Any legal-aged drinker knows that craft beer is hot right now. It’s not uncommon to find at least one brewery near where you live or work, and often more. And while the styles and taproom environments may differ among local players, we are reaching a tipping point where markets cannot support brewery glut. Or quite frankly the consumer tastes will change faster than your brewery can cater to operationally, leading you to fall out of favor until tastes change again. With a record number of new brewery openings in 2017 (997), there were also 165 closings – a 70% increase over 2016. The industry is about to experience a Darwin-esque survival-of-the-fittest moment, so the question is, on which side of evolution will you fall?
Not to worry, there’s still plenty of space for brands to succeed and thrive in this environment! In addition to great liquid, you must find your point of differentiation and secure your niche quickly. And constantly innovate (on both the beer and marketing sides) or get left behind. Craft brewing was built by do-it-yourselfers, passionate about creating and driven to succeed…but without the history and steady growth enjoyed by peers in other craft beverage segments. Leaving craft brewers to fend for themselves in a crowded market that will only get more competitive as consumers become educated on styles; preferences continue to change; and the local beer buzz wears off.
The goal should be establishing storytelling capabilities internally, starting with the basics: origin story, company mission, brand personality, etc. Every craft brewer has a unique story to tell – one that goes beyond starting as a homebrewer – but surprisingly few make it easy for customers to find! Drinkers don’t want to be told why they should care…they want to discover it for themselves. And good storytelling gives them cues to do just that.
|Our team gets beer! We have award-winning homebrewers, commercial brewers and marketers on-staff that understand the challenges and opportunities facing craft beer today. With over 7,000 licensed craft breweries in the United States alone, we’re right in the middle of the most competitive selling environment in the history of craft beverage. Combined with the explosion of media available to reach consumers, it’s no wonder brewers can’t get any sleep: it’s harder than ever for your brand to stand out versus blend in. Experts at Market Your Craft will look at your unique story and help you and your team craft a storyline that’s differentiated and ownable by you. As advisors to the craft industry, we cater to that entrepreneurial mindset by focusing and expanding the capabilities of your internal team, using proven tools to help drive tasting room traffic, build customer engagement and capture new sales for your brand.|