It’s the holiday season, and in the true spirit of 2020, it’s necessary to think outside the box about the merchandise items you plan to offer your loyal fans. You need to not only WOW them with your fantastic beers and customer experience, but also offer them a lineup of a seasonal swag they can’t say no to. We’re not talking your standard hats and hoodies. Think of that mind-blowing gift you opened on the holidays when you were 10. Yea, that kind of gift.
Blankets. Maybe the most obvious item on our list. In 2020, countless breweries have relied on their outdoor spaces to give guests a COVID-friendly brewery experience. With colder weather already here in most of the country, finding ways to keep guests visiting as we continue to fight COVID-19 restrictions is a must. And this wouldn’t be a Secret Hopper article if we didn’t find a way to throw in some data. Guests plan to visit breweries 32% less as the temperature drops. Take this seemingly negative statistic and give your loyal audience a way to enjoy your outdoor space even through the winter months. There are a ton of websites where you can slap your logo on a blanket, but we particularly like this take.
Slippers. And because your feet need to stay warm at the brewery and at home, we love the idea of creating custom brewery-branded slippers. Which one of your most loyal fans wouldn’t want to receive a pair of these this holiday season? You can consider simple, logo branded pairs or go all out and offer an option that memorializes your brewery mascot and makes for an over the top (and extremely awesome) piece of footwear. Kotis Design has some options.
Socks. I promise this is the last idea based around feet. Through the pandemic, while slippers have become a vital part of my daily uniform, socks still reign as my most valuable piece of footwear. Make your brewery’s socks a fashion statement. Check out these super comfy options from Custom Sock Lab. And since your feet may get a little funky after a long day of sitting by the fire at the brewery …
Air fresheners. Hear us out on this one. Coasters are a wonderful way to stay fresh in a guest’s mind after they leave your brewery. I, for one, have a ton of coasters hanging around my desk that always remind me of those breweries I need to have another beer from. But how about an air freshener? Who doesn’t want their car smelling nice? I don’t see any hands going up. Custom air fresheners are another affordable option that can help you always stay on your fans’ minds. I know if I hopped in my car and saw your brewery’s logo hanging from my rearview mirror, I’d be very tempted to blow off my errands and head directly there.
Masks/gaiters. Brewery t-shirt? Sure, I’ll wear it once every 2 weeks. Hoodie? If it’s cold. Mask? Anytime I get up to walk from my table to the bar, every time I go inside a grocery store, anytime I essentially go out in public. Why aren’t you offering your guests a way to plaster your logo on their face? Keep these reasonably priced and they can be your most valuable piece of merchandise. Worst case, you sell a few and increase your army of walking brand advocates. Politely encourage your staff to wear them, too.
Pint Protectors. Our friends over at Hoppy Beer Gear want to make sure your branded brewery mask isn’t the only COVID-friendly item your taproom offers. In a world where cleanliness and sanitation are king, consider a Pint Protector for your guests as either a means to cover their drink when someone gets a tad too close or if merely stepping away to the restroom. If your guests are brave enough to enjoy a Colorado patio in the heart of winter, these will also help protect from those pesky snowflakes.
Wooden coaster bottle openers. These wooden coaster bottle openers take the traditional coaster to the next level. Check out these one of a kind wooden coasters from Hoppy Beer Gear. They look great and make opening a bottle of beer over the holidays a little more fun.
Vacuum Insulated Pint Glasses and Growlers. Once your customers use their fancy new wooden coaster bottle openers to open whatever they just picked up fresh, you’ll need to offer them an equally as awesome vessel to pour it into. This selection from DrinkTanks (and also peek at their Session line) is a stainless-steel pint glass meant to keep your beer cold in even the hottest of temperatures. Rumor has it that it also doubles as a fantastic coffee cup to sip on those brisk mornings. The heavy duty insulated growler that comes with a lifetime warranty.
Coffee mugs. When I’m not drinking my IPA out of the same glass I drink my morning coffee, I like to have a special mug that calls my name every morning. Sure, you can go with your basic logo coffee mug, which is still a nice item to offer, but also consider the slight upgrade to an elegant campfire, ceramic mug – offered at nearly any online promotional retailer. This is an opportunity for you to help keep your brand top of mind in the consumers’ head from sunrise to sunset.
Barrel (Aged?) Ornaments. While we try not to get too holiday specific, these barrel ornaments would pop whether hanging from your kitchen cabinet or from your Christmas tree. Zap House already has a lineup of humorous and cheer-y selections for you to stock up on, but they also offer you the ability to get your own brewery logo engraved ornaments. This is not only a fantastic gift for your taproom guests, but also an easy choice to give your hardworking staff as a reward for all their efforts helping you survive 2020.
Bonus! And here’s a bonus, because we don’t know if this is an absolutely terrible idea, or exactly what we need from 2020. If you’re looking for a silly and affordable shirt to gift your staff, consider this “nostalgic to better summer vacations” idea. Let us know if you’d like the hook up from Eagle Tshirts.
Whichever items you go with, make sure you are investing in a quality product that reflects the high quality of your brewery. Get creative, have fun with it, and use your merchandise to grow your brand. Stay positive, you’ve nearly made it through 2020!
Andrew Coplon is the Founder of Secret Hopper, a mystery shopping company for craft beer businesses, and Craft Beer Professionals, a community dedicated to the growth and betterment of the craft beer industry. Check out all of his CBB articles here.