One topic we’ve yet to dive into, is what the role of specialty brands play in your portfolio and overall brand. There are so many decisions you can ponder when it comes to branding and marketing these beers.
How elevated do you go?
Do you want to be known has a brewery with elevated brands and higher price tags?
How do you relate these labels to your core lineup and the branding of your brewery?
I think the questions could go on…
I’ve been following Andrew Emerton, the Specialty Brand Manager for New Belgium Brewing on Twitter. He’s been active in the Twitter beer community and its been fun to follow.
In this interview, we dig into the role that specialty brands play at New Belgium. What is the strategy in branding and marketing for the specialty beers they offer. What are the goals that New Belgium has around their specialty brands.
Andrew is a smart dude with a history in the beer game. I hope you enjoy the conversation we had. Kick back and listen as Andrew Emerton speaks some brand knowledge on this episode of Branding Brews.
Carrying on with the topic of rebrands, this episode is looking at a very successful rebrand for Old Town brewing.
You’ve might of heard of Old Town through a trademark dispute that the brewery got into with the city of Portland. That in itself is an interesting story with a happy ending, but the rebranding done by my good friend, Jordan Wilson, really has elevated Old Town in a number of ways.
We dig into the how and why Old Town decided to approach a rebrand. As with any brewery that might struggle to keep up with the ever-changing market, Jordan and Old Town jumped into this rebrand to create a label and branding system that would allow them to be more nimble with their beer releases. The rebrand also brought more attention to the Old Town brand as well, establishing more of a connection with their customers.
Besides an amazing rebrand, they have gone all in creating captivating and entertaining videos and photography for their products.
The result of all their work saw overall beer sales increase by over 50% Merchandise sales are up 70% and community involvement and promotional requests have dramatically increased.
Listen in as Jordan and I dig into his rebranding project and branding efforts for Old Town, on this episode of Branding Brews.
During my planning process for the Brand Forward design seminar at CBC, I had the pleasure of connecting with Fred Hart of Interact. Fred and his team do some great work, including the Dogfish Head packaging rebrand. After some insightful conversations, I thought Fred would be a wonderful guest to have on this show.
There’s a lot that goes into a rebrand, and it was definitely fun to hear some inside details on this one. Dogfish Head, in all of its great history, had never worked with an agency. Looking back at their existing packaging, things were all over the place and did not have much of any consistent structure. Interact worked with Dogfish to dig deep into some core brand elements and brought those to life in an entirely new packaging system.
The end result?
20% increase in year-over-year sales. Something that is pretty much unheard of for a brewery the size of Dogfish.
I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Join in with Fred Hart of Interact on this episode of Branding Brews.
We’ve talked on this show before about the importance of having a brand or media kit easily accessible. There are a number of ways to manage this, but there is a specific platform, Brandfolder, that was made just for this purpose.
There can be a large number of assets that you need to manage as a brand. Logos, sales sheets, UPC codes, photography, point of sale and retail graphics, plus more. As a designer that creates many of these items, and needs to manage these assets in folders, it can become a challenging task to stay organized and up to date.
Not only does organizing this stuff become daunting, so does distributing them. With Brandfolder, you can create special kits, containing items of your choice, that can be made just for certain needs. Have a kit for retailers, distributors, a kit for your sales team, press kit, a brand kit, or any other collection of assets you need distribute.
Today we are joined by Luke Beatty, who is the CEO of Brandfolder, and has lots of insights on brewery brand management through a number of breweries that use his platform.
Over time, the idea of convenience has been sold to, and taken a priority in our culture. Often, this convenience results in negative effects to our environment. One-time use items like plastic shopping bags, straws, coffee cups are all items that we can use daily and be thrown away.
When it comes to the beer world and environmental footprint, the container is a big item to consider. For sure, cans and bottles are recyclable, which offers a reduced impact. There’s also been some debate on the idea that cans are better for the environment than bottles, which we touch on a bit in this interview.
One thing that other countries are still doing, which has fallen off the American radar, is the idea of washing and reusing bottles for beverages like beer.
