About 70 percent of consumers choose their beer at time of purchase. Kind’a crazy, right? It’s a factoid via the 2017 Craft Beer Category Design Audit, and it’s a healthy reminder that branding, design and marketing are often more important than the beer itself. I am constantly wowed by the variety of good and bad branding techniques that populate the products of the 6,000-plus breweries operating in America.
How do you stand out in all of that?
That question of prominence is encapsulated nicely in the name of Vancouver-based Outshinery. An online service dedicated to creating any visual assets a brewery or winery would need to run a thriving business — pack shots (bottles, cans, packs, poured glasses and beyond); lifestyle images (like in-context photography); and, maybe the coolest of all, product videos (including 3D animated labels that will give your brand a big differentiator).
Outshinery has helped bring to life a lot of cool concepts with the likes of Mikkeller Beer, Steamworks Brewing Co., Parallel 49 Brewing Co. and Round Barn Brewery. One of the attributes that attracted me to the company (besides the quality imagery and 3D label thingy, which we’ll talk about further down) was its digital platform and its efficiencies. There’s no need to ship physical samples or wait for slow results with these guys and gals. Bah. That’s for fogies. With Outshinery, customers simply:
- Answer a short online questionnaire and upload label artwork.
- Review the proofs which they typically send within three business days.
- Then, download all the visuals in ready-to-use formats.
“Taking into account every single aspect of your product, from the color and opacity of your beer, to the unique paper finish of your label or capsule, we’ve developed an exclusive streamlined process to create true product representations,” explained Laurie Millotte, “chief amazement officer” at Outshinery. “Free from any geographical limitations, Outshinery is faster than a traditional photographer, and can be as low as $59/image.”
When Mikkeller Beer collaborated with David Lynch for a limited Twin Peaks release, (a beer no one bothered to send me samples of) which features a crazy great design by Keith Shore, they turned to Outshinery for visual renders. A simple Google search will return over 65K results, all using those dazzling packshots.
Or when Steamworks, a Vancouver-based brewery, worked on expanding its European distribution, they compelled distributors to take on even more products by showcasing the impressive lineup using imagery created by Outshinery.
Not to diminish those impressive feats, but what really focused my attention on Outshinery was its moving label marketing campaigns. In early August 2017, Threes Brewing Co. announced its Best Beer in NY award using an animated label video created by Outshinery. Dig that awesome moving image below. The results included massive social media viewing numbers and a lot of engagement on Instagram.
Whistler Brewing Co. revealed its new spring four-pack in late March with an animated video designed by Outshinery, which you can view above. This was so well-received by their audience and picked up by local media, that the brewery has already committed to using the same service for all upcoming seasonal releases.
“Animated label videos go beyond traditional packshots,” said Millotte. “Perfect for social media — sponsored or not — or to include in press releases, these short looping clips are a super fun way to cut through the clutter and drive engagement by breathing life into your brand and capturing viewers’ attention.”
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Our second offering this Thursday, will be the debut of ₡hop Shop—our new series of experimental imperial IPAs. ₡hop Shop #1 (8.3%) is brewed with large amounts of flaked and raw wheat, flaked oats, malted 2-row barley, bombed out with Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops and fermented with New England ale yeast. * This beer will go on sale 5/3 at 8pm from the #MikkellerNYC brewhouse entrance (two doors down from our main entrance on 126th street). Limits and pricing to follow, as well as details on other limited cans from this release.
Images and moving images definitely improve engagement online, and social media has been the preferred marketing avenue of choice for craft brewers. Of course, the photorealistic 3D technology is only one part of the equation. Outshinery is an online platform that can handle everything from lifestyle images and web banners to bespoke product videos. They claim their online services are 10 times faster and 50 percent cheaper than a traditional photographer. Not convinced? OK, naysayer, businesses are encouraged to place a free test order to see the magic for themselves. No strings attached. Really.