The 4 Things You Need to do Internally to Focus Your Brand

The word luxury sometimes seems too far out of reach when trying to attach it to certain categories. Yet wine sales expert Eric Guerra reminded craft beer owners recently that they are producing a luxury product. All luxury is, is something that someone would pay more for versus something similar.

In terms of beer, craft brands are a luxury, and Guerra — who spoke at the 2020 Sell More Beer virtual conference — shared four tips for brewery owners to take note of how to focus on the inside first to help present your brand to consumers.

Your Mission is Your Passion

You don’t get into this industry to make money for the most part. You do it for the love of the craft.

​”We all could probably go get a high-tech job and do much, much better from a pocket standpoint, especially if you own a brewery or winery​,” Guerra said. ​”Create a passion statement. This just means write down what you believe​ and ​the mission of your business.​”

When Guerra​ ​managed ​a centuries-old champagne house​ in France​, ​it ​had a mission statement that the original owner wrote from ​the ​1780​s​.

​”It was on the wall. And to this day, the champagne house and its head​ — a ​bunch of owners, tons of executives, thousands of employees​ —​ they all still operate off this one statement​,” he said. ​”The statement echoes from the past. It is a statement that when this person started the champagne house​. They said, this is the way I envisioned it, this is why I started it. This is why I make champagne. And this is what I want from everybody who passes through these doors. ​​And to this day, the bottle that you see sitting on the shelf … has the same brand statement from the owner that they intended it from so long ago.

“The statement is going to live beyond you, it’s going to be beyond the scope of maybe the life of how long you own or manage the brand. So create that statement. And also you’re going to find out that it’s going to change your psychology and how you think about your brand.”

Mature Existing Brand Essence

Take Harley Davidson, for example, Guerra said.

“Take a look around your office, take a look around the taproom, take a look on the shelf, your digital properties, wherever your brand exists,” he said. “Does it have consistency right now? Does it look the same? Does it have the same color schemes, the same kind of feel to it? Look back at Harley, there’s not something you could see there, that all doesn’t really look the same. It’s pretty amazing. So make sure that there’s consistency on how the brand looks.”

Get Everyone on Board

Guerra labeled this the most important tip.

“How many times you’ve been part of an organization where the leader/president, the boss, the manager, whatever it is, they have this vision, but everybody talks behind their back like it’s not going to happen and are disconnected,” Guerra said. “Not only do you create your mission statement and check your brand, but you have to make sure that everybody’s doing this. And you have to challenge them.

“You have to give them the space to say, “this is the direction and this is the brand that I want to reflect out to the world. Do you agree? Can we do this?” Have them buy into it.

Brands like Ritz Carlton and Harley reflect employees that bought into it. And you know when you see ones that haven’t bought in.

“You go to a restaurant and someone just looks completely indifferent,” he said. “It’s a really expensive restaurant, but the waiter can care less. And you know. Then it doesn’t matter what your mission statement is if it doesn’t reflect to the street.”

Grow Cultural Excellence

Showing the kitchen of a three-star Michelin restaurant, Guerra noted how clean and tidy even the back end of what the place was.

“This is out of eyeshot of a customer,” he said. “Things are excellent. Alinea has made “excellent” a cultural imperative. And that is an incredibly difficult thing to do.

“If you feel right now that if you have a company that doesn’t have cultural excellence, you can’t get to that level if you don’t have the culture of excellence from everybody,” he said. “From the person that answers the phone to the person who does your social media, all the way up to the President or General Manager.

“They have to walk the walk and then they have to demand cultural excellence. You want to be part of my team. You got to be one of the best at whatever we do. If it’s a restaurant, if it’s hospitality, whatever it is.”

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