Is Your Branding Built to be a ‘Elevator Pitch Haiku’ to Consumers?

​Although Thirsty Monk serves up a lot of its products via draft, names and label art are still kept as a vital importance for​ ​CEO Barry Bialik​.

​”Label art and branding image is your elevator pitch haiku,” he said. “You have a fleeting second of a customer’s attention to tell your story with your brand and make them want to know more.”

Bialik​ added that the brewpub’s new Tarot Card-themed labels and branding help to bring to the forefront the mystical and soulful part of its Thirsty Monk logo.

​”​Our logo has been duplicated and copied the world over,” he said. “We find his likeness being used everywhere now — from church fundraisers in New Jersey to beer bars in Barcelona.

“He’s an approachable, awkward handed fellow with a smile and a beer always ready to cheers.”

There are so many layers that go into ​Thirsty Monk’s design process that Bialik​ feel​s​ it would be impossible to not ​a person ​have in-house​ for the work​​ and ​​Thirsty Monk has had a graphic artist on staff since almost day one.

​”​We can maintain our brand consistency that way and still layer in our subtle messaging and stories,” he said​. ​”​We have a weekly marketing meeting where our creative and operations teams work together to weave our mission, messaging, and sales efforts into our visual elements.​”

Most new beers aren’t named until they are at least in the fermenter, Bialik​ explained. Every beer brewed has some form of purpose and intent, and is designed by head brewer Brian Grace and discussed in weekly conversations with Bialik.

“We maintain a company database available to all staff that shows all beers scheduled to brew and in the tanks,” he said. “The brewer adds his brew notes to the database and then our marketing team begins to weave the story of the beer with the technical brewer notes to write up its unique description.

“We also are careful to maintain the integrity of the beer quality in a unique sellable way as to how to succinctly name it.”

In many ways, the naming scheme lends itself to giving an affectionate nickname to a fictional Monk character. Some examples include Tricky Monk, Screaming Monk, Brother Noah and such, with the idea that there’s an individual personality behind each and every beer.

“We kind of got “Over Monked” and have recently dropped a lot of the “Monk” words from our beers to let them stand alone — example Tricky Tripel, Screaming IPA, Wiser,” Bialik said. “There have definitely been times where the name just doesn’t work with the finished beer and we’ve had to change it. Especially with our Belgian house yeast, that yeast can kick in and really alter the flavor profile of the early beer and leave you with a surprise twist. We always give a final taste to the beer before fully releasing all the marketing with the name, just to make sure they’re aligned.”

Also extremely important to ​Thirsty Monk’s branding and our overall mission is ​its quarterly Karma Series beers.

​”​The ‘K’ in Monk actually stands for Karma, which is essential to our whole way of being​,” Bialik said. “Each quarter, we brew a different beer with a charitable endeavor in mind — such as Affordable Housing, LGBTQ rights, Children Causes, and Environmental Education​ —​ and we donate a portion of the proceeds to local nonprofits in each of our markets that support that issue.

​”​Being of service in our communities is important, and is an essential part of being a Monk!, and that ideal is a key component of our branding.​”​

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