Create an Attractive Brand Through a Persona

Who will be drinking your beer? 

With many of the breweries I have talked to, or worked with, the common answer you here is “Everyone! We want everyone to drink our beers!” I get it, there’s no doubt you want to provide a product and space that everyone can enjoy. However, there are downfalls when it comes to marketing and branding to everyone, let’s take a look.

I am sure you are fully aware how many breweries there are now and continue to open. With so many options around, how is a customer to decide what brewery they want to visit or what brand they want to align with? Some brewery brands have very specific brand personas, take for instance the heavy metal themed Trve Brewing in Denver, CO. This brewery is very specific to their audience and a niche that isn’t popular compared to the mainstream, but they seem to be doing great! 

The market will continue to be competitive, and those that define, market, and brand to their ideal customers will stand out in the crowd. Whether people consciously know it, they have a preferred “tribe,” style of living, or where they feel comfortable. Brand and market to your ideal tribe.

What happens if you take the market to everyone approach? We’ll use the analogy of fishing. You aren’t going to open your tackle box and think “what lure is going to catch any fish that swims by.” If you are going to catch fish, you will be using a specific lure for the type of fish, the water conditions, the rod, and probably way more reasons that I have no idea about. The lesson here, you don’t want to create a brand and market to every fish in the sea. 

Sure, people aren’t fish and I am sure you will be getting some diverse customers. However, I bet if you take a closer look at those customers, your local demographics, or the style of beer you make, there is a more defined group of folks that would best fit your brand. If you are a new brewery, or a brewery in planning, we will want to create a customer persona that you can use to develop your brand.

How should we create this persona and how will it help?

We want to create a brand that is going to appeal to your ideal customer. In order to do that, we’ll first create a persona for the type of person that you think would best fit. You’ll be creating a person along with their style, their interests, hobbies, etc. Here’s a list of points you can use to create this persona.

  • What’s their job?
  • What style of clothes do they wear?
  • Do they wear shoes, sandals, boots, high heels? What brand of shoes?
  • Do they wear a watch? What watch?
  • Do they wear a hat? What kind of hat?
  • What kind of car do they drive?
  • What music do they listen to?
  • What activities do they participate in after work?
  • What area of town do they live in?
  • What kind of products will this person buy?

I think that last question is one that can really help align your branding with your ideal customer. Let’s say your ideal customer purchases products that are: organic, environmentally friendly, premium wine and spirits, REI or Columbia clothing, Red Wing leather boots, etc.

Let’s take a look at these brands!!

  • What aesthetics do they have in common?
  • What kind of messaging and style attracts these ideal customers to their brands?
  • What does their social media look like?
  • Do they have a specific style of photography in their marketing?

In a way, you can look at the brands and products your ideal customer would purchase to help guide the way you brand your brewery and beer.

I love the way that Jessica Ferrel broke this down, which takes this a little bit further. In my interview with her on Branding Brews (listen here, starts at 7:30 minutes), she has a formula for creating a Brand Promise. Here is that formula, which can take your ideal customer persona, along with two other important factors to describe how you will deliver a successful product and experience.

We provide *_product or service here_* for *_customer segment or your persona_* who want to *_customer need or desire_*