Nebraska Grower & Brewer Conference

It’s a rainy Thursday in NorCal, which is translating to accumulations of 2 to 5 FEET around Lake Tahoe at the higher elevations…time to get out and ski!  This past weekend I traveled to Omaha, NE, where they got their first snow covering of the season with 2-4 inches.  It was the perfect backdrop for the Nebraska Grower & Brewer Conference and Tradeshow in Lincoln where I was asked to present best practices for marketing craft beer.  We wanted to share the presentation as well as actionable insights that are relevant to not only beer, but all areas of craft beverage storytelling.  We hope this helps you and your team address challenges you may be facing.

Show me the goods >Nebraska Grower & Brewer Conference and Tradeshow logo

The purpose of the Nebraska Grower & Brewer Conference and Tradeshow is to provide pertinent educational information to regional hop growers and craft brewers; a platform for participants to build industry connections and relationships; and the resources, skills and tools for participants to contribute to the Nebraska hop growing and craft beer industries.  The conference catered content to both growers and brewers, with experts presenting a broad spectrum of topics including hop field management, preserving hop aroma, yeast handling, safety, legal and everything in-between.  I was stoked to share concepts that the team at Market Your Craft has developed over the past year to a group of about 60 owners, brewers and industry members.

Below is a summary of key concepts:

  • Look at marketing differently: I was inspired by a conversation Sunday with Josh Mayich, presenter and owner of a family-run hop farm on Darlings Island, New Brunswick.  He talked about the building blocks of a long, healthy relationship between brewers and hop farmers, namely 1) knowing the famer, 2) knowing the farm and 3) knowing the hop.  I challenged the audience to flip that script and imagine what a hop farmer uses to evaluate potential brewery partners:
    • Know the brewery (transparency)
    • Know the brewer (commitment)
    • Know the beer (quality)
  • Marketing doesn’t fit into a single bucket: craft beverage producers have many tools available to help tell their stories, including public relations, branding, events, digital and others, most of which require more of a time commitment than monetary investment.
  • Be deliberate: your brand voice is bigger than your origin story.  It reflects your mission, vision, personality and what makes your beverage unique.
    • Be purposeful
    • Be original
    • Be yourself
  • Be strategic: take some time to lay the groundwork for your brand.  Try to balance managing what’s immediately in front of you with a grounded, 3-5-year business outlook.
    • Understand your current customer, and always look for sources of new customers
    • Know your competitors inside and out
    • Put a marketing budget in place
  • Be discoverable: very rarely do products market themselves today – there are far too many players in craft beverage for that.  Help customers find your brand by standing out from the crowd.
    • Use a content strategy and calendar to consistently engage your customers
    • Whatever you do, execute well, there is no room for error
  • Be above-board: always, always use best practices. If it’s questionable, don’t do it!
    • Market where 71.6% of the audience is of legal drinking age
    • Use best practices, including an age gate for digital
    • Practice legal advertising and couponing
    • Show your commitment to social responsibility
  • Key takeaways:
    • Keep the customer at the center of your world
    • Sometimes you have to press the reset button
    • Go further to reach look-alike customers
    • Act now!  

2019 Nebraska Grower & Brewer Conference and Tradeshow
Below you will find links to the video and all materials presented at the conference.
 

Nebraska Grower & Brewer Conference and Tradeshow presentation screengrab

Video: Streaming on YouTube

Presentation slides: Prezi format
PDF format (72.2MB)

Handout: Omaha Market Study Synopsis (515KB)

Nebraska Grower & Brewer Conference and Tradeshow presentation screengrab

Video: Streaming on YouTube

Presentation slides: Prezi format
PDF format (72.2MB)

Handout: Omaha Market Study Synopsis (515KB)

 
For more information about the Nebraska Grower & Brewer Conference and Tradeshow or the sponsoring organizations, please visit nebraska.beer.

What we’re reading this week:

  1. Amazon amps up influencer marketing: paid spokespeople, whether pushing their goods online or off, have been around for decades.  Business Insider, Inc. Magazine and others reveal Amazon’s plans to help struggling categories with the help of paid influencers.  Could craft beer be next?
  2. Sierra Nevada commits $10 million in support of Camp Fire: 3 local organizations and nearly 1,500 breweries worldwide could contribute as much as $15 million in total to efforts to help rebuild the devastated Paradise and surrounding community.
  3. This week, new wine country experiential company Airstream Living Napa Valley hits the road promoting their “Give to Get Winter 2019 Tour,” in which “glamping” experiences are auctioned off to benefit three California non-profits. Sounds pretty posh!

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