With states reopening, are consumers flocking to tasting rooms in search of normal? Not yet, it turns out. Studies like the one being conducted by AMC Global and OpinionRoute show a slower return to on-site drinking, with a majority of consumers claiming openings are happening “too soon” in their state. So how will your craft beverage brand remain top-of-mind during this coronavirus transition? This email helps you design a thoughtful calendar of events, content and sales promotion that engages customers on their terms AND drives traffic. Sounds impossible? Read on!
How does a monthly calendar make your brand more discoverable?
A phased opening in your state doesn’t mean you forget everything you learned over the past three months about curbside pickup, local delivery, online sales, virtual happy hours and tastings. Quite the opposite. Right now, brands need to show just as much sensitivity to those customers who aren’t visiting the tasting room as those customers that are drinking-in. Consider a balanced, monthly calendar that appeals to both groups:
We’re not suggesting you and your team focus any less time or energy on creating a safe, distanced experience for your onsite guests. However, it’s important to recognize you’re only serving a portion of your customers in-person; the rest have made a personal decision to wait it out. Your efforts right now to continue connecting with both audiences will not only help stabilize sales numbers but capture traffic from competitors.
activities enjoyed on-site
In our last email we talked about how a press release helps drive traffic to events at your location. And reopening is a newsworthy event itself. But what about the day-to-day events – how will your brand connect with customers who are easing back into social gathering? It’s important to share photos of safety precautions in practice with guests. For example:
- Masks: staff and guests, where required/recommended.
- Bands and entertainers: indoor/outdoor event layout, spaced tables, traffic flow.
- Food trucks: distanced lines, plated food, single-use versus shared condiments.
- Lines: purchase/pick-up procedures for visitors, club members or new release events.
- Seating: bar, counter and table seating for individuals and groups.
- Staff: interactions with guests, physical or electronic menus.
- Drinkware: glass or plastic, to-go options.
- Tastings: any new procedures for sampling or flights.
The point is not to artificially stage photos of customers using a hand sanitizer station. Moreso it’s about highlighting customers enjoying themselves in the safe environment you’ve provided. Your mobile-responsive website, social posts, email announcements and other marketing efforts should be focused on this type of lifestyle content right now. Then consider linking to a page with the complete list of what you are doing to comply with guidelines from the state Governor. If you’d like to brainstorm ways to creatively share safe social gathering content, pick a time on our calendar!
content experienced remotely
Over the past three months we’ve made suggestions on how to keep your fans and followers engaged when on-site beer drinking wasn’t an option. Now that states are opening back up, we recommend continuing your efforts to connect with remote customers. Start with those activities that generated the greatest interest/response, like:
The craft beverage industry has relied on creative outreach during coronavirus, so your list might look very different. Point is to pick two successful [remote] communications tactics to carry forward throughout this transition. Need help identifying those efforts with the greatest engagement? Let’s talk about it.
appropriate sales promotion
Chances are you and you and you team questioned early-on whether marketing during the coronavirus was ethical or responsible, then made the decision to continue messaging customers under a new set of rules. Looking back, we now understand customers connected with brands much like they did people: for comfort and normalcy. Some successful promotional tactics that are just as relevant after reopening include:
- Organizing a private/paid tasting from home
- Introducing online ordering and reservation systems
- Enabling customer donation to a local cause or charity
- Selling gift certificates and vouchers for future use
- Offering mystery packs of assorted product
These in addition to curbside pickup, local delivery, to-go packaging, direct shipping and other allowances helped keep craft producers in your state operating during coronavirus. We’re happy to share what we’ve learned from others in a Zoom call.
download a guide
A calendar of content and events helps you maximize your exposure to new and existing customers. It’s a living document that may change – because flexibility has been the only constant during coronavirus – but it helps keep everyone focused on the major and minor opportunities for engagement. And provides direction for social posts, email newsletters and other messaging. Here are three resources for planning next month’s calendar: