Branding your Brewery Online, In Store and in your Community

Opening a craft brewery involves more than just brewing beer. You need to make people aware of your brand. Of course, most craft breweries don’t have the funds to place their beers in super bowl commercials. However you still have to expand your reach and build a customer base.The bottom line is that people have to love your beer, your brand and what you stand for. We’ve provided six ways you can build your brand in order to accomplish this.

Connect with Hotels & Retailers

Of course there are a variety of industries that can be your distributors. We suggest connecting with hotels in the area. When beer lovers travel, they want to taste the local brews and oftentimes, hotels don’t seem to offer a beer selection that reflects these options. Also, with the rising popularity of craft beers, even Costco has jumped on the local brewery train. By reaching out to these two options you are one step closer to building your brand name.

Donate a Few Kegs to Charity Events

Remember when we said people need to love what you stand for? Show them by donating a few kegs to local charity events. Not only does this build trust with your customers, but it also makes you an integral part of the community. Not to mention, you’re exposing more people to your beer and you may become their new favorite brewery.

Align Your Brewery with an Applicable Brand Ambassador

Now it’s time to think about what makes your brewery so special. Whether it be creativity, lifestyle, culture, etc you’ll want to align your brewery with a brand ambassador that matches these same concepts. Let’s take creativity for example, find an artist or musician and film them talking about how creativity affects their work and why they love your beer so much - because it’s original, unique, etc. In a lot of ways, this is essentially a public relations project where you’re crafting your reputation and style.

This also builds credibility since you have a 3rd party source endorsing your product. Of course, you must always supply your brand ambassador with a lot of delicious beer. Depending on their notability, there may be an opportunity for product placement. For example, if your brewery is choosing to promote a “lifestyle” culture, you may choose a notable surfer as your brand ambassador. Make sure during their competitions that they are supplied with your beer since he or she will be getting a lot of attention at the event.

Partner with Local Brewery Tour Companies

Brewery Tours have risen due to the popularity of craft beers. Many beer aficionados sign up for these tours whether it be in their local city or when travelling. Reach out to these tour companies and arrange a time to discuss incorporating your brewery into these tours. These companies will be drawing in business you may not have received otherwise, so establishing a good relationship with them is key.

Create Recipes that Use Your Beer

Create recipes for your customers that involves your beers as one of the ingredients. By placing them on your website, blog and linking them to your social media, not only provides additional marketing material, but it encourages your customers to buy more beer. This fun idea will not only make your brewery more memorable, but it engages your customers in your brand while they are away from your location.

You can get really creative with this and come out with new recipes that coincide with holidays or events. You may also suggest recipes and the best beers to pair with the dishes. Some example ideas are as followed.

    Recipe Ideas
  • Stout Cookies
  • Beer Battered Fish & Chips
  • Sausage & Beer Stuffing
  • IPA Grilled Salmon
  • Stout Oyster Chowder with Bacon
  • Brown Ale Mac & Cheese
  • Belgian Tripel & Honey Black Pepper Chicken Wings

Enter Your Beers in a Brewing Competitions During Festivals

Nothing boosts credibility like winning awards for your brews. Be sure to research local festivals and brewing competitions and sign up for them! Winning awards will also make it easier to gain more distributors and boost your sales. It also gives you something to promote and market at your brewery and online.

Further Resources for Your Brewery

We hope that this article has been of benefit for you. We‘ve been helping small businesses succeed since 2004 and provide them a variety of resources. To check out more helpful tools and tricks, check out our industry page for your business to see how you can continue to grow your business and reach your optimal potential.

Black Friday Ideas For Your Vape Shop

While Thanksgiving marks the holiday season, Black Friday triggers the shopping for it. Some of the best deals of the year are on Black Friday. Many people research stores ahead of time and create a strategy in order to effectively map out their shopping goals for the day. If you want to draw in a lot of business, you’ll need to thoroughly prepare for this day in advance. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Create a Holiday Gift Guide for Your Vape Shop

The holiday season involves buying gifts for others instead of ourselves. Thus, many of your potential customers might be unfamiliar with vaping. They may just know that their brother or friend likes to vape and they want to get him a gift related to vaping. This is why you need to create a Gift Guide for these type of shoppers. Especially since your staff might not be able to spend a significant amount of time reviewing different ideas with them while they are swamped with the Black Friday rush. The last you want is a negative review like this - especially since it's preventable. By arranging suggested gift sets and promoting them online and in the store - these type of shoppers will be grateful they didn’t have to spend so much time and energy learning about what would be a good gift if your expertise has already provided a solution for them.

    Suggested Guide Set Ideas
  • Quit Smoking, Start Vaping Beginner Gift Set
  • Organic Fruity Assortment
  • Flavors of Christmas Gift Set
  • Candy Lovers Gift Set

Inform Your Customers of Your Black Friday Specials in Advance

Now that you have a gift guide, you’ll need to decide what types of discounts you want to offer to your customers. Once you have these outlined, create a notification for your customers and email them your gift guide and the specials you’ll be having on Black Friday. Also, post these on your website and social media so that people can plan their shopping strategy around your deals.

