Two of my favorite things: Business Strategy & Beer (not necessarily in that order!)

Unlike most of the team at WKH, my background is not in marketing having spent a thirty year career in manufacturing and business consulting. I like to think that this brings a different perspective to the strategic and concept development work that we do as I view our branding and marketing campaigns more like a customer who for the most part have more limited knowledge of marketing principles.

Our rebranding work for Sam Miller’s Oyster Bar & Restaurant enabled me to combine two of my passions – business strategy and beer. During our research, we uncovered some fascinating data about beer and beer drinkers.

For instance, my favorite beverage – craft beer – apparently says a lot about your personality. Consumers of craft beer are more likely to spend time thinking about beer rather than work. They are more open-minded than most people, seek out interesting and varied experiences and are intellectually curious. Craft-beer drinkers tend to be happy-go-lucky about life and are 153% more likely to always buy organic, 52% more likely to be fans of the show “The Office” and 36% more likely to be the ones to choose the movie they are going to see at the theater. I’m not sure that I really fit that description – but I’d rather be an anomaly than give up craft beer!

Another interesting discovery – researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK gave subjects a glass of beer. The subjects were served in either a “fluted” glass with a curvy taper to a narrow base or a straight-sided glass. The straight-sided-glass subjects were an amazing 60% slower in finishing their glass of beer – nearly 12 minutes, vs. 7 minutes for the fluted-glass group. For bar owners wanting to boost sales of beer and increase profits, this is a useful piece of information. (Not that I’m encouraging excessive or speedy drinking – I believe a good beer should be savored not chugged).

When it comes to “millennials”, we discovered more interesting and relevant research-based facts. This generation numbers 68 million 21-34 year olds nationwide and represents a large yet challenging market. As a generation, they are knowledgeable about food and beverages, demand both experiential enjoyment and value for money. Research shows that millennials have a thirst for adult beverages and particularly look for variety.

More than two-fifths of millennials (46 percent) surveyed for Technomic’s Trends in Adult Beverage (TAB) reports look for restaurants to offer a variety of beers, one-third (32 percent) prioritize wine variety and half (50 percent) prioritize variety in spirits and cocktail offerings. Creating adult beverage selections that present variety appeals to millennials’ desire to explore.

Millennials are unlike any previous generation in their knowledge of adult beverages. They’re adopting wine at a younger age than their parents did, with many interested in working their way through various varietals and regions. Although vodka is their favorite spirit, they’re imbibing rum, tequila and whiskey as well, diving into the different aged and flavored expressions of these spirits. Observers credit millennials with driving the craft beer and cider trends. Satisfy their interest in spirits, wine and beer by ensuring bartenders and service staff can speak to the flavor profiles, production methods and origins of your drink list’s various offerings with authority.

There was much, much more research that we uncovered in the course of this project but I think you get the idea that learning about an industry and its patrons enables us to recommend and implement more effective communication strategies and helps guide the creative process for our design team.

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