Insights Into Creating Your Taproom’s Perception

Your brewery’s brand isn’t just the logo. It can be all the thoughts, feelings and associations that a consumer has about you said Rhinegeist Brewery’s Greg Althoff.

“Yes, it’s your logo, but it’s your website. It’s the way you answer the phone. It’s the music that you play in your taproom,” said the Cincinnati brewery’s Creative Director to brewery owners and employees gathered at the 2020 Ohio Craft Brewers Association in February. “All of this stuff works together. It gives somebody an impression about you and your business.”

Althoff shared some insights into what helps Rhinegeist — one of the fastest-growing craft breweries since opening about seven years ago — connect with consumers through its logo, consumer experience, and intentional-driven perception. Here are a few of his tips (look for another part with his insights next week) on improving your brewery’s taproom branding:

  • The place you want to be: Digging deep to find inspiration in what you love can lead to your taproom’s identity and it can build your tribe of followers. Althoff gave the example of someone that is a couch potato and loves to binge Netflix and eating chips. “If you were a couch potato, you might fill your taproom with really comfy couches. You’d host activities like Nintendo bowling tournaments or even Netflix binge-watching sessions. You could brew super crushable beers, the kind you have during a marathon gaming session. If you dig deep and find what you’re really into, I promise that you can find something interesting. It takes a little bit of self-reflection, a little bit of meditation to get to what’s inside of you and how you project that to the outside world. There’s gonna be people out there that are into the same things that you are that’s just how we are as people. What was your couch potato brewery will become their awesome place to chill.”
  • They are constantly silently judging you: Just like a top-notch job interview, looking nice, having a resume on nice paper and speaking proper was all-important. Well, each customer is an interview, so treat it as such. “Everything you do, the way you answer the phone, the way you respond to feedback, the way you handle mistakes. The design of your T-shirts, the style of your tap handles are being watched and judged so that they can form an opinion of you. I’m not here to tell you that it’s fair. We all do it as people. Every single one of us is caught in a constant state of a judgment of all the stimulus that surrounds us. We have too much going on in our lives to taste each beer and give every single brewery its fair do. We make quick decisions every day based on nothing more than how something looks. So pay attention to this, you’re interviewing with your consumers every day.”

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