I am a Baby Boomer. I drink craft brews -- and there are plenty more like me. Our generation has raised kids, worked our careers, made money, and done our thing. We tend to have leisure time. And, we’re looking for new experiences. Want some new customers? Consider us as a target market.
In my profession, I visit a lot of craft breweries. When I do, I almost always find a seat in the taproom for a bit. Yes, sampling brews, of course. But, I’m a branding and marketing guy. So, I observe. I check out your retail environment. What does your use of lighting, space, signage, and graphics tell me about you? I talk to people. Who are they? What kind of experience are they having? How did they get there?
On a recent afternoon visit, I found myself sitting with some fellow Old Guys. Early retirees, all. Including a Navy man, telephone linesman, and manufacturing shift superintendent. In the past year, each of them had begun to explore local craft breweries.
On another visit, to a near-cultish, brilliantly creative Craft Brewery, I found more Baby Boomers. The place was packed and I literally bumped into them while ordering my next beer. Retirees, waiting on arrival of family who were coming from out-of-state. One guy was already a devoted member of the brewery’s fan club. He is a walking commercial for that fine establishment. And, he chose the taproom for his family gathering. Interesting.
We all know that competition in Craft Brewing got tougher in the last year. In 2016, the number of breweries as well as industry production capacity increased faster than growth in consumers. We also know that 80+ percent of America has not yet embraced Craft Brews.
So, what are your marketing strategies for growing your business? Rather than totally focus on demographics of 21-40 year-olds (many of whom already drink Craft), how about pitching to older folks who might just be looking for a place like yours?
Food for thought, I hope. –Eric Johnson