Show, Not Tell: Ways to Explain Your Socially Conscious Efforts

As an LGBT-owned brewery, The Alementary’s Blake Crawford said they have a foundation in social responsibility and equity for our guests and drinkers.  

“It’s been core to our marketing philosophy,” Crawford, the COO for the Hackensack, NJ company said. “Carefully scrutinizing every aspect of our business (from taproom to labels to sales sheets) to create a ‘safe’ brand while avoiding the negative connotations of inauthentic ‘virtue signaling’ has driven up pull-through rates.” 

Showing, and not telling is a key driver in this thought process.

“Being socially conscious for our community builds trust and loyalty for your brand,” said MadTree’s Trevor Self. “As consumers learn more and more about us and our efforts, then the relationship becomes stronger and their willingness to buy or recommend our products increases.” 

Self explained that the brewery’s Alcove kitchen + bar is LEED Gold certified and they have vowed to achieve that status with all future locations as well. 

READ MORE: Certified for Sustainability: 10 Investments For Craft Malt, Beer, and Spirits Producers To Consider

“We applied for B-Corp certification this past year as another way to differentiate ourselves but also showing that we want to be doing the right things, not just saying them,” Self said. “It’s important to our success as a business to not only grow revenue, but also in our employees, planet, and community.”

MadTree puts the 1% For the Planet logo on all of its products, has a carbon offset option for our private event spaces, sources local ingredients at Alcove, and highlights the farmers on the menu, among other things. He said it started with donating 1% of sales to local environmentally sustainable nonprofits through the 1% For the Planet commitment. 

“Being socially conscious then naturally flows from that statement and that part of our story is easier to tell when we’re doing things that align with that,” Self said. “We’ve been inspired by other purpose-driven and socially conscious brands and want to emulate that the best we can while always learning and growing.”

That mindset has driven them to host an Ascending Women Series monthly where women in the community listen to a panel of local leaders to be inspired. It’s MadTree’s plan to have every full-time employee achieve 16 hours of paid volunteer work each year.

“By doing these things allows us to write compelling press releases for media coverage or the word gets out and people reach out to us to do a feature, blog, or podcast,” Self said.

Connecting to the community in a variety of ways matters as well.

For Walnut River Brewing, the first step has been about working to understand the community around them, said Ben Wheeler, Marketing Manager. 

“Our major tourism for the area is centered around the nearby lake, so we’ve got floating keychains with our colors, branding, and flagship beer graphics on them there in the marina office,” he explained. “We also have a Junior College that’s pretty well beloved by the town whose men’s basketball team just qualified for the national tournament. 

“We worked with their athletic office to film a promotional video for our upcoming Wheat beer release (Wayward Sun) in the men’s locker room.”

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