Promotion is the key. No, not escalating your career path and earning ever-increasing amounts of cash (heaven forbid), but drawing attention to your business, or particular products therein. This week I received two
promotional packs, one deceptively simple and direct, the other slightly more slick
and perhaps a little more confused.
The first was a pack from the Wychwood Brewery, flagging up
its new Pumpking Ale
and cheekily placing
its best-selling Hobgoblin Ale as "the unofficial beer of Halloween". Included was a roll of stickers, some toffees in a little hessian bag, a T-shirt, a couple of beers, and a storyboard about pumpkin carving (power tools optional). The pack itself was nicely done
- it was witty and slightly tongue-in-cheek, but free from dogma,
so it left a little to the imagination. It planted the seed of an idea, but left enough scope for you to customise it to your own ends.
Hijacking a seasonal festival and making your beer its unofficial mascot is a great idea; making it official with stickers and a T-shirt is the icing on the cake. Sadly, Pumpking Ale is a Sainsbury's exclusive, so Hobgoblin for Halloween it is.
The second bit of promotional material was from Coors,
which is launching Coors Light this month. There's undoubtedly a lot of investment
in the beer and the campaign
- the mailout was a cute cardboard replica of a can
with a three-piece foldout flyer of a Coors Light bottle inside. I'm sure you've seen it by now, and probably had a call from the
very thorough sales team.
For me, the message is a bit mixed
- on one hand
it's a light beer, on the other
it's a more drinkable premium lager.
The claim in the flyer that "75 per cent of lager drinkers want a range of lighter and stronger tasting products when buying premium strength lager" is a sentence that gets more confusing the longer I look at it.
It's great that
Coors is targeting the independent sector with a special glassware offer as this is the sort of thing
the small operator can use to everyone's advantage. But I find
its sign-off on the flyer - "Your customers will want Coors Light. Make sure you have some in stock - we'll be in touch soon" - quite menacing, especially if said in an East End gangster style and embellished with "you slaaag" .
But you don't need to wait for someone to get in touch to do a bit of in-store promotion. Our current rotating promotion has taken the novel approach of promoting beer that we like. Imagine that
- no other criteria than enthusiasm.
For a while, it was a British, Belgian and International Beer of the Week, which actually always gets dragged out over
10 days. I think Dan and Will B came up with this - it's wonderful to see how I've inspired such enthusiasm in them (haha!). This week, Mr B has taken the promotion in a new direction: County of the Week - Cornwall. Splendid bit of innovation there, although use of the Cornish language might have garnered a bit more interest. "Korev a-an Seythun" is "beer of the week" in Cornish, should anyone feel like following suit. But why stop there? How about a Beer Style of the Week
or, given the turn in the weather, Strong, Dark Beers? You don't need a brewery to do the work for you - you just need a pen, some paper, and a bit of imagination. Jump to it.