Protecting your Brand

Flexible and Strong!Creative Commons: Flickr - Sibe Kokke

In a past article, we discussed the importance of protecting your brand with Trademarks however, protection doesn’t start there. Protecting your brand begins when you start to to envision your brand and determine how it syncs with your brewery and beers. It starts when you weave together the notes and drawings you’ve made on napkins, conversations with friends and family and usually, some professional guidance. Years are spent planning and creating the perfect brand for your new brewery.

And then it all comes crashing down in a Twitter storm. Some people are offended by your newest beer name or perhaps it’s that label that your team thought was funny but turns out, it is offensive to some. We’ve all seen this reaction in social media and most breweries aren’t keen to be be on the receiving end of this outrage.

Is your brand damaged? Likely. If the consumer has no other information other than your brand, he or she will base their purchase decision solely on what they see and hear. If this is a one-off misstep, loyal consumers may let it slide but a new consumer will not afford you such loyalty.

The attention you put into your brand can be a hint at the attention you put into your liquid. The best way to keep your brand healthy is to consider a few things in your overall branding strategy.

First off, create a strategy. Having an overarching vision and plan will keep your brand consistent and recognizable to the consumer. Second, if you have the means, work with a reputable firm for your brand and graphics. In this highly competitive market, having a unique brand and presence can translate to sales.

As discussed in our trademark article, research your beer name and pick something unique. The cost of re-branding even for one beer can be substantial if you are in multiple markets.

Dismiss the thought that all press is good press. Gaining notoriety for an offensive label or beer name is not going to drive sales. In this ever-increasing community minded focus of local craft beer drinkers, their respect for you and your business practices is what keeps them loyal to your brand. If you falter and do end up on the wrong side of a Twitter storm, regaining consumer loyalty will be difficult, time consuming and potentially costly.

Lastly, return to your strategy and vision when creating new names or packaging materials. If there’s a chance of alienating customers, you should probably scrap that idea and go back to your basic roots and those napkins you started doodling on so many years ago.  

 

Post by: Lynn McIlwee