While most people are online, other people aren’t so savvy. Be sure to have some signage outside of your storefront listing what type of specials you’ll be having on Black Friday. Passersby will see this in advance and make note. It may even trigger them to think about someone and say, “Oh! I know what to get David for Christmas now!”

How to Compete with the Big Retailers

Typically, it’s harder for small businesses to slash prices as much as the major retailers do. While your vape shop may not be able to compete with these big businesses strictly by price comparison, there are other ways for you to gain a competitive edge against the competition.

Create the reasons why your products or vape shop is special. You could even include your company’s mission statement. Your message should be telling a story. This makes your business more personable - something many chains can’t do. A suggested idea would be filming yourself talking about these points or even interviewing a customer about their experience at your shop. Post these on your social media ahead of Black Friday. We will also advise checking out our article about How to Implement a PR Strategy for Your Business.

Coordinate with Other Local Business For Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday was started by American Express to support local businesses. As we mentioned previously, it’s more difficult for small businesses to compete with large chains. This day was created by American Express in order to encourage people to buy local and support the businesses in their community - specifically on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

If you go to the Small Business Saturday website, you’ll find downloadable content and tips for your business to participate in this shoppers holiday. It would be advisable to ask other neighboring businesses to participate as well so that your area can grain traction and more attention. The same advice we gave you in this article about Black Friday, is applicable to Small Business Saturday as well.

Further Advice for Your Vape Shop

We hope that this article has been of benefit for you. We‘ve been helping small businesses succeed since 2004 and provide them a variety of resources. To check out more helpful tools and tricks, check out our industry page for your business to see how you can continue to grow your business and reach your optimal potential.

Get Prepared for your customers this thanksgiving.

If any holliday was made for the foodservice industry, that would be Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a less materialistic holiday that is about bringing people together and enjoying a good meal. If your bakery plays it’s cards right, it will have great opportunities to increase sales at this time of year. We’ve put together 5 promotions that your bakery can implement that will prepare you for this holiday.

Preparing Bakery Gift Baskets For Two

Gift baskets are a great way to foster a connection between people so that they can enjoy some of their favorite seasonal treats. Create some Thanksgiving themed gift baskets for your bakery that are filled with an assortment of your most popular Thanksgiving treats. If you’re concerned about the freshness of the goods, you can have them be “made to order”. In this case, it would be advisable to have a display basket to catch your customer’s attention, along with a list of the goods or the options available that they can add to the assortment.

Reserve Pie Orders

While Thanksgiving is mostly about cooking, it can be overwhelming at the amount of cooking that needs to be done to prepare all of the traditional dishes. This is why many people opt-in to buying several prepared dishes, including pies. Create a list of traditional and specialty pies that your bakery offers and promote them on your website and social media platforms. People may put in orders for pies, and pick up the day before Thanksgiving (this way you don’t need to be open on a holiday). By doing reservations only, it will also insure you will know exactly how many need to be made to insure that you are 100% prepared for the demand. Check out the following video on bakery production and scheduling.

Creating Free Recipes Flyers

Create a Thanksgiving themed flyer with your bakeries name and contact information. On it, include Thanksgiving recipes that are related to baking specifically. These should be given away for free at your business. You can also include the information regarding your pie and gift baskets reservations. These recipe flyers end up providing your customers with valuable information and will in some cases, end up on their fridge for their reference. This promotion ensures that they will “keep you in mind”, especially if your recipes turns out to be delicious!.

Thanksgiving Countdown: Daily Specials

We’ve all heard of a countdown till Christmas, but the same thing can be done for a countdown to Thanksgiving. Select a period of time that leads up to TG’s and do a different daily special each day. For example, “free cup of coffee with breakfast muffin purchase” or, “half off pumpkin cream cheese cake”. This also provides you with marketing content to promote on your website and social media each day. Your loyal followers will be thrilled to see their favorite menu item on special and come in to get their fixin’s.

Get Involved in the Community: Host a Food Drive

Sometimes connecting with your customers isn’t just about making a sale. By getting involved in your community, you become an integral part of it. Host a food drive at your bakery and encourage people to donate by placing signs in your store or by advertising on your online platforms.

Further Tips & Tricks To Make Your Bakery More Successful

We hope that this article has been of benefit for you. We‘ve been helping small businesses succeed since 2004 and provide them a variety of resources. To check out more helpful tools and tricks, check out our industry page for your business to see how you can continue to grow your business and reach your optimal potential.

Election Day Specials for Your Bar & Restaurant this 2016

There was a time when restaurants and bars would avoid election day specials in hopes that they wouldn’t alienate their customers. However, with the amount of publicity they can now receive for running these specials, many bars and restaurants are no longer concerned. With a full house and delightfully exciting specials, large chains and independent businesses alike, are now capitalizing on the fun rather than ignoring it.

Food Specials for Election Day

A great way to engage your customers with election specials is offering classic American dishes and designating them per political party. Take burgers for example, you can offer a blue plate or a red plate with two different types burgers. Or you can name them something more specific to each of the candidates.

