry at CANFEST in Reno this year

Paul Gatza (BA, left) and Larry at CANFEST in Reno this year

They just rolled out another terrific component – It’s called “CraftBeer.com” and it’s available to all members.

They already have a plethora of reasons to support the greater cause through a variety of membership types and levels. As with any group you believe in, it’s very important that you extend that belief to monetary support.

No they didn’t ask me to post this. It’s simply something I feel strongly enough about to crow on periodically.

Take a look at the homepage, dig around, then choose your membership.

If you want high quality beer available at reasonable prices. If you want to support the economic base that brewers provide to your communities and to our country. If you want affordable luxury in your glass.

The time is now to join. You can have something to say about it when you’re fully engaged in it. Support is one form of engagement.

Consider it a double whammy present – to your little self  and to the beer community as a whole.

Cheers!

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For Your Buck

For today’s post ‘Good’ = high quality, solid profile, well made and cared for from tank to table.

How much does a ‘good’ bottle of wine cost?

How about a ‘good’ bottle of liquor?

How much does a ‘good’ 6 pack of beer cost?

Lazy Magnolia 6 packs

Lazy Magnolia 6 packs

From an economic stand point, beer is one of the best values for your dollar. Let’s do some math.

  • When you look for a reasonable bottle of wine, you can plan to spend anywhere from 10, 12, 20 dollars or more.
  • When you buy a reasonable bottle of liquor, you start anywhere from the mid teens up into easily 30 or 40 dollars.
  • When you want to buy some good beer, you can start at 8 or 9 dollars for a six pack.

Seriously. You get 6 – 12 ounce bottles effectively exceeding any regular wine or liquor bottle quantity with that 8 – 10 bucks.

I’m not pitting one kind of beverage against another – I’m simply pointing out that beer is and will continue to be a great value. Women tell me over and over that value is really important. (And value goes beyond just the $$ factor.)

Value is always important. Now more than ever with people more aware of exactly where their dollars are headed and to what end, money is even more strictly watched.

So not only is a good beer good, it’s a great value. And the kicker? It’s always a great value. Regardless of economic environment. It’s why we call it an affordable luxury. Because it is.

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Stunning

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

We are ever so fortunate in the USA to have an incredible parks system.

After we left a great stay in Jackson, Wyoming, we headed north into Montana via Grand Tetons National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Wow.

For a very reasonable $80 you can buy an annual National Parks pass. Seriously – that’s all.

Think about everything that buys and supports. Pretty cheap.

We’re excited now to use it to the hilt. Enjoy some pictures from our leisurely drive through the park.

Fire damage

Fire damage

Snow lingers in the shadows

Snow lingers in the shadows

Gorge-eous

Gorge-eous

Reflecting

Reflecting

Yellowstone Hotel

Yellowstone Hotel

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IPA Education

Jody & I enjoying a good beer in Montana

Jody & I enjoying a good beer in Montana

This post covers the story of IPA well – India Pale Ale. It’s a great fun educational opportunity – which women have told me, indirectly and directly over and over and over is important in purchasing habits and developing buying patterns.

When you educate, you create knowledge, you create buy in and buy of (your beers).

Host an IPA event – no “ladies night” though – that’s a no no. Please – women or females.

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