This is not a new thing, and it makes total sense right?
Enter Nick Munson-Phelps, the refillable program manager for BottleDrop Refill. Nick has been leading an effort in Oregon to design and implement a refillable bottle program that breweries have already started using. Join us on this episode to learn all about the sustainability and benefits of using refillable bottles on this episode of Branding Brews.
Trademark Attorney Mike Kanach Discusses Branding of Craft Beverages
A lawyer and a designer walk into a bar. This podcast continues the podcast series of Branding Brews, covering topics of beer branding, design, and marketing. In this episode, designer Ryan Wheaton of Portland discusses branding and trademarks with attorney Michael Kanach of San Francisco. Mike is an intellectual property partner at the law firm Gordon & Rees in San Francisco, where he has experience with trademarks and trade dress for food and beverages, including craft beverages, beer, wine, and spirits.
Ryan and Mike discuss various topics involving branding and trademarks related to craft beer, including some benefits of obtaining a registered trademark and strategies of choosing a strong or distinctive name or brand. They also discuss some famous disputes over trademarks involving breweries and other alcoholic beverages, strategies on avoiding a dispute, as well as what to consider when re-branding.
Mike suggests talking to an attorney who is familiar with the craft beer industry and trademarks, because they can help to avoid certain foreseeable disputes.
But when choosing a name for your brewery or beer, Mike suggests that breweries use a few free search tools first, before talking to an attorney, because it will help save some time and money, including searches on google and various government and industry-specific websites:
Searching for registered trademarks and applications (USPTO TESS): http://tmsearch.uspto.gov
Searching for labels TTB (for bottles and cans): https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/publicSearchColasBasic.do
Searching industry-specific websites for beer reviews (may include draft, rare, and retired):
BeerAdvocate: https://www.beeradvocate.com/search/ (can include retired)
It makes sense to search all the foregoing before choosing your name to know your risks. It also makes sense to talk to an attorney to evaluate those risks and others you might not foresee.
If you need help with your branding or trademark search, or...
If you have received a cease and desist letter and don't know how to respond, or...
If you want to discuss craft beer and branding...
Feel free to contact Mike Kanach at:
snail mail: 275 Battery Street, Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94111
Who, when, why, and how should you hire for branding and design help?
With Joseph Szala of Vigor Branding
Find Vigor Branding :
Web: vigorbranding.com // Twitter: @vigor // Instagram: @vigorbranding // Facebook: @vigorbranding
There’s no question that today’s beer market is bigger than ever. Not only are there more breweries to compete with, but today’s beer drinkers are also more savvy and complex.
It’s important that you can stand out amongst the crowd and that you have a clear and unique brand.
In order to accomplish this, you likely need the assistance of a professional branding and design expert. One big question, or possible trouble, is how, where, and when do you hire for this help?
There is a lot that goes into finding a valuable partnership when it comes to working with someone on your brand. Having a good partnership can really help your brewery and brand grow in ways you may not have imagined.
If your starting a new brewery, at what point in planning do you bring on this branding expert?
If you are a brewery already pouring liquid, do you need to take look at how your brand has evolved? Do you possibly need to bring on someone new to assess your brand and help elevate your brewery?
There is a lot that goes into hiring a designer or agency to help you out. Many people do not have extensive experience working with a designer. Where do I start looking for this help? What should I have prepared to help get started in this process? What should I expect and look for when hiring?
Joseph Szala from Vigor Branding has deep experience when it comes to food and beverage branding. Joseph joins us to help shed some light on finding, hiring, and working with branding experts on this episode of branding brews.
Grits And Grids - Food, Restaurant, and Beverage Branding Blog
Grits And Grids - Podcast
CODO Craft Beer Branding Guide
Simon Sinek - Start With Why
Building and maintaining a successful team with 14 Cannons.
Find 14 Cannons:
Website: 14cannons.com // Facebook: @14Cannons // Twitter: @14Cannons // Instagram: @14Cannons
Having a strong team will give your brewery and brand a healthy platform to succeed and grow. Nic Bortolin and Nick Longo ( longodesigns.com ) join the show to talk about building their 14 Cannons team in the early days before opening. Before you open your doors is a crucial time to plan out build your strong team so that you can get off to a good start.