Another classic American dish would be apple pie and ice cream. The ice cream flavors will designate which party preference your guest has. And of course, you could offer them vanilla if they are undecided.

Drink Specials for Election Day

When Election Day comes around, things can get rather heated. Cool people off with some refreshing and fun cocktails. Bartenders everywhere have begun to create a fun twist on election themed drinks. For example, The Oval Room in DC offers two specialty drinks called “Build That Wall” or “Madam President”. While some bartenders (Like the ones at Bastille in DC) feel confident enough to name drinks like #Crooked for Hillary and the Deluded Little Manhattan for Donald Trump - others have taken a more mild approach by naming their drinks of off past historic presidents. Some example cocktails from The Rye in DC include: Thyme to Decide, Pacific Blue and The Green Card.

Besides cocktails, you may also put an electoral spin on wine and beer. Using flights, you can do a selection of beer or wine for each candidate. These should be made up from beer or wines made in each candidate's significant locations.

Keep a Running Poll of Election Specials

Once you have people ordering these specials, you’ll want to tally up the items as if they were votes and update them daily to reflect your “predicted” win. Each day you can list the current tally on a menu board and on your social media and encourage your followers to “come in and vote” which essentially means “come in and eat” or “come in and drink”.

Broadcast The Debates

Many Americans tune in to watch the Presidential Debates and often leave bars and restaurants empty and slow for business. By broadcasting the debates and by allowing your guests to “cast their votes” by ordering from your menu, you’ll be sure to have a full house. After all, that sounds so much more fun than sitting at home on your couch!

Promote Your Election Day Specials on Social Media & Online

Running great Election Day specials is wonderful so long as people know about it. Make sure you promote your specials, including the daily tally. This will provide you with daily marketing content and will engage with your loyal customers.

Further Resources for Your Bar & Restaurant

We hope that this article has been of benefit for you. We‘ve been helping small businesses succeed since 2004 and provide them a variety of resources. To check out more helpful tools and tricks, check out our industry page for your business to see how you can continue to grow your business and reach your optimal potential.

How to Prepare Your Bar For Black Wednesday (Thanksgiving Eve)

Thanksgiving beer

Black Wednesday, otherwise known as Thanksgiving Eve, is one of the busiest bar nights of the year. In fact, some bartenders would argue that Black Wednesday rivals New Years Eve and St Patrick’s Day. The reason behind this is that there are many reunions taking place before Thanksgiving Day and people tend to get riled up and excited to hang out with people they haven’t seen in a long time. Many out-of-towners come back to visit home and whether it be an old parent or college student, everyone seems to drink more excitedly than usual. Afterall, Thanksgiving marks the first day of the holiday season. Here are some useful tips on how to prepare your bar for Black Wednesday.

Stocking a Sufficient Amount of Beer & Liquor

In the couple of weeks before Black Wednesday, be sure to order in an ample supply of beer and liquor. Most bars expect to double their sales compared to a busy Saturday night. Nothing could be more of a party crasher if you run out of stock. Especially keep this in mind if you have a particular beer or drink that you will be pushing as your special.

Reviewing Procedures with Your Staff

Take the time to review standard procedures with your staff and emphasize the ones that relate to safety and handling transactions. Run a couple of worse case scenarios by your staff and make sure they completely understand the procedures they’ll need to follow if the situation occurs. Also, make sure you have enough staff on the schedule to handle the night.

Emphasize to your doorman or bouncer to take extra care in pacing the crowd. It's better to keep a line outside than flood your bar and cause chaos. If they overflow your bar, it’ll be so packed that even though patrons got in the bar, they will have to wait a long time for a drink and most likely be frustrated with the over-saturated crowd.

Discounting Cover Charges for College Students

Let’s face it, no matter what type of audience you’re going to try and draw in, it’s going to get crazy. In the same breathe, it’s hard to complain while sales go up. While Thanksgiving is a time for family, some people will primarily hang out with friends the night before Thanksgiving. College students or alumni groups are more likely to spend more money. Advertise to them by posting on a college or alumni boards so they keep you in mind for Black Wednesday. Offer a free cover to students who present their College ID.

Partner with Companies like Lyft or Cab Services to Offer Patrons Discounted Rides

Reach out to companies like Lyft or other cab services so that you can provide your patrons with a discounted ride for the night. Not only does it promote safety, but it means they can spend less money on their trip to see you instead of another competing bar. Promoting this on your website or social media will be sure to get people’s attention.

Consider Black Friday Promotions For Your Bar

While many bars thoroughly prepare for Black Wednesday, they sometimes underestimate the amount of sales they can capture on Black Friday. Shoppers taking advantage of the Black Friday deals often end up tired and wander over to the bar for some food and drinks to unwind. Be sure to have a Black Friday special going on at your bar. For example, you could give a free beer glass and $5.00 gift card with every $25 purchase. The possibilities here are endless, so feel free to get creative with your promotions.

Further Tips & Tricks For Your Bar

We hope that this article has been of benefit for you. We‘ve been helping small businesses succeed since 2004 and provide them a variety of resources. To check out more helpful tools and tricks, check out our industry page for your business to see how you can continue to grow your business and reach your optimal potential.