I was recently invited to make a presentation about craft beer branding to the attendees of the 2018 Nebraska Grower & Brewer Conference. (Due to a scheduling snafu, I was unable to make the presentation in person, but instead ended up recording it later. Silver lining: now there’s a video that you can watch from the comfort of your couch while enjoying your favorite craft beer.)

Keg Creek Brewing identity and packaging by Oxide Design Co.Keg Creek Brewing identity and packaging by Oxide Design Co.

The presentation is titled “Crafting your beer brand: Good design is good business” — and it’s designed to help craft breweries engage in the process of defining the key elements of their core brand. It’s full of information about why branding is valuable, when you should engage in branding, and how you can get started on your own. Below I’ve included some of the key messages from the presentation, and a link if you’d like to watch the whole video.

Crafting your beer brand; Good design is good businessCrafting your beer brand: Good design is good business
Good branding is three things. 1. True to the core of your company; 2. Consistent; and 3. Clear.Good branding is three things: 1) True to the core of your company; 2) Consistent; and 3) Clear.
Beer drinkers judge every book by its cover: The typical craft beer buyer makes their decision about what to buy at the shelf in the store rather than in advance 70% of the time. It’s imperative to steal the spotlight as quickly as possible.Beer drinkers judge every book by its cover: The typical craft beer buyer makes their decision about what to buy at the shelf in the store rather than in advance 70% of the time. It’s imperative to steal the spotlight as quickly as possible.
Developing branding is a lot like developing the recipes for your flagship brews. If people have a bad experience the first time around, you’ll have to work twice as hard to convince them to give you a second chance.Developing branding is a lot like developing the recipes for your flagship brews. If people have a bad experience the first time around, you’ll have to work twice as hard to convince them to give you a second chance.
Let your brand be your guide: Once you have them established, you can use your core values and brand promise to guide your visual branding, but also all of your business decisions.Let your brand be your guide: Once you have them established, you can use your core values and brand promise to guide your visual branding, but also all of your business decisions.

And don’t forget the most important message from the presentation: Good design is good business. It’s all about makin’ that beer money.

Good design is good business: Branding is one of the cheapest ways to differentiate your brewery — and accelerate sales. Get your branding done right the first time and it will pay dividends well beyond the money you invest in it.Good design is good business: Branding is one of the cheapest ways to differentiate your brewery — and accelerate sales. Get your branding done right the first time, and it will pay dividends well beyond the money you invest in it.

Many thanks to Katie Kreuser, the Hop Program Coordinator at University of Nebraska Lincoln, for her invitation to speak to the conference. And thank you to Lynn Harland, associate dean of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s College of Business Administration, for facilitating the presentation and its recording.

Whether you’re a craft brewer, someone with a general interest in branding, or even a design student, I invite you to watch the presentation. Once you’ve seen it, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions: drew@oxidedesign.com.