Is Your Brewery’s Branding Offensive to Customers?

As the face of the average craft beer drinker continues to evolve from strictly white males, the thought process that label or beer names that could be considered offensive has begun to become a discussion.

A panel at the Indiana Craft Brewers Conference with industry officials from wholesale, design and consumer groups met with brewers to have an open discussion on if shock value and offensive words or descriptors in a beer name or label is worth the effort.

“Everything you do in branding is a way that the public perceives you, so even if you take away the thought of what is offensive versus what is not offensive, why would you want to do something that makes people think of you as in ‘that group,'” said CODO Design‘s Isaac Arthur “It doesn’t matter who you are talking down to, this gets beyond off color jokes, it can lead to what you are perceived as a business, as a owner and the role you play in your community and state. Think about how you carry yourself in beer names, as a company, and from that perspective.”

The Brewers Association even updated its Advertising and Marketing Code and formed a Diversity Committee, which was announced at April’s Craft Brewers Conference in Washington DC.

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The old adage that even negative news about your company still gets your name out there is an old guard way of looking at things Arthur noted.

“After a while, if all you have is stunts, is the beer any good?” he asked. “If you are doing something perceived as offensive, or viewed as derogatory to certain people I don’t know what kind of value that has, the line of ‘any news is good news’ is very an old school way of thinking.”

Amanda Wishin, the National President and Indianapolis Chapter Head of Girls Pint Out added: “Why would you create a label or beer name that would offended any part of an audience and a percentage of people that would buy your beer.”

She did add that the line of what is deemed crass or offensive is different for all people.

“You have to personally decide where it is,” she said.

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