In the past decade, process distillation technology has experienced rapid development. In 2005, the number of active breweries in the United States was less than 100. However, by the end of 2018, this number had skyrocketed to over 1,800 active craft breweries. From a specific standpoint, a craft brewery is defined as a producer that distills no more than 75,000 standard gallons per year. In 2017, the total sales of the craft spirits industry surpassed 3.7 billion U.S. dollars, which is more than three times the market share of the craft industry since 2012.
Just like any other commercial enterprise, branding plays a crucial role in the success of your craft spirits company. In this increasingly competitive industry, it is now more important than ever to build a brand that stands out. To achieve this, one must consider the following three factors:
1. Understanding the consumer’s perspective
This is the key. With numerous new start-ups emerging, how can new breweries make themselves noticed on already crowded shelves in bars or liquor stores? It all comes down to the brand. You need to create a brand that people will recognize and demand.
When it comes to your craft distillation business, your brand is one of the most important aspects. From a consumer’s point of view, it defines and distinguishes your company, ultimately determining your level of success. Your brand is the first thing customers notice about your product, and it may be the deciding factor in their purchase decision. It is crucial to make your brand memorable by conveying a message that aligns with the quality and story of your product.
2. Creating a brand that truly represents your story
When creating your brand, it is not just about coming up with a clever name. Yes, the name is important, but what matters more is what your name stands for. How does it connect you to the brand and image you are trying to create? Does it reflect your location, family heritage, or ingredients in any way? These are crucial considerations when developing a unique and memorable brand identity that resonates with consumers, as well as your business and products.
So, what does this look like?
Saint Lawrence Spirits, a craft brewery located in Clayton, New York, provides an excellent example of effective branding. When defining their brand, the team took their location and distillation process into account. These factors served as the main ingredients for fostering the creative development of their brand identity.
The distillery is situated near the breathtaking St. Lawrence River, which inspired their brand name. Moreover, they are the only distillery that uses water from the river in their spirits production. Their initials (SLS) are incorporated into the anchor handle to create the brand logo. Similarly, Saint Lawrence Spirits products feature names that pay homage to the river or the northern New York region, such as Even Keel Moonshine, Captain’s Flask Bourbon, Penet Square Gin, and Rye Knot Whisky, among others.
3. Consistency is key
Creating a brand that distinguishes your company not only helps establish your craftsmanship but also adds value to your business. However, to achieve success, it is essential to ensure consistency in your messaging. Think of it as a chain reaction:
Start with your customer base. Build strong relationships by offering high-quality products and compelling brand stories. Make your products and stories familiar and reliable to your customers.
When you establish a strong brand that is recognized by consumers, the market, and the industry, your advertising strategy will flourish.
Place advertisements that appropriately reflect your brand story. By knowing your goals and staying true to them, you can drive your craft spirits business to the next level.
Over time, a strong and consistent brand will enable your company to have a greater influence in the industry and enjoy the benefits of a well-established presence in the market.