​Do Your Beer Names Sell You Well?​

​ Michelle Peterson, the Marketing Manager for Dust Bowl Brewing​ believes what you name a beer can be crucial.

​”A great name on a great label not only catches the consumer’s eye, it can lead to a purchase​,” she explained​. ​”​A solid name can definitely help sell beer.​”​

It’s ​just ​another marketing tool ​Dust Bowl and countless other breweries use to differentiate​ themselves in the market.

​Dust Bowl takes its names from the Dust Bowl era of America while ​Ecliptic Brewing focuses on space and astronomy.

Erin Grey Kemplin, Ecliptic Brewing​‘s​ Sales Manager​ said that the staff collaborates with input from sales, marketing, the brew team and the owner while sticking to its brand philosophy.​

​”We have found, in general, being easier to pronounce has helped the success of the beer,” Kemplin said. “In the beginning, some of our beer name were harder for our customers and buyer to pronounce and because of that they would shy away from ordering the beer.”

That meant re-naming some beers. Kemplin said it helped sales some, but has never made a super significant change over on a certain brand with a name shift.

“If a beer doesn’t take off, I don’t think you can blame it solely on the name,” Peterson pointed out. “Merely re-naming a beer that already doesn’t sell probably isn’t going to lead to increased sales, unless you put a ton of marketing dollars behind a campaign.

“I think it makes more sense to introduce a better beer with a better name.”

Dust Bowl founder Brett Tate, had the names of his first beers figured out before he even had a brewery, Peterson said. But it continues to be important to Dust Bowl to have names that tell a brand story.

“Our flagship Hops of Wrath is the strongest example – it’s a nice play on words, it’s catchy and memorable, and relates to our brand roots,” she said. “Other names, like Hobo, Public Enemy, Dirty ’30s, Cali Line, Fruit Tramp and Black Blizzard all relate to the Dust Bowl era or conjure up Tate family memories.

“We make sure our sales team is equipped with the clever tie-ins with our history. Consumers appreciate knowing the history or tales that relate to the names. It creates engagement and brand allegiance.”

The only time Dust Bowl has deviated from its branding mindset was when a beer has taken off in the taprooms under a name that gained traction, but wasn’t necessarily intended for the wholesale chain.

Peterson said the best example of this deliberate deviation is its Therapist Imperial IPA.

“The brewers nicknamed this beer “Therapist” because of the high ABV … like the label says, leave your worries to the Therapist. It was a hit with our local taproom fans, so demand grew in the retail market,” she said. “We now offer Therapist in draught, 22oz. bottles and pint cans. The Therapist family has grown to include Confused Therapist (a hazy version), Midnight Therapy Black IPA and we did a collab with Novo Brazil called Brazilian Therapy.”

The Turlock, California brewery​ also just canned Dump Truck of the Gods for the same reason – it had​ a local cult following in ​the taprooms and ​the brewery wanted to offer it to a broader audience through ​its wholesale network.

​”​We’ve served hundreds of thousands of guests in our taprooms in recent years, so these beer names mean something to them when they’re in off-premise locations​,” she said​. ​”​While we try to keep all our beer names relative to our brand history, we also think it’s ​OK to have some fun outside of those parameters.​”​

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: ​Taproom Hiring: Do You Start From Scratch?​

  2. Pingback: Brewer Magazine Q&A: John Harris, Ecliptic Brewing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *