Brewery Marketing 101: Names and logos
Now for the fun part. You know you're starting a brewery, but you need to call it something. You need a logo. You need names for your beers. Before you go all crazy brainstorming, consider the following:
- Your mission. Why do you want to start a brewery? How do you want to do things differently? What's your story and what things will you never compromise on?
- Your market. Who are the big craft beer players in the geographic area you plan on targeting? Are there any gaps in terms of beer styles or brand strategy that you can exploit? Atlanta was lacking a cosmopolitan-feeling microbrewery. Enter Monday Night Brewery. Though we settled on more of an irreverent cosmopolitan.
- Your consumer. Newsflash: you aren't the first craft brewery to open its doors. And craft beer drinkers are notoriously fickle, though not necessarily in a bad way. Most craft beer drinkers are different from mainstream beer drinkers in that they don't stick to a particular brand. However, they may gravitate towards certain brands. To make sure that one of these brands is yours, you have to stand for something. Think about your target consumer as a literal target. You need to choose a bullseye. Something narrow and focused. It doesn't have to say everything about your brand, but it does have to say something. Once you stand for something, people will automatically start attributing other things to you, thus widening your target and your appeal.
Okay, now you can start brainstorming a name for your brewery. And once you've got that, you can start in on the logo. Both of these are important elements. They will be the first things a consumer hears or sees regarding your beer. Even before you open your doors, they can help to define what others expect of you. What should you look for in a name?
- Descriptive of who you are and what you're about
- Short and sweet
- Easy to spell
- Domain name is available
- Sufficiently different from competition
As for the logo, there are many different ways to go about designing it. You can do it yourself. You can turn to friends or family with some graphic design expertise. You can hold a logo contest online at a place like 99designs.com. You can go to a freelancer, ad agency or graphic design firm. Whatever option you choose, here are some things to think about:
- Imagine it on a tap handle, pint glass or bottle. Logos don't float around by themselves, they need to be experienced in context.
- Can it be easily converted to one color? One-color printing is much cheaper, so it's something to consider.
- Can it be deciphered from far away? Chances are consumers aren't going to have it 3 inches in front of them when they first see your logo.
- Is it flexible enough to stay with you as you grow? Drastic logo changes should be avoided if possible.
Give as much specific feedback to your designer upfront as possible. In my experience, both with Monday Night Brewery and as someone who has worked with designers and ad agencies, you'll get a better quality product if you give them a head start to where you want to be. Think about what words you want the logo to convey. Any font styles you particularly like? What about colors? Are there any that you absolutely need or absolutely need to stay away from?Do the planning up front and everything else should fall into place – you'll soon have a name and logo for your brewery that you love.