A deeper look into creating a brand system.
The “easy way” - launch with a package design, or similar, without a brand system in place.
Sometimes you don’t have the insight to plan ahead for a design system
It can be less expensive to just get a logo and say a package design done
You might be in a rush to open doors or get a new beer out
Downfalls of not having a brand system in place over time
No guidelines to fall back to for consistency
it can be easy to not have planned for certain situations, like long beer names, use of colors for other beer labels, etc.
If you need to hire a new designer or brewery team member to help manage products, it can take longer and be less consistent to start again.
Your products over time can become varied and possibly fall out of the original concept of your brewery’s design or basic branding.
Creating new products like merchandise or point of sale items can be more difficult
Making the time to create a new brand system
Budget for a designer to analyze your current design elements and assets
Make sure a brewery team member can take time to help work with a designer on this.
Great, what goes into a brand system design from an existing package and/or basic brewery design work?
How should you go about creating a brand system?
1. Take stock of all your existing design elements and products, website, labels, etc.
What unique elements are being used across all your designs?
Textures or imagery
Fonts and use of typography
Icons or various supporting graphics
Logos - variations that are in use
Packaging, marketing collateral, website, etc
How are all these visuals looking together?
Can be helpful to put snapshots of all these products together in one document where you can compare them all together in one look.
How consistent are they, any noticeable big variations?
Are you using design assets or graphics in the same way across multiple items? Any similarities?
How are you using fonts and typography across these items? Any similarities?
Is the logo being implemented in the same fashion across these items?
2. Break apart all your designs into your pervious inventory
Take all the common and uncommon design elements and list them out as individual items.
List out the colors used, fonts, textures or imagery, logo usage, etc
Document this all to assist in creating a brand system for the next steps.
3. Create a brand system and guidelines for how to use them.
* Keep in mind during this step that you will want guidelines in this document to reference design files and assets moving forward.
Figure out what elements worked from previous research. If these elements worked and were implemented in a consistent way, you could create a new guideline on how to use these on new designs.
Did anything not work? You can create guidelines of what NOT to do on future designs
List out all the various fonts and use of for your brewery or beer brands
List out all the various logos and how they should be used.
If imagery is being used, what style is it in? This is ideally consistent and should be implemented in the same fashion on visuals.
Maybe you need to do a redesign of your branding if it is not strong? If you do, you can take successful elements from your previous work and use them in new designs and in a new brand system.
Organize your files!!
In creating your new brand system and guidelines, create references to actual design asset files to make it easier to use in the future.
Having organized design assets will make life much easier moving forward and can save you a lot of time AND consistency.
Don’t have to spend time looking for files.
Oh, that logo is on my home computer, NOPE
I don’t have that specific font available for you, use something close, NOPE.
If any of your team or designers need to do work for you,
Social Media Planning and Tools with Leah Kuck of Terrapin Beer Co.
Leah Kuck is the Social Media and PR Specialist for Terrapin Beer Co.
Find Leah online
Twitter: @crftbeerproject // Instagram: @craftbeerproject
Leah likes to be social and has found a way to bring those skills of social media expertise to Terrapin Beer Co. We chat about the importance of the social media platforms that a beer brand should participate in. Leah talks about ways to streamline your social media strategy, setup content planning schedules, use social media tools and applications to help out your workload, and some other general tips on social media for breweries and beer brands. Here are just a few takeaways, tips and useful links.
Leah breaks down the social platforms into the Big 3 and Little 3. Big 3 are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The Little 3 are Untappd, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. All social platforms are important and good to be active on, but the Big 3 are most important.
Plan out your week of content and social media posts and then schedule them into one of the posting tools listed below. Leah likes to look at things going on and then plan content and posts on Monday and Friday of each week.
Useful tools for social media management:
Coschedule - various marketing and social tools
Hootsuite - social post tools
Buffer - social post tools
Spredfast - content marketing and social tool
Instagram bio link tool