Festivals, festivals... and more festivals.

The most successful craft breweries bridge their products with consumers and pave a culture along the way. Beyond flavor, price and accessibility... loyalty is the true secret ingredient behind every brand and beer label.

Today, beer festivals are more abundant than car shows and garage sales. Colorado weekends are flooded with beer events in nearly every city.

“Your most loyal customers will originate from sampling a hand-poured draft. Often times, the best opportunity for them to try you out is during a seasonal festival or summer craft beer event.”

If you are a start-up or a small brewery looking to launch your brand, gain future cult followers and potentially new accounts; then your best bet is to get out there and infiltrate as many local craft events as you can. Dollar for dollar this is one of the best ways to get your brand in front of beer drinkers and future loyalists. If at all possible, hire a dedicated event planner to organize and plan your event schedule. The Colorado Brewers Guild is a great resource for finding events that fit your profile, audience, and location. 

Check out the State of Craft Beer:
www.coloradobeer.org

4 Ways to Humanize Your Brand

You are a human. Your employees are human. Your business partners are human. Your customers are human. So why do you find it so difficult to let your human side show?  

The average consumer is exposed to more than 5,000 advertising messages per day. They are tired of these advertisements. They want to hear and understand you. Why don’t you communicate with them like a human being, instead of acting like a robot with your corporate speech?

Here are 4 ways on how to humanize your brand.

Be available

Humanizing your brand is impossible without actual humans available to do it. When you post status updates on your social media account, be available to respond to questions, comments and reviews. If a customer is upset, be ready to address the problem and do what it takes to solve the issue. Don’t show up just to brag about the awards you’ve recently received or promote your new products.

Engage in conversation

When users post on your wall or leave a comment on your blog, it’s because they have something to say. Make it a point to respond to your audience in a personal way. Also, show them that you’re listening to their suggestions by responding through action. Small gestures go a long way towards building rapport.

Use everyday language

If you are to engage with customers through social media, be sure to speak to them the way you speak with your friends. Use words that they would understand. People won’t be interested with your posts if you use industry jargon.

Show a sense of humor

For many businesses, portraying themselves as industry experts is important to gaining credibility and generating leads. Keep in mind, though, that you can still have an educational and professional content that still incorporates an engaging, caring or fun tone.

If you communicate with your audience in a unique and entertaining way, you are more likely to get high engagements. Just make sure that your humor doesn’t hurt other people.

 

Guide to Building Your Personal Brand

The term branding has long been delegated to companies. Companies like Apple, Mc Donald’s and Coca Cola have brands that are popular worldwide. But these days, branding isn’t just for companies. It is also becoming just as important on a personal level.

Your personal brand is how people see and describe you as a business owner or a representative of an organization. In a way, it is synonymous with your reputation. Your personal brand is what makes you, you.

Here are 4 things you need to keep in mind when building your personal brand.

Define your brand

Allow us to start with a simple activity. Get a pen and a piece of paper and list down the words you think people would use to describe you and your business. What are the things that pop up in someone’s head as they hear your name?

Building a successful brand starts with knowing yourself. From there, it would be easier for you to move forward and build the kind of brand you want to create.

Review your social media presence

Social media has given us a platform to broadcast our personal messages to accomplish our goals. But you should also Google yourself up to see what people are going to see when they search for your name. You want to have a clean reputation and you want people to take you seriously. Always use your personal brand as a guide when using social media.

Get your behavior in check

Behaviors matter big time. I cannot stress this enough. Your actions speak volume about your personal brand and you as an individual.

Be authentic

You need to develop your brand in light of who you really are. Take a look at how you dress, how you act, your likes, your strengths, where you shine etc. You have a clearly identifiable personality. Allow it to show through. 

Tips for Choosing the Right Promotional Product

Any business that is looking to build awareness and attract new customers could benefit from promotional products. They offer a unique advertising opportunity since people do not often consider them as advertisements. Rather, they think of them as gifts.

