Insights Into Marketing a New Product

Nick Hiller, the Marketing Director for Austin, Texas’ Independence Brewing said after the initial planning and creation of Up & Down Brazil, a canned Nitro Coffee Blonde Ale, a challenge for the marketing and sales team would be able to sell it.

“‘Nitro coffee Blonde Ale with Brazilian coffee in collaboration with Little City Roasters‘ doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue,” he joked. “Going in, we knew that the brand development for this beer would be uniquely challenging.

Unlike our other brands, the USP for this beer is quite complex.”

Since the brewery needed to effectively communicate all of those product features, Hiller knew it needed a brand name that was simple and told the consumer exactly what to expect: the upper of coffee and the downer of alcohol.

Since the development of the beer was one of the longest in the brewery’s history — well over a year — the team had ample time to tease the beer ahead of the launch.

“We made sure to document the entire development process and had a lot of unique content to use for social, such as the countless coffee cuppings at Little City to determine the flavor profile and origin of the coffee and then our trip to the farm in Brazil where we chose the actual beans used in the beer,” Hiller explained. “This is perhaps one of the first times a brewery has gone that far with the sourcing of their coffee — the farm was a seven-hour drive from the city of Belo Horizonte, much of it on dirt roads!”

With distributors, Independence began pre-selling the concept well in advance of the launch.

“Distributors these days are hungry for innovation — that word comes up in every ABP — so they were naturally excited when we told them we were doing something so innovative,” Hiller said. “[It was] coffee we hand-selected, nitro widget cans, Blonde Ale instead of a heavy Stout.”

For the media outreach the brewery relied heavily on its PR team at Giant Noise to get the word out and get folks sampling the beer.

“Thankfully all of that groundwork has paid off, it’s selling out faster than we can produce it,” Hiller noted.

Photo: Julia Keim

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