Looking for New Fans of Your Brand? ​Try This Instead

​Like a territory expansion, digging into what you have already may be the smarter play instead of looking to add more.

The same can hold true for working at keeping the customers and fans you have already​ instead of seeking out new market demographics.

Customer service is always a top priority for Lone Tree Brewing, said Sales and Marketing Director Dennis Stack.

“I do believe that not only helps with retention but also new customers as well,” he said. “Just … caring … and listening to what our customers want to see in our products.”

​Indeed owner and CEO Tom Whisenand said they use ​an 80/20 rule: 80% of efforts go toward ​the target audience and main business focuses, then 20% goes toward things that aren’t necessarily in the core of the business.

​”​We try to focus on creating new brands, beers, and experiences that cater to our 80​,” he said.​ “It takes a bit of effort to research and define that audience, but we know they align with our brewery and will be our biggest fans.

​”​We try to spend 20% of our time bringing in new drinkers. We have found that the 20% of things we do for new customers often resonates with our target audience and helps bring new drinkers into the fold of the 80% and creates a more diverse, larger target audience.​”​

READ MORE: Involving Customers is Vital to New Product Development

Aaron Inkrott, ​the ​Brewing Innovation Manager​ for ​Saint Arnold​, notes that the Houston brewery has offerings for almost everyone.

​”​I think alienating any new customers has more negative impact than positive​,” he said, adding that the brewery recently announced a new line of seltzers, but ​the company has​ a heavy focus on how ​it can add to the experience of ​its more traditional ​beer brands.

​”​It’s important to listen to what your customers want and are interested in, but it’s also a lot of fun to show them something new​,” he said. ​”​It’s great fun to have them try something and they discover a beer, seltzer, or cider that they didn’t know they wanted.

​”​Having our portfolio allows our customers to discover an array of options that they likely can’t get elsewhere.​”​

​Regardless, customer focus is an everyday task​, noted former Wormtown General Manager Scott Metzger.

​”​It is far easier to lose existing customers than it is to attract new ones, so retention needs to always be top of mind​,” he said. ​”​Social media provides an outlet for building and enhancing customer relationships, but not as effective as community involvement, so I’d advise all breweries, regardless of the age of the business, to really focus on being a part of their community.​”​

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