Getting it right is essential to the success of your campaign, event and business. The right promotional product can help in encouraging potential clients to attend an event, try a new product or even meet with a sales associate. Because of that, it is important to choose a product that would create a great impact in the minds of your customers.

Here are some tips that could serve as guidelines when choosing your next promotional product. Keep these things in mind and make the process a lot easier.

Serve your purpose

Like any advertising or marketing effort, promotional products are supposed to capture the attention of the users and serve your intended goal.

Start with your goal. Do you want to keep your company top of mind with your best clients? If this is your goal, then give them something useful like a nice-looking stapler, a USB splitter or a high quality pen. If your goal is to generate awareness and attract new customers, you might want to go for something fun and attention grabbing.

Think about the recipient

Promotional products must make sense to your target audience. So when selecting a promotional product, you should always think about your target audience.

If your prospective clients are young, you might want to think of products that are trending right now. If they are health conscious, products like water bottles and gym bags are great products to give away.

Find something useful

A lot of business owners make the mistake of handing out items that are of no use to their customers. As a result, these items end up in the trash can or left untouched in the drawer. That’s why you should choose items that are useful to your prospects.

 

JR Motorsports and Dale’s Pale Ale Unveil Multifaceted Partnership

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (April 16, 2015) –JR Motorsports and Dale’s Pale Ale have agreed to a multifaceted partnership, general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller announced today.  The first craft beer to be featured in a can, Dale’s Pale Ale will sponsor Regan Smith and the No. 7 Chevrolet in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 9).  Additionally, Dale’s Pale Ale is named the presenting sponsor of Smith’s JR Motorsports Upfront podcast on Dirty Mo Radio.

Dale’s Pale Ale is distinguished as the first craft beer in can form and brewed by the Oskar Blues Brewery from its bases in Brevard, N.C. and Longmont, Colo.  Along with its flagship brand Dale’s Pale Ale, the Oskar Blues Brewery offers an extensive line of craft and specialty beers.

“It’s great to bring Dale’s Pale Ale and Oskar Blues on board,” Smith said. “We take a lot of pride in welcoming new partners into JR Motorsports.  Not only do we get to carry the Dale’s Pale Ale brand on the racecar, but they’re also a tremendous partner for the JR Motorsports Upfront podcast.  It’s a fun and informative program, and Dale’s Pale Ale is a perfect fit for that.”

JR Motorsports Up Front, the first Dirty Mo Radio program hosted by a driver, airs every Thursday on Dirty Mo Radio.  Hosted by Smith, the program features a revolving door of guests and gives fans honest opinion, exclusive insight, and candid commentary regarding JRM and its XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series, and late model teams.

“Oskar Blues has been breaking boundaries since Dale's Pale Ale was first canned in 2002," said founder Dale Katechis. “We chose the can package for Dale's because it protects the beer from light and air, and also because cans are more portable, allowing a great beer to be enjoyed in more places, like the racetrack. We are proud to be associated with Regan, Kelley, and all of the JR Motorsports team and look forward to a groundbreaking partnership.”

In addition to primary placement at Charlotte, Dale’s Pale Ale will also be featured as an associate partner on the No. 7 Chevrolet for the 2015 season.  In 2015 NXS competition, Smith has secured two top-five and five consecutive top-10 finishes.  He is currently sixth in NXS championship points.

Dirty Mo Radio podcasts are accessible free of charge on DaleJr.com as well as numerous podcast-catching networks such as iTunes, TuneIn Radio, Stitcher, WeCast and RSSRadio.  For more information on Dirty Mo Radio, including host bios, archived programs, and sponsor links, visit DaleJr.com, or follow the @DirtyMoRadio handle on Twitter.

