Is there anything big brands can’t destroy? Body +vity, craft beer, as soon as ‘the professionals’ get involved it all kind of nosedives.
— Charlie (@craftybeeress) January 6, 2017
I tweeted this this morning after a new year of being bombarded with ‘new year new you’ type messages from PR companies, newsletters and social media comms. ‘Try this amazing new diet!’ ‘Get rid of that Christmas body!’ ‘You’re not good enough, be better!’ type things. And although this is quite focused around body image/clothing brands/the diet industry, it made me think about craft beer too and how the big brands just don’t seem to ‘get it’. Aren’t these people supposed to be branding/marketing gods? Why is it so hard to get right?
Marstons: spent £1m on changing their branding to look like really old BrewDog labels in an attempt to entice younger customers. It went well as you can see here, here and here. Oh also here.
Meantime: Where do I start? Hop Wheels, where you can drink a pint of beer while wearing a VR headset? MEAN IT, where to ‘remain true to the brewer’s founding belief that good beer comes from going the extra mile and doing things properly’ means unveiling a huge mural? My heart hurts for Meantime. And, to be honest, it hurts for myself, as they essentially introduced me to craft beer. But then it kind of stopped being about the beer.
Backyard Brewery (Carlsberg): An example of it being all style (if you can call it that) and dishwater inside. These guys obviously read this article, which contains such gems as: ‘Slight adjustments to your brewery name to include the words ‘Artisan’, Brewing Co’ or even ‘Craft Brewery’ can help your operation seem more humble.’
Things I’m not looking for: a wacky label, a made up back story, a zany activity to go alongside my pint. Things I am looking for: a delicious tasting product with high quality ingredients, brewed with a little bit of love (and maybe that’s the kicker). Why is it so hard?