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The Crafty Cask

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About The Crafty Cask

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    www.thecraftycask.com

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    California

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  1. Hi everyone! I'm looking for a few distillers/owners to have a quick call with me for a research project I'm working on to better help craft makers with marketing when they're first getting started. No sales pitch at all - just looking to learn about your challenges, frustrations, and wins (or lack of doing anything at all!) when it comes to marketing so I can help others have more wins and fewer challenges and frustrations in the future! If you're brand spankin' new and haven't even started thinking about marketing seriously yet I'd love to hear your thoughts as well! As a thank you you'll get free access to the final output (tool/cheatsheet/online course/etc...) when the research is complete. As a sign of goodwill and to show I really will provide value in return for this, here's our existing mini-course on using hashtags to grow your audience you can access for free now. We can likely keep it to 30 minutes or less unless we get chatty Who's game?! I'll work around your schedule, of course. Comment below or email me directly at suzanne@thecraftycask.com. Thanks a million for helping me better help friends like you succeed!
  2. Differentiators are good, they help you stand out from other similar products and give people a reason to believe they might like you more than others (because an award says that others liked yours more than others). So I think you're smart to lean into any award you receive. And remember you can just say award winning and leave it at that with a reference to the organization. People can ask or look up what exact award you received but at the end of the day that spirit is an award winning spirit and beat out others to be able to say that. In terms of proof that this is a good idea, here's an anecdote from my 12 years leading marketing for a few brands at a fortune 500 company. We did a ton of market research over the years on seals of approval and certification logos, etc... What we found is that even if consumers have no idea what that seal means or who the organization is who gave it out they are more likely to buy the product with an icon or multiple icons than one with none. While this research wasn't in the alcohol category I think the same logic is likely to hold here...especially since everyone understands what medals and awards are, much more so than seals and certifications. Congratulations on even having this dilemma in the first place...it's a good problem to have!
  3. I'd love to hear any hard stats you do find on this. We're launching our Driving Tasting Room Traffic and Conversions course in early 2020 based on that same theory of "win your backyard" first before branching out further. I haven't seen a ton of hard data to disprove this approach but would love to see whatever you find!
  4. Totally agree with that...rising tides lift all boats and we all need to help craft as an industry succeed and compete with larger corporations who are spending a ton educating (often wrongly since they're trying to convince them that they're craft as well) and marketing to consumers directly. You do need to educate your distributors and leverage their expertise and relationships, of course. I'm not advocating self-distribution (although sometimes it makes sense). But you also have to create consumer demand for your products so they move off the shelf. Distributors get you placements and support from retailers/bars/restaurants. Marketing generates consumer demand (and can help your accounts better understand and move your product on your behalf if you do it right) which is not the job or expertise of distributors. That was my point, sorry if it wasn't clear.
  5. I think this is fantastic this strategy worked for you, but I would caution others that if you don't have good brand awareness or an engaged audience before you have distribution it's a risk and can lead to your product sitting on shelf with no one looking for it or interested. Which can then lead to delistings. Marketing today is most effective when you build relationships with your consumers, help them get to know you and become interested in your brand before you even have anything to sell. If all you're using marketing for is for sales messages or promos or to try to get them to take action and you don't have any longer standing relationship or value that you've been adding before that the money you do spend on that marketing can have ton of waste built in and not deliver the results you're hoping for. A lot of the early-stage marketing to build relationships can be done for very low cost or even free so it's smart to put those efforts and activities in place long before you're ready to sell. Then when you are ready you have an engaged audience ready and willing. Distribution and distributors do not sell your product for you the majority of the time and counting on that is a mistake that really hurts a lot of craft makers. Back in the day when there were more distributors than makers this strategy worked more consistently, but today there are significantly more makers than distributors, they're spread to thin, and incentivized to push the brands who have good sales with minimal effort from them, not to put more effort in to try to gain sales. So the more you can do to create your own market and drive sales the harder your distribution will work for your brand. I think our distribution pro, Ben Salisbury from Salisbury Creative would agree. Happy to chat with anyone interested in learning more on this topic or marketing in general.
