How, Why, and When to Consider a Rebrand for Your Brewery
Redesigning a logo

When rebranding your brewery, it’s essential that you understand precisely why you’re embarking on the process, and hire the right brand consultant to help. After all, brewery brands require careful consideration and must work for you in a variety of arenas–your brand must fit your physical space, attract your ideal clients, and be recognizable on your packaging.

Although the process can be wrought with emotion, taking on a rebrand is worthwhile when the time is right…and of course, the payoff is huge, since a well-built brand can mean the difference between continuing on the status quo and successfully standing out in a saturated market. 

We’re exploring everything you need to know about rebranding your brewery, starting with the when and why and factoring in what you need to know.

When to Consider a Brewery Rebrand:

The possibilities for your rebrand are endless. So how do you know when it’s really the right time for you to revisit the brand? 

There are many reasons that you may want to consider a rebrand, but most fall into categories that relate directly to your business, the marketplace, and the effectiveness of your existing brand.

Changes to your business.

If your business model is changing, or you’re opening a new location, your existing brand may no longer work for you or your space. Whether you’ve merged your business with another, acquired a new partner, or decided to rework your business plan, at a minimum, you’ll want to revisit your brand.

Similarly, if you bootstrapped your brewery and didn’t invest in a brand consultant upfront, you may be finding that there’s a disconnect between what your home-brewed brand and your business.

Changes in the marketplace.

Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.

The brand just is not working.

Perhaps your business isn’t doing well because you don’t stand out against all of the other breweries in your market. After all, you offer more than beer. You provide an experience.

Unfortunately, your brand isn’t delivering for you. Whether it’s not the right brand for your audience or there’s a disconnect between your space and your packaging, you’ll enjoy more success by rebranding.

What you must know ahead of time:

Before you commit to a rebrand, it’s essential to have your pint glasses in a row. Branding is a significant undertaking, and although your brand designer will walk you through the process, it’s a good idea to prepare.

Get top-down approval.

If you’re not the CEO, keeper of the purse strings, or the decision-maker, they need to be involved. More than that, they must be 100% on board. When they commit, the whole process is much smoother.

Get clear on your why.

Wait…Didn’t we explore your why above? Sort of. Those are reasons to consider a rebrand. Not the goals of the rebrand itself. 

Before you start the process, spend some time doing some serious soul searching about what’s working and what’s not. What would you like your brand to accomplish outside of “get me more butts on barstools?” 

Again, your brand designer will help here, but having a solid idea before beginning will make your project so much more successful. Doing so enables you to answer so many questions, and more importantly, commit to the process.

Do some homework and market research of your own.

It’s not enough to know what you don’t like about your existing brand. What do your clients love, want, and dislike? What about your brewery (and you) is different from the crowd? Identifying these answers will help set your rebrand up for success from the get-go.

Appoint a point person to aggregate and consolidate feedback. There’s nothing harder for a brand designer than receiving three mutually exclusive sets of feedback. So someone who can consolidate everything will keep your project moving along. This person should be a decision-maker who can be decisive and has the power to act with authority.

Friends cheers beer at brewery

Rebrands aren’t all fun and bubbles.

There is a point in EVERY rebrand when the client gets emotional, and questions why they’re even doing this. So you must know this ahead of time so you can prepare for that welling of emotions, especially when there are multiple personalities and opinions involved. Remember, when we said, “Get Top-Down Approval?” This is a scenario where that is especially important.

Know whether you need a rebrand or a refresh.

It’s not enough to know what you don’t like about your existing brand. What do your clients love, want, and dislike? What about your brewery (and you) is different from the crowd? Identifying these answers will help set your rebrand up for success from the get-go.

Typically, most breweries need a rebrand instead of a refresh because there’s a significant disconnect between the brand and the audience.

So what is the difference between a rebrand and a refresh? First and foremost, it lies in how much of the previous brand and brand strategy we’re bringing forward.

You need a refresh if your brand is mostly working, but is out of touch with the changing marketplace. A refresh preserves your brand at its core while simultaneously infusing new life into your brewery and expanding the way you reach your clientele.

If your brand isn’t working at all, then it’s time for a total rebrand, while starting more or less from scratch. Although a few aspects of your existing brand may come through, you’ll have a whole new brew at the end of the process.

Brands evolve as well. Take Pepsi, for example. Today’s logo looks nothing like early versions, but you can see how they’ve changed over the years with brand refresh after brand refresh.

How to hire a branding consultant

Branding a brewery is complex and requires the perfect balance between aesthetics and merchandising. So when you’re hiring a brand designer or branding consultant for your brewery, it’s vital to ensure they can deliver what you need. Not sure how to get started? Here are a few talking points to consider:

  • Ask questions about their process (if they don’t have one, it’s a red flag).
  • Find out if they have success in the brewery space.
  • Get a feel for how they’ll handle the broad needs of a brewery’s brands.
  • Ask them to explain current branding trends

(Psst. If you have questions for me on ANY of this, hit me up, I’d love to help.)

Ready, Set, Rebrand!

If your goal is to get more brand-loyal customers to get their butts onto your barstools, and this article resonates with you, it’s probably time to start the conversation with your team. If you aren’t sure where to start, then reach out to us for a quick taste test. You might just be surprised at how quickly the ideas start bubbling right up.

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