Marketing Matters, No Matter the Size Says Herold

This is a part of a continuing series of Q&As with members of the brewing community from across the US.
Brewer Magazine will share business and personal insights from Brewmasters, Head Brewers, Brewing Managers, Sales Directors, QCQA Managers and others each weekend to help you get to know each other better in the industry and learn more to better develop your own brand.

Danny Herold, Marketing Director, Sonder​ Brewing — Mason, Ohio​

​BREWER: Why did you enter the craft beer industry and what makes you love being a part of it and staying in it?
​HEROLD: ​I became a craft beer fan in college after turning 21, I was working an internship during my senior year where I was able to have a little more “beer money” than normal, and I loved trying new beer styles from local craft breweries. I started my marketing career as an analyst at a Consumer Packaged Goods company, but continued my love for craft beer as a hobby traveling to visit breweries, trying new styles, and even running a craft beer photography Instagram account. Once a position at Sonder opened up, I was able to meet with my now boss Jen, CMO and Managing Owner, and Justin, CEO and Managing Owner, to discuss my qualifications, abilities, and vision for the position, and the rest is history. In February of 2023 I’ll have been in this role for four years, and I love every day of it and can’t see myself doing anything else​.

​BREWER: What do you feel have been new challenges in your position that have helped push you and make you better at your job?
HEROLD: The landscape of marketing changes every day, consumers get their news and information in new ways all the time, and I’ve always made it a priority to meet people where they are online in fun and interesting ways to stay relevant. The Sonder brand is all about story telling, so keeping our media fun and entertaining while telling the story of Sonder has been a fun challenge to navigate with the other members of the Sonder marketing team. Examples of this are putting out more video content on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok, producing a podcast called Sonder Stories that tells the stories of the team and beers at Sonder, and always making sure to interact with our consumers in fun and engaging ways when mentioning or commenting on us. The interaction with our fans and consumers is one of my favorite parts of the job.

​BREWER: How has the definition of growth for your company evolved and how have you adjusted to be successful in that new definition?
HEROLD: Our team has lofty goals, and that culture has always worked from the top down. Our three owners set the standard of hard work and dedication every single day, and it’s a joy to work along side them to achieve our lofty goals. We are always looking towards sustainable growth in more markets while still making our back yard here in Cincinnati a priority. We want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy our beer, but we’re strategic in every growth decision. We have signed on with three distributors in different regions of Ohio and Kentucky that match our commitment to quality and they are excited to continue to grow the Sonder brand along with us​.​

​BREWER: What strategic growth opportunity do you feel is still “out there” for your brand and how are you working on capitalizing on it this year?
HEROLD: We want our beer to be distributed across the state of Ohio, and we are working our way north towards the Cleveland, Akron, and Toledo areas. We recently hired a Columbus-dedicated sales rep to work with our distributor to grow our brand in the state capital, and when it makes sense we hope to do the same thing in Northern Ohio. I’m a Cleveland native, so I’m very excited for the day that my family can buy our beer at their local retailers​.​

​BREWER: If you had one business strategy that you could implement to better the brewing industry, what would it be?
HEROLD: I think there are marketing opportunities across the country for small to medium-sized breweries. Marketing is often an afterthought to things like production, taproom, and sales. I understand why, you need to make the beer, sell the beer, and provide a taproom experience for your local crowd, but the gap I see is the focus on branding, social media, website design, etc., for these small to mid-size breweries that could greatly benefit from bringing even just one person on to focus on these areas and grow your awareness online. Almost everyone has social media accounts and/or uses the internet every day to decide where to go and what to buy, but some breweries decide to ignore this or not make it a focus when it could improve their on-premise and off-premise sales.​

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