  6. The million dollar question! This is always a tough one because there are so many variables as others have mentioned and there's really no one size fits all. My best advice is to really sit down and plan out your marketing objectives and associated activities to reach those objectives. Just like you would with any other business goals. That's the only way to get an even remotely realistic number. We have two free resources related to this kind of work (scroll about half-way down the page for access) from our Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp bonus content that can help you think through this. You won't have the background course content for the full context and guidance without taking the courses, but the downloads have clear instructions to help you make some headway on your own if you have at least some understanding of marketing. One is a Marketing Budget Planning Exercise (with instructions for how to do it at a conceptual level if you're not quite at the stage to put hard numbers down just yet) and the other is a Paid Marketing Tactics Overview and Campaign Planner. There are some general guidelines out there that for businesses 5 years or younger you should plan to spend 12-20% of your revenue (goals) on marketing and for businesses over 5 years old (assuming your hitting your revenue goals and are on track), plan to spend 5-15% of revenue. But I'm still a strong proponent of sitting down and doing the work for your business objectives vs. just using some random rule of thumb...especially since those are still pretty broad ranges. One other tip. I always encourage craft makers to create their ideal marketing budget first - the one that would help you hit your goals the most effectively and on time - and then layer on reality after that to rightsize it. Starting from a scarcity mindset doesn't allow you to see the opportunities and growth potential you may be missing by not finding creative ways to invest more heavily where it makes sense. I'm not saying go crazy with a dream marketing budget...but do the "really, really, what would it take to hit these goals in the timeline I've lain out" budget. Then figure out how to fit it back into your reality, make tradeoffs with other resource investment areas where it makes sense, and then go back and adjust your goals/timeline with your newfound understanding of how underfunded your marketing will have to be, if that's the case. Hope some of this is helpful! This is just some of that foundational work that takes some real dedicated time and brain power to do right, but it will pay off for years to come and minimize marketing waste if you do it early and revisit it often. Suzanne
  7. What kind of data are you looking for? I'm happy to share what I know of, but don't want to inundate you with crap that's off-topic. I have a few sources I've used while creating our Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp that might be what you're looking for. Just let me know. Feel free to message me if easier too.
  8. We're planning an amazing craft alcohol exploration event for a non-profit animal rescue's fundraising gala and I still have a couple of spots open for craft producers to join us. Think of it like one of those big craft spirits festivals EXCEPT it's an audience small enough to actually talk to and convert and sell your brand to. With minimal competition since we're only having 8 distillers max. We're also programming content to actually force consumer learning and engagement throughout the night so it's almost impossible for someone to just come up take a sample and walk away. While this is a bigger event than usual we do events like this quite often - so if you're in the Bay Area and want opportunities (like a couple at The Palace Hotel!) to get in front of captive consumers who are pre-selected to be interested in craft alcohol leave your details below or email me at suzanne@thecraftycask.com. There's never any fee to particpate for distillers - just the cost of your own samples and time in return for brand building awareness and increased category interest.
  9. Social media can get super overwhelming fast...especially when you likely got into this to make amazing products, not be marketers! So I just wanted to offer up that we do social media audits and consulting exclusively for craft alcohol producers to help you design a social media process that works best for your brand and resources. We've set up past clients on scheduling tools and provided in depth trainings on things like using hashtags and other ways to grow your accounts and their effectiveness while greatly minimizing your time spent on social. As a brand with almost 10k craft alcohol enthusiast followers across platforms we can also be leveraged as an influencer for your brand if that's the approach your more interested in taking. Either way, our whole mission is to help craft distillers be successful and grow so we're always happy to talk and help support you in this crazy social media (or video or articles!) world. suzanne@thecraftycask.com
  10. We're in talks with something pretty exciting that's set to launch in the next few months...contract isn't fully executed so can't give details publicly but shoot me an email if you want me to keep you in the loop when we're ready to talk. National (within reason, but really good!) online coverage for sales and sampling plus if you get in through The Crafty Cask we'll be providing some free promotional support as it launches which will help raise awareness of all the distillers involved with us. I'm super excited about it...much needed in our industry! suzanne@thecraftycask.com
  11. We're loving this app and can't wait to see how it evolves and grows over time. Much needed addition to the craft industry if we want to get consumers to think about local spirits just as much as they do beer when traveling! Nice work.
  12. Hi all, While we're not new to ADI we are new to the forums so we thought we'd pop into say hi and introduce ourselves to those of you who don't know us. I'm Suzanne, the founder of The Crafty Cask where we celebrate the people, products and stories of craft alcohol. So what does that mean? Well we work with amazing craft distillers like all of you to support your success and growth goals. From social media training/consulting to video creation to feature articles or social media shout-outs and features. We do a variety of things to educate and entertain our ~10k craft alcohol enthusiast audience while helping spread awareness and interest in your distillery and brand. Think of it as an influencer meets a marketing agency...but only focused on craft alcohol. You'll definitely see us contributing quite a bit on the Marketing forum here but if you have any specific questions feel free to reach out directly to suzanne@thecraftycask.com or join our newsletter at http://bit.ly/joinTcc for marketing and social media tips/tricks and other helpful support as you get your distillery known to the world!
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