The Sales Power of a Beer’s Name or Style

​Perception can be a consumer’s reality and Utepils‘ Ken Smith saw that come to life on April Fool’s Day.

The Minneapolis brewery’s Marketing Director had some fun on April 1, 2019, promoting the brewery’s ‘first-ever’ Hazy IPA. The inside joke is that Utepils has never brewed such a beer, instead it focuses on classic German and European styles.

The brewery instead ‘renamed’ its beer Ewald the Golden, a Hefeweizen, to Ewald the Milkman and pitched it online as a ‘Banana Milkshake Wheat IPA.’ In the online post (seen in the picture on the right) the beer was decorated with a banana and poured into different glassware as well.

Many regulars got the joke, but Smith said that some didn’t and he made sure to offer a second beer free to any consumer after they bought a Ewald the Milkman and would then let them in on the ruse.

But the joke did more than fool people for a laugh, it was a great test into telling a consumer what they perceive versus what they actually have and introduce them to a classic style that perhaps they haven’t had in a long time or ever at all.

Using a highly popular trend style like Hazy IPAs and offering a classic beer like Hefeweizen – which some consumers may never have tried before — as a litmus test shows that a name and description can be powerful in sales.

​”Once they bought it I gave them a free beer for their next one because I don’t want anybody to buy something that isn’t real,” Smith said. “A lot of people think they don’t like Hefeweizens but if you call it a banana milkshake wheat IPA, or whatever … it’s the power of suggestion.”

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