ABOUT OSKAR BLUES BREWERY:

Founded as a funky little brewpub by Dale Katechis in 1997, Oskar Blues Brewery launched the craft beer-in-a-can apocalypse in 2002, using a tabletop machine that sealed one can at a time. In 2008, the makers of the top-selling pale ale in ColoRADo, Dale's Pale Ale, added a brewery in Longmont, ColoRADo. The brewery has since experienced explosive growth—from packaging 59,000 barrels of beer in 2011 to 149,000 barrels in 2014. In December 2012, Oskar Blues opened the doors to an expansion brewery in Brevard, North Carolina. Oskar Blues has continued craft can innovation by releasing OLD CHUB NITRO as the first American NITRO craft beer-in-a-can and introducing the CROWLER as a canned off-premise growler alternative.  The innovative, original canned craft brewery now distributes trail-blazing craft brews to 42 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., as well as parts of Canada, Sweden, and the U.K. For more information and social media visit http://www.oskarblues.com.

Effective Design and Layout for Restaurant Menus

Menus are not mere lists of food items and prices. They are advertising tools that are intended to showcase your best dishes and help customers make satisfying choices.

Designing a restaurant menu may look easy, but it goes beyond just listing dishes, prices and adding a few pictures here and there. It’s more complicated than that. There are a lot of factors that come into play when creating a menu. And if it’s well designed, it can reflect your restaurant’s identity and help increase profit margins.

Here are some tips to consider when designing your restaurant menu.

Match menu style to restaurant style

Your menu is an extension of your restaurant brand. That said, your menu layout, color and descriptions should match with your restaurant’s theme or concept. If someone sees your menu online or in the window, they should have a good sense of what your restaurant is like.

Choose colors wisely

Colors will not only set the mood of a restaurant, it can also draw attention to certain food items. So, choose colors based on the theme of your restaurant as well your target audience.

Additionally, different colors have different psychological effect on a viewer. Blue has been shown to suppress appetite, red is widely recognized as to increase appetite; while green is often associated with healthy food choices.

Divide the menu into logical sections

If you offer a large variety of foods, you might want to break them up into sections and use large simple headings (Salads, Pasta, Vegetables, Poultry, Fish). Arranging items in logical groups will make it easier for customers to search for dishes.

Use the right font

People should be able to determine the feel of your restaurant, without even reading a word off the menu, just from your choice of font. Using more than one type of font is also a good idea, especially if you want to distinguish the names and descriptions of menu items. Most importantly, choose fonts that are easy to read.

 

Marketing Tips to Help Your Brewery Grow

Today, there are over 3,000 breweries in operation and another 2,000 on the rise. As the craft beer industry continues to grow, you need to stand out and rise above the competition in order to succeed.

If you are like most small businesses, you may not have a million dollars to spend to market your brewery. But the truth is, you don’t to spend a fortune to grow you brewery. Just like any business, you need to have a game plan and implement it well.

Here are some tips to market you craft brewery.

Define your target audience

We can’t be all things to all people. That said, defining your ideal patrons is essential. Focus on what they want, what’s important to them and give it to them. Knowing who you’re brewing for will help you brew something that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Support local events

Your goal is to get the word out, and there’s no better way to do this than by introducing your beer to local events. Be a good beer community citizen and offer to donate a keg or 2 to the event. Share the love and you’ll get love back in return.

Leverage your network

As a budding business, the last thing you want is to not have people talking about you. Get people talking by spreading the word about your business.

We’re sure you know some people in the craft beer industry, and your family and friends know some people too. Meet with them and talk to them about your business. You can also join local beer clubs to expand your network. The more you talk about your business, the more people will discuss it.

Share your story

Everyone loves a great story. We bet your customers are also interested to know the story behind your company - what inspired you to open a brewery and how you got to where you are. By sharing your experience with your customers, they are more likely to connect with you better.

 

Key Elements of a Successful Restaurant

Having a big marketing budget and a great menu can help you attract customers, but it’s not an assurance that they’ll be your loyal patrons.

Success means different things to different people. But in order to succeed, you first have to know and understand your business and implement key factors to help you stand out from the competition. Remember, the restaurant industry is a highly competitive industry. If you master these key elements, it will give you a long term advantage over your competitors.

Here are some key elements that contribute to success in the restaurant business.

