Working through your branding and positioning is an invigorating, challenging and aspirational process. While a lot of the work involves looking in toward yourself and your partners, you need to remember to consider one of the most important aspects of any business — who are your customers and what problems do they have?
This sounds strange when you’re talking about brewing beer, but think about your potential customers and consider how your concept can best fit into their lives. What does your community lack? Is there no local brewpub where people can congregate? How about a great pizza and beer joint? Is there a respected production brewery in your area? Maybe there’s no live music venue that supports smaller acts?
In our city, there’s a wildly successful production brewery. They opened six years ago and have, in a lot of ways, shaped every other brewery that’s opened in Indiana since. Over that time, we’ve met with two or three different start-up breweries in the area that have said, “We want to be like that brewery.” And we always ask them why. Aside from genuine concerns about how many production breweries one area can support, you need to understand your community’s needs.
What purpose do you serve? How are you different from your competition? What role do you play in peoples’ lives? Getting this nailed down will give you a solid foundation to build your brand and brew great beer for the right people.
This column was provided by the folks at CODO Design, a five-man branding firm based in Indianapolis, IN. They’ve spent years working with startup craft breweries on naming, branding and positioning, responsive web design, and package design. They’ve gathered their experience into a comprehensive Craft Beer Branding Guide to help startup breweries navigate the entire branding process. Check it out at www.craftbeerbrandingguide.com.