Group of friends celebrating and toasting with beer bottles

Making quality beer is tough enough. But getting folks to drink it is where a lot of breweries go wrong. And with the growth of the beer industry, the industry is only getting more and more competitive. Here are three beer industry marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.

No focus

It’s easy to get distracted by the shiny side of beer marketing. Cool logos. New recipes. Crazy packaging. But just because your product tastes good and looks good doesn’t mean it’s going to sell. These are all important foundational elements of your brand, but focusing on the next step is where growth really happens.

No goals

In order to hit or surpass your goals, you need goals. It seems obvious, but it’s often the first mistake that breweries make. Maybe that goal is “Have fun and make good beer.” And that’s totally fine. But if growth is what you’re looking for, you’re going to need something a bit more specific and a lot more measurable.

Do you want to increase off-premise sales? Do you want to increase on-premise sales? Do you want to get more people into your taproom? Do you want to expand out of the local market? All of these goals have different paths to success. And if you don’t know where you want to go, how are you ever going to get there?

Beer can resting on the trucks of a skateboard

No target

In the beer industry, it’s not just customers that you need to convince. In the brewing industry’s three-tier distribution model, the distributor is a critical target audience, with a set of needs and challenges that the right marketing can help solve.

Distributors have a unique understanding of the local retail landscape. And they have invaluable insights. Invest time to learn about the needs and wants of retailers and your audience. This information will pay huge dividends for your marketing plan. If a distributor can make an argument that a product they represent is well-supported with marketing — including mission-critical point-of-sale marketing — it’s a significant step forward in gaining shelf space for your brand.

Just as if you were perfecting a recipe, there’s no substitute for starting with proven ingredients, testing and re-testing, learning and improving as you go. Marketing is about influencing human behavior; there absolutely is no “magic formula” — but there is a series of precepts, and a proven order of operations, that are far more likely to augur success.

If you want to have a conversation with some beer-loving marketers who can help get your brand on track, we’re always happy to chat.