Food

Food is one major factor in determining a restaurant’s success. After all, that’s the reason why customers come to your restaurant, right?

You may have great interiors and ambiance, but without good food, your customers won’t be coming back. Successful restaurants make it a point to serve good tasting, freshly prepared food that is exactly as it is described on the menu. Poorly prepared food turns off a customer; thus, ruining your chance of having a repeat customer.  

Ambiance

The ambiance should be in relation to your food and service style. A restaurant that focuses on selling high-end food should have a formal setup with luxury furnishings, classy lightings and soft music. If you are trying to sell colorful pizzas to kids, make sure that your restaurant looks fun and exciting.

If your customers don’t like the ambiance and the décor, everything, including the food and the service doesn’t mean a thing.

Price

Considering that you have great food and excellent service, some people may still be hesitant to come if the food costs too much. You want your restaurant to cater to both high and low end clients.

Employees

One of the most important factors in your success is hiring skilled employees to run your business. In order to do that, you must set high standards when recruiting people.

Also, keep in mind that your employees are people, not commodities. So, treat them with respect. If the employees are happy, the guests will be happy too.

 

How to Get More People to Attend Your Event

When planning for your next event, the last thing you want is to spend a lot of time and effort only for it to flop. The key to a successful event is to get people to register and actually come to your event. Unfortunately, this is not an easy thing to do.

Take a moment to check out these tips and incorporate them into your marketing strategy. Hopefully, these will help you make your event a success.

Offer early bird pricing

Want more people to attend your event? Offer discounts to people who will purchase tickets early. The sense of urgency will encourage people to register and buy tickets before the price increase.

Go social

Years ago, marketers would turn to the local newspaper and craft engaging press releases to earn coverage, and the registrations would start rolling in. While this tactic can still drive attendance, you can great results if you incorporate social media into your marketing strategy.

Everyone is jumping on the social media bandwagon these days. That means you should too. Share your event on popular social media sites and provide potential attendees with information about your event. The more people you engage with your posts, the better.

Make your event worth attending

Remember, this is not about you. Think of what your target audience would be interested in and enjoy. Give them a reason to come to your event.

If one of your speakers is an industry expert, be sure to let them know. This will get people excited and drive a lot of ticket sales. People are busy and have a wide variety of interest, but if you can show them that your event is worth attending, they might consider investing their time and money.

Deliver high quality content

The success of an event all comes down to its content. Share as much topics as you can in your marketing and give them a sneak peak of what will be discussed on the event itself. Creating an introduction video that talks about what they can learn and get out of the event will assure them that you won’t be wasting their time. 

Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Promote Your Small Business

Promoting a business is an ongoing challenge for small businesses. As a startup, your goal is to get your business in front of potential prospects, turn them into paying customers and keep them coming back. But how do you promote your business if you don’t have enough funds to advertise on television, radio or even put up a newspaper ad?

Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to keep your business in the public eye.

Know your target market

Not everyone is interested on your products and services. If you want to get quality inquiries and get people to open their wallet, you need to focus on people who need and want your products or services. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your time and resources selling to people who do not want or value what you offer.

Be a savvy social networker

Living in the digital age, almost everyone is on social media. If you haven’t set up an account yet, then we urge you to create a business account on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. If your business is image-oriented, then you might want to add Instagram on the list.

Build relationships

It is easier and a lot cheaper to keep your current customers than it is to attract new ones. That said, building a relationship with your customer base is of great help. One way of doing this is by launching an email campaign.

Your customers will be delighted to know that they are one of the few people to be the first to hear about the latest products you offer and the events you’ll be holding. Keep your communication lines open and send them an email from time to time. We bet your customers will look forward to receiving your emails.

Develop a referral program

Remember, word of mouth is powerful stuff. Referrals make it easier to get in the door with new customers. Offer existing customers rewards like a free gift or discounts for referring new customers. 

Survey revealed that most people are willing to provide referral if asked. So, don’t be shy about asking for referrals.