Cider Corner: Marketing Your Brand at a Festival

You want to let your cidery’s product speak for itself at a festival, but to further the connection bringing along something of a keepsake can also be helpful.

Meriwether Cider recently purchased a custom printed tablecloth which Molly Leadbetter has said has been a great addition.

“We also bring a banner, sometimes an apple basket, some vintage tools — we are all former Wildland Firefighters, so our brand is pretty outdoorsy/outdoor work themed — bottles, business cards, stickers, and our jockey box cover,” she said.

The Boise, Idaho-area cider attempts to cater to what ciders are going to each event.

“For the bigger festivals we do like Alefort, Goathead Fest, and Hoptober Freshtval, we create ciders specifically for the event,” Leadbetter said. “We will sometimes work with the staff of the festival but most of the time we’ll work on it internally.

“We have never been invited to an event where the festival staff dictates what ciders we should bring; they always leave that up to our professional discretion.”

Olga Dressler of Dressler Estates said they are adamant about keeping paper waste down but will always have business cards at the ready.

“In addition to giving them out for people to find retailer outlets, sometimes we use them to write relevant notes for folks if there’s something specific we talked about,” she said. “Otherwise, we try to be very intentional about what we print, and we try to make it multipurpose.”

Giving your area at a festival a certain look can evoke a great consumer relationship as well and preparation ahead of time with your presentation can be a key as well.

Dressler’s used some leftover materials from the production space build-out to create a jockey box cover. Brian Dressler explained that they used painted steel roofing material remnants to make a cover.

“It has a nice look that ties it together visually to our production space, and it evokes imagery of the farm/rural areas where this roofing material is more common,” he said.

Turquoise Barn Cider had custom jockey box covers made by Cantu Cabinets that are collapsible, and look like a turquoise barn as well.

Mary Paulson of Poochie’s Hootch said she doesn’t try to overdo the promotion.

“I let the cider do the talking,” she said. “There are long lines, so people generally just want to grab a glass and go.”

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