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How to Market Your Craft Brewery on a Tight Budget

When certain trends are on the rise there is always a chance for market saturation to occur. Luckily for the craft beer industry, though this trend is in full force, there is still room for newcomers. The appeal of craft beer has blown up across the nation and the amount of breweries opening across the U.S. is at a steady incline. After all, 75% of Americans now live with 10 miles of a brewery1. The popularity of craft beer and local breweries comes with a negative side. In the early days, new breweries could count on standing out simply by being new, edgy, or local. Now that craft breweries are a staple of every main street, these businesses are going to have to rely on other marketing tactics to stand out in the crowd.

New breweries, and even businesses that have been around for awhile, have to think outside of the box when it comes to the best, most efficient and cost effective way to create brand awareness, attract new customers, and keep the business they have already generated.

No matter what business you’re in, there a various aspects of marketing one has to keep in mind, especially if you don’t have an enormous budget to rely on. Here are some things to think about when marketing your craft brewery on a small budget.

Establish Who You’re Marketing To And How To Speak To Them

It is very important to establish early in the marketing process what message your brand is trying to communicate, who you are trying to communicate this to, and how you are going to communicate this message. Finding a target market before doing anything else is a handy way to help yourself further down the line.

According to the Dogfish Head microbrewery they found that the typical craft beer consumer has an average household income of $60,000, a bachelor’s degree or higher, enjoys outdoor activities, and is employed in a professional career3. They also broke it down by age; it was established that Millennials make up 32.9% of the craft beer demographic, Generation X represents 23.9%, and the baby boomer generation makes up 34.6% based on craft beer volume purchased3.

While this may be creepily specific, it’s helpful when trying to establish your target market. From this point you can start crafting “customer personas” (which are fictionalized archetypes of your target customer, created from research, surveys and other insights). A persona combines demographics and psychographics in order to explain who your target audience is, what they do, why they do it, and what they are looking for5. Use the persona to keep your marketing material on track. Personas will help to understand and create marketing material for current customers, and, if done correctly, should also help you convert prospective customers5.

Making Your Customers Your Brand Ambassadors

Word-of-mouth advertising is the best way to boost your brand. Leverage the marketing potential of promotional products and make your customers your brand ambassadors; every time they are seen with an object or article of clothing with your logo on it, you’re increasing brand recognition. Essentially, your customers should be your walking billboards and making even a small investment in purchasing promotional products to giveaway can pay off in the long run. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), one cap will receive 3,136 impressions in its lifetime6. If 3,000 people see that one hat, imagine how much brand recognition you can get with 500 hats at a beer festival. Your company expands its presence in just a matter of minutes. It’s a small investment for a lot of pay-off.

Not sure which promotional product is the best giveaway for your company? Call (212) –679 –1212 or contact The Branded Brewery here for all of your promotional merch needs.

Digital Marketing

Marketing in the modern age is in large part all about your Internet presence. Companies that have a presence on social media are seen as more credible in the eyes of potential customers. Tools such as blogging and social media also allow a company to tell their story and very low cost. With so many social media outlet options (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), companies can find the perfect platform that works best for their brand and customer base. Having a presence on social media truly allows you to interact with your customers.

Embracing Community / Events

One of the amazing things about the craft brewing industry is the sense of community that is often found from business to business. Whether it’s planning themed nights in your own taproom or bringing your brand to a beer festival, leveraging the social aspect of the business is crucial to marketing your brand. Draw your customers in with a trivia night or karaoke event. Making your customers feel welcome and establishing your business, as a place to enjoy oneself is a great way to boost your brand popularity. From there, you can combine the other aspects of marketing we’ve covered in this article (digital marketing, customer personas, and promotional products) to maximize marketing potential.

Even when funds are tight, businesses can rely on simple and cost effective marketing plans; you don’t need a gigantic budget to gain brand recognition. There are ways to market from social media, to online content, to community events that can boost your brand visibility if done the right way and with the right passion.

Don’t miss the latest tips and tricks for best craft brewery marketing practices from The Branded Brewery. Sign up for The Brewsletter and stay ahead of the game!


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