Brewery Pre-Opening Marketing Checklist
After countless sleepless nights, negotiations with contractors, and minute recipe alterations, you've arrived. It's really here.
It's nearly time to open your brewery. Holy sh*t.
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One of the most important elements in your brewery's marketing campaign will simply be to take control of your own story. You are responsible for defining your brand and telling the brewery's story for yourself, not relying on local papers to pick up the story.
Before your brewery's grand opening, here are the marketing items you'll need.
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If you don't have one by now, it's time to get yourself in gear. Your logo is an extremely important element in your brand identity. Though you can change it later, rebranding is expensive, time-consuming, and oftentimes confuses consumers.
It may seem tedious to make one now, but you'll find a style guide quite helpful when you hire an outside marketing team, or share your information with a news publication.
Your style guide can be as robust or as lean as you'd like. A few items to consider including:
- Appropriate logo variations (eg. with and without the word mark; color vs. black and white)
- Hex color codes (there's nothing worse than your maroon turning out violet)
- Font names, and files if the font is not standard
- Brand identity words (eg. Our beer is never to be described as "tasty")
- Brand guidelines (eg. We always add a comment about responsible drinking to images in which people are consuming alcoholic beverages)
Your website should always serve as a source of accurate information for consumers, so be sure to update it regularly. Curious consumers and beer journalists will want use it to get more information, so get it up sooner rather than later.
A few items to consider including on your website:
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- History of the brewery
- Beer list
- Event calendar
- Links to social media profiles
- General contact info
- FAQs, answering common inquiries such as plans for distribution, whether you sell growlers, tour information, and whom to contact about special events
- Newsletter sign-up
- Menu, if applicable
- Shop, for beer gear such as pint glasses, gift cards, and shirts
Create a master list and stick to it. If the master list changes, so should every other piece of collateral (website, menu, Untappd).
You can spice up your beer descriptions by including "Pro" and "Beginner" descriptions or recommending food pairings.
Social Media Accounts
Set up your business' Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat accounts ahead of time. Clearly define the brand by using your logo, colors, and fonts in the profile.
You can also take the time to train your team on social media etiquette if they plan to share company information from personal accounts. For example, if your sales representatives tweet from special events, you will want them to properly represent your brand.
Bonus points: Ask your brewers to list the brewery as their employer on their personal Facebook accounts. (Beer geeks attract beer geeks.)
Be sure to set this up through Yelp For Business. Provide accurate information and check reviews frequently, as many consumers use Yelp when exploring new venues. (Bonus: Sign up to get weekly reports about your account. Make sure the person who receives these emails will follow up.)
Though Untappd is the bane of some brewers' existence, it's a pretty popular tool for consumers. Take control of your brand on Untappd by creating an account for your brewery.
To manage your brand:
- Write a brewery description
- Create new beers
- Upload beer labels (not bottle shots)
- Add beer descriptions, ABV, etc.
It's important to do this before you open, so users are not required to create a new beer themselves. This way, you have complete control over the brand. If a couple consumers do go rogue, simply merge the beers!
Google Business Page
Google for business can be a little complicated, so you'll need to have patience on this one. Through Google, you can create a business page as well as a Google+ profile for your brewery (we recommend creating a gmail account for your brewery and going from there). You can then verify the location of your brewery on Google maps. Cool, right?
You may not spend much time using Google as a social media platform, but it is still very important for SEO results. To further improve your brewery's SEO rankings, post regularly to your Google+ account, using targeted keywords.
Even if you do not plan to distribute any time soon, you should still develop beer logos ahead of time. They will be used on popular beer sites such as Untappd and Beer Advocate. Additionally, they help to brand each beer.
Get some killer shots of your beers sooner rather than later! They'll make for great social media content, and it will be easy to share them for press releases.
While you're at it, get some photos of the team. These can be put to use on your website, employee Twitter profiles, and in social media campaigns.
It's key to do this early on, because once you open, nobody will have time for the paparazzi.
(Bonus: Get creative with these. Why stand in front of a white wall when you have a brewhouse or a bar?)
Space Photos and Videos
This is another one of those items that always gets swept under the rug post-opening. Pay a professional to capture your new space--both in photos and videos.
If you get a virtual tour of the space, you can connect that to your business on Google (so people can see the space when they find you on Google Maps) as well as your Facebook profile. So geeky, but so cool.
Later, you can use this newsletter to promote special events, announce new beer releases, sell items in your online store, etc.
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Wow, that was a lot.
Yeah, we know. But we love it! Looking for a partner in your brewery's marketing campaign? Give us a call! We can make plans over a beer.