Here’s a thirst-quenching statistic for you: Brits consumed over 7.75 billion pints of beer in 2017, according to the Annual Barrelage Survey from the British Beer & Pub association. That’s enough to fill 1,762 Olympic swimming pools! Before you dive into that pool, one thing to focus on is creating a fanbase around your brewery to help your special brews stand apart from the rest.
Building a base of customer support is an essential part of the brewery branding process. There’s perhaps no better way for a community to show their love for their favourite brewery than by sporting beer merchandise on their clothing or bag. In this way, your brewery fans become walking ambassadors for your brewery. In this post, we look at a few ways your brewery can use customised badges to help build a robust beer community.
Use badges to introduce your beer brand to new audiences.
Badges are so in right now! People of all ages collect badges to broadcast their creativity and sense of humor as well as to show support for their favourite bands, brands and sports teams. This includes their favourite beer. By creating interesting, collectable and eye-catching designs, you’ll help attract people to your brewery through bespoke badges. If you’re short on ideas, consider creating a line modeled after a recent beer release, or create a badge with the name and logo of your brewery in a range of colours and finishes. Chances are, your beer community will want to purchase more than just one beer badge once they get to know you!
Short on ideas? Try searching “beer badges” or “brewery badge” on Pinterest. Here’s a great example from BrewDog which features a set of four mini-cans in bright colours, all packaged in a bespoke and reusable custom presentation box.
We suggest selling your badges in as many places as possible to reach new customers. Offer them for sale on your brewery website, which will help you reach a global community, and promote them on merchandise shelves at your brewery. If you head to a brewery festival this summer, be sure to order an extra supply of badges and either gift or sell them to first-time or repeat customers who visit your booth.
Badges are great conversation starters.
When you’re thinking about building a beer community, don’t forget about one very important group: your front-line staff! Consider designing a special line of vibrant beer badges that your team can wear on their lapel or hat – we venture to guess that they’ll be asked about it, whether they’re working at the brewery or out and about after hours. Encourage your team to talk about the badges or use them as an excuse to spark up a conversation about their own favourite brews.
Leverage badges to create memorable, in-person experiences.
Badges are a great entry point to plan a memorable beer “experience”. Consider incorporating brewery merchandise into special contests and campaigns on social media or in-person. This can help you reach and engage new and existing customers with a special promotion that helps them feel closer to your brewery band.
For example, Half Acre Brewing had a clever strategy to engage with its fans at their annual “The Big North” event. The beer makers created a button scavenger hunt and gave attendees clue cards, which lead to the hiding places of the pins. After people found all of the buttons on the clue card, they could win free drinks, Half Acre merchandise or gift certificates. What made this campaign particularly unique and effective is that it got attendees up and out of their seats and, even if they found just one badge, they went home with a souvenir of the event and the brewery. Now that’s a memorable way to reach customers and help build a beer community!
Take another note from Half Acre – in addition to this lovely set of beer badges (below), it also offers a range of brewery merchandise Including clothing, hats and beer glasses. Offering multiple items will appeal to a broad audience, especially when you can offer a range of products at different price points.
We hope this post inspires you to think creatively about how you can use beer badges and other bespoke merchandise to build a bigger beer community this year. We’d love to hear about your upcoming campaigns and festival plans, and offer some tips on how to maximise your marketing to build your fan base. Please get in touch with us today, and cheers!