According to a recent article in Beverage Daily, “In a maturing market, US craft brewers are up against rising costs and supply chain disruptions. But the Brewers Association says its midyear survey indicates optimism for the second half of the year.” (Arthur, Rachel. “Optimism and challenges for US craft beer market.” August 14, 2023.)
To help craft beer businesses and restaurants make the most of what’s left of the year, we researched and identified 14 ideas to strengthen your marketing efforts or incorporate into your 2024 marketing plans:
- Email newsletter/text messages Stay in touch with customers by creating a regular, ongoing email with updates, specials, and more. (com has information on how to build a customer email list.)
- Loyalty program Show customers their patronage is valued by offering discounts on drinks or free swag.
- Community engagement Is there a big local annual event taking place? Show your business is part of the community by becoming an event sponsor. Check in with your local Chamber of Commerce to learn about upcoming events.
- Give back Support local charities by donating a portion of proceeds during a defined period of time; hosting a pet adoption event; collecting food around the holidays for food banks; setting up a collection box for toys to donate to children, etc.
- Swag Consider selling hats, shirts, and other items featuring your mascot, brewery name, tagline, and more. With the holidays coming, branded ornaments may be a big hit among your regulars.
- Social media and online presence Engage with your customers even when they’re not at your brewery by establishing a presence via the more popular social media channels, a website, and more. Use it for announcements and promotions, but also to invite customers to name a new brew, recommend the best day of the week to visit, etc.
- Be a good neighbor Promote other local shops and their wares via a shop local campaign. Sell local stores’ products onsite or host a “holiday shopping pop up” event right at your brewery. Invite other small businesses to join you in creating and distributing a holiday shop local map with special coupons and discounts.
- Create a brand experience From décor and furniture to lighting, background music, the personality and dress of servers and more, everything comes together to create a unique experience for your customers. Make it one they want to be part of time and time again.
- Design & print a calendar Make it available to your regulars. Highlight brew release dates, special events, and dates that may be meaningful to your customers (for example, if you cater to a lot of people from the local firehouse, include International Firefighters’ Day – May 4, 2024).
- Host events Game night, trivia, watching sports, having a themed party (i.e., empty nesters), holding a blind tasting competition, hosting dart leagues, and more – there are numerous ways to add to the experience you create and help build your returning customer numbers.
- Celebrate Celebrate holidays, special events (i.e., Mardi Gras), your business’ anniversary, local heroes (i.e., teachers, veterans, police, etc.), and more to build good will and entice people to visit.
- Plan for Dry January Let customers know you have their backs whether they want alcohol or not.
- Go back to school Certain university’s offer degree and certificate programs on the craft beer business (i.e., SUNY Schenectady or the University of Vermont) – including marketing. Either take a course or talk to the school about offering internships to students who can put their marketing skills to work for you.
- Create a marketing plan Don’t let your marketing ideas get lost. Instead, make them part of a plan that you can update and execute throughout the year. You can find a free downloadable marketing template at com and a free small business marketing guide at Hubspot.com.
While pulling your marketing plans together, you can count on RBT CPAs for all of your accounting, tax, audit, and advisory needs. To learn more, give us a call today.
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