Strategies for Emerging Strong from The Storm

Brand strategies & marketing tactics for craft beer brands to survive and thrive post-COVID-19.

As COVID-19 continues to impact the world, all craft beer businesses – from breweries to importers and retailers – face an unprecedented challenge.

From mandatory brewery shutdowns to delivery-only rules for bars, the pandemic has been the biggest challenge the industry has faced since World War II and Prohibition.

Rather than wallowing in negativity, the team at Beer Asia partnered with SEA Brew to quickly develop and present a webinar that could share craft beer-focused brand strategies, tactics and ideas to survive and thrive during a difficult business period.

Craft Beer Marketing Strategy Post-COVID

This session kicked off with a short presentation I’d pulled together from my research around smart COVID-19 responses by beer brands, in addition to some evergreen marketing research and strategies.

As difficult as the present situation is for many craft breweries, the focus of my presentation is that we can (a) learn from other brands in their quick responses to coronavirus-related social and economic impact and (b) that this is a positive moment to regear our marketing and customer engagement strategies digitally as an industry.

Three Winning Beer Marketing Tactics

Some of the key points I covered were…

  • People will accept you pivoting to takeaway and delivery!

    Craft beer businesses have a golden opportunity to rapidly switch to take-away and delivery.

    Data from WARC shows that there is a clear shift amongst consumers of all types toward ordering delivery of products that they would normally buy in a shop.

    Don’t make assumptions that they won’t order: people are clearly showing they will!

    craft beer ecommerce data 2020

  • Digitise everything you were previously doing offline.

    Malaysian craft beer bar chain TAPS Beer Bar has transferred their offline live music gigs to Instagram Live, engaging customers when they’re bored at home and keeping the brand front-of-mind.

    They have kicked off a ‘TAPS Live Sessions’ programme that also includes interviews with Young Master’s founder, a smart move as it is also a craft beer brand they serve and deliver.

    TAPS Craft beer bar malaysia digital marketing

  • Engage people with fresh experiences to create consumption moments – and encourage delivery.

    Pasteur Street Brewing Company, a craft brewery located in Vietnam, has moved to ‘Virtual Taprooms’ to replicate the in-bar experience for their customers stuck at home.

    By creating the Virtual Taproom in conjunction with a delivery campaign, PSBC has been able to drive continuous engagement with existing customers and keep their brand front-of-mind in a now-crowded craft beer delivery market.

    craft beer virtual taproom pasteur street brewing company

Q&A Session: Pasteur Street Brewing Company & SEA Brew

We then went through to a wonderful Q&A with the CEO of Pasteur Street Brewing Company, Alex Violette, and Charles Guerrier from SEA Brew.

PSBC has been a pioneer during this crisis, quickly pivoting to both digital and delivery options to continue to engage their customers (including starting a Virtual Taproom).

We then had some great audience participation, including bringing on Chad Mitchell from Beervana Vietnam and Raoul Masangcay from Elias Wicked Ales & Spirits , to give their inputs on beer distribution and the current situation in the Philippines respectively.

You can watch the full webinar via Beer Asia’s Facebook below.

By Oliver Woods

Oliver Woods is the founder of Beer Asia. He is a marketing strategist, co-founder of two ad agencies and craft beer enthusiast. Oliver is based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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