With autumn not even a month old, the weather is changing by the day and the tastes and preferences of your customers aren’t normally far behind. Out come the sweaters, knitted caps, hot coffee, stouts and changing palates with the cooler climates.
Are you offering the same products, services, and merchandise all year long? You may want to evaluate the changes of season to adapt to your clients, many of whom are looking for what’s next, what’s better, and what’s new.
Here are 5 tips to make this season a success!
1. A Change in Styles
We used to be one to drink IPAs and DIPAs all year long. Of course, it was easy to do that while living in Vermont, which is the home of The Alchemist, Fiddlehead, and Lawson’s Finest Liquids. We’ve noticed that even our palates have adjusted with the cooler seasonal weather. Fall brings out darker and more complex beers, such as Oktoberfest, stouts, porters, browns and more. Beers that are meant for the crisp fall nights that can warm in your hand and bring out more sophistication in their tastes.
Do you tend to offer the same styles all year long? Shake up your norm and give your drinkers a reason to come in and check out what’s new. Offer a barrel aged or bottle an imperial and make it a limited edition. Don’t be afraid to shake up your styles and keep your fans guessing and looking for what’s new.
2. Warm Weather Gear
Do you find your merchandise to be stocked with t-shirts, tank tops, and trucker hats? If so, you certainly aren’t alone. Don’t stash them away when the weather turns, as you’ll always have visitors from Florida or California where the weather always calls for tees and tanks. But, perhaps you should add to your branded gear? Hoodies are always popular in the fall and winter. Knitted caps aren’t just for hipsters, either. Brewery merchandise is the new band shirt and your drinkers are always looking to add to their wardrobe. Create a brand advocate first with your beverage, then with your merchandise.
3. Intimate Events and Experiences
If you are used to the windows and doors open crowds that visit during the summer, no matter the day of the week, maybe it’s time to think warm for the winter. Warmth is conveyed better with intimate crowds and not the typical sprawl of the outdoor events. Change things up with an invite only bottle release for your VIPs. Throw a chili cook-off and pair it with some limited edition offerings debuted at the event. Have an off-premise sampling at a hockey rink. Think small. Think experiences. Don’t be afraid to create an event that is so unique and so elite that it becomes memorable.
4. Fall Cleaning
Use the opportunity of a change in season to freshen up your space, or to clean out your cellar. October, November, and December can bring slower times in brick and mortar locations, so why not take the time to clean up a bit? A fresh coat of paint or minor renovations are much easier to achieve with slower traffic. Small improvements can go a long way in terms of appearance. Or, clean up a bit by emptying the cellar. Have some bottles that you were keeping for a special release? Throw one of those intimate events (see above) and bring in some traffic.
5. Stop, Collaborate & Listen
Chances are if your fall months are slow, your friends and competitors may be in the same boat. What better time of year to get together and brainstorm how to help out one another and your local scene? Have a brew day at each brew house and release two collaboration beers. Or plan collaborative events and co-host at both locations? Swap ingredients (grapes, hops, coffee beans) with a neighbor and help out those around you. Supporting your community and other local businesses can at times be the best way to help yourself and your business.
The change of seasons doesn’t have to effect a change in your bottom line or your foot traffic. Take advantage of spare time to think outside the bottle and plan for the future.
About Measured Methods
Our guest contributor is Measured Methods.
Measured Methods is a service agency focusing on the craft beverage industry. With a diverse range of professional backgrounds, the team at Measured Methods works with craft brands of all sizes to provide digital marketing, event, and sales support.
Measured Methods are also organizers of the 2015 Vermont Beer Week celebration.
Learn more about how Measured Methods can support your business by visiting their website or joining them on Social: @MeasuredMethods
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