This is an excerpt from CODO Design’s newly published Craft Beer Branding Guide. CODO has spent years working with startup craft breweries on naming, branding and positioning, interactive design and package design, and they have gathered their experience into a comprehensive guide to help startup breweries navigate the entire branding process. Check it out and learn how to make your brewery stand out.
We recently sat down with a brewery in planning to discuss their concept and the possibility of working together. They had a logo, a nice one actually, but no deeper understanding of their brewery’s story. And through the course of our conversation they mentioned something very smart:
“We feel like we went through a design process, but not a true branding process.”
And we wanted to write a bit about this today because we see some misconceptions surrounding these concepts a lot in the craft beer world. We’ll preface this by acknowledging that the difference between branding and graphic design may seem like semantics, but there’s a big difference — from a budget and timeline standpoint, a cultural standpoint, and maybe most importantly, what you’ll get from one versus the other.
Graphic Design is the creation of visual elements like your logo, packaging, print materials, etc. It’s the act of communicating ideas visually.
Branding is the development of core brand values, compelling messages, positioning and your story itself. It’s framing your brewery’s ‘why’ and the telling of that story across every point of interaction you have with your customers.
While graphic design is an inherent step in the branding process, without brand strategy informing it, it becomes a surface-level activity.
There’s more value in branding because it rallies your team and your customers behind one solid idea while differentiating you from all the other breweries in your market. And if done properly, the graphic design portion of the process will serve as the culmination of the branding process, when your messaging, positioning and story make the jump from conceptual to visual.
If you’re opening a brewery, do yourself a favor and go through a proper branding exercise. It’ll set you up for long-term success.
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.