Many small business owners are eager to get things rolling again. Local restaurants, retail shops, and craft breweries (along with many other industries across the country) had to instantly pivot their business models to survive over the last six weeks.
Depending on where your brewery is located, you may be starting to look at creating a marketing plan on the best way to reopen, how to keep your customers, and gain new ones.
In addition to federal, state, and local capacity and distancing requirements, the Brewers Association is offering a free checklist (available here) to help guide you through the new processes and procedures.
We connected with Rob Day, senior director of marketing at Jack’s Abby to get his insider perspective. We’ve also compiled tactics from breweries we've seen successfully pivot over the last few weeks.
“Our first focus is a safe experience for our staff and guests,” says Day. “Nothing else matters if you can't live up to that promise. Once you've created a safe environment we're all thinking of how to create the best possible experiences within these new rules.”
We can help you create safe branded experience with:
- Custom branded face masks
- PPE stations with sanitizer and disposable gloves
- Street and floor signage to help customers and employees navigate within social distancing guidelines
- Branded umbrellas for outdoor seating
- Register partitions and other ways to keep hygiene top-of-mind throughout your brewery
Create the best possible experience with quality merchandise
“Merch is an incremental purchase for customers that they will definitely want when done right,” says Day. “The customers walking in your door have raised their hands as fans and are willing to rep you so long as you put the same effort into the merch as you do the beer.”
Custom merch ideas that craft beer lovers are digging rn include:
- Bandanas and buffs
- Can/growler coolers
- Quality apparel like hoodies and t-shirts
- No touch key chain tools that double as a can or bottle opener
Capitalize on customer loyalty
Customer buying habits have changed during this time and will continue to adapt. Your customers want to be back to normal as much as you do, but may also feel apprehensive about what the new normal will be like.
Make it seamless and easy for your customers to support the company. Continue to offer curbside pickup, online ordering, and contactless delivery (if you’re not doing those things now, it's time to start). Leverage your social media channels and email list to remain top-of-mind and let them know directly how they can support you.
Set up an online shop and/or add the link to your online shop across your social channels. If you're hosting your menu online, add your merchandise as part of the menu so it’s where your customers are already.
On Instagram, for example, take pictures or videos of your merch and add it as a highlight to your profile. Promote the shop in your newsletter and make sure customers take a visit to the area you’re selling your merch when they’re on-site.
Reward those who show their support by offering limited edition merchandise, designed with a sense of exclusivity and specialness -- this will help in fostering a strong sense of community and help everyone really feel like they’re in this together. Make them part of your quaranteam!
One way our friends over at Springdale Beer Company thank their fans is to put new releases on sale.
Even though offering discounts or running sales right now may punch your stomach a little, the long-term impact will show its return. We’re all feeling some financial frustration during these times, and your customers will be grateful to save a few dollars as well. Doing so will make your products accessible to more.
Last but not least, remain authentic. Your customers will respect the transparency and be able to empathize and connect with you. And when we get on the other side of all of this (yes, we will get there!) those that are there for you now, will be there for you down the line.
Let’s create something together
Whether you need to hook your employees up with PPE, set up some social distancing signage or ramp up your merch line, we’re here to help you. Get in touch with one of our branding experts to get things rolling.