Tips on Making Your Brand Stand Out

Greg Althoff​ of​ Rhinegeist Brewery​ shared what he joked was a “listicle” ​of tips on designing and branding for your brewery at the 2020 Ohio Craft Brewers Association‘s annual conference. Here are a few he shared on making your brand stand out. (Read more of his tips here)

  • Anything is better than generic: “For a lot of people, life can be a little boring. You get up in the morning, you make breakfast for your kids, you take them to school, you go to work, work in a cubicle, and your cubicle looks exactly the cubicle next to you. And then when you’re done with work, maybe you go home and then you drive your kids to soccer. You come home, you make dinner, and then you have a beer, right? So just understand the role you play in people’s lives. You are that different thing in their lives. You are that interesting thing that they see at the grocery store, and they say, ‘Okay, I gotta pick that up.’ This is the kind of cool part of my day. So lean into that. You need to stand out. You can’t look, talk and act like everybody else. You have to find your authentic version of yourself. Take a look at what’s out there and find what works for you.” Althoff likes Alvarado Street from a design perspective. “They’re not afraid to break their system. Each one of their highly anticipated limited releases is paired with equally unique label art. They do some really cool fun stuff. Frenzied, cheeky, nostalgic, ironic and often pun-tastic, pairing the beers with videos merch and much, much more.” He said to go against the genericness that you may see in the world. “You’re all creative people, otherwise you wouldn’t be opening breweries.”
  • Be consistent but innovative​: Consistency means rigorously managing your visual identity so it shows up the way you want no matter where it goes. ​”This is something that we vigorously manage​,” Althoff said, showing right and wrong examples of the brewery’s logo. ​”​We want our logo shown correctly wherever we see. It’s the little rules that we made for building a visual identity system.​”​ ​Guidelines don’t have to be complex​, just understanding how you want your identity to show up and having some simple ground rules is quite often enough. ​”Pay attention to how you want to appear and drive your consistency. But too much consistency can be boring​,” Althoff added. “This is something we’re constantly managing within our brands. ​You want to create a brand that knows how to innovate ​a surprise for consumers without losing the plot.​” ​A core lineup​ can be complemented by a secondary design element that showcases a certain branch of a seasonal portfolio or specialty brands. ​​”We step away from our core design system and make something that’s cool​,​ more precious,​” he said​. ​An example​ he used was asking if you would go out to the same place for a date every time because it would get boring and stale no matter how good the place is. Mixing it up but staying inside the brand can help excite consumers.
  • Study brands the way you study beer​: Althoff said to pay attention to what others are doing​ and learn from what works and what doesn’t. ​”In this case, Instagram is your friend​,” he said​. ​”​You’ve got pretty much everybody in the industry at your fingertips. And they’re all working to some degree to present themselves in some fashion. Follow anybody and everybody, there’s inspiration all over the place.​”​ ​Using Allagash​ as an example, he said the brewery showcases its brand like a lifestyle blog about what the perfect life in Maine​ could be​. ​”​Chilling with friends, eating great food, exploring the outdoors, it really transports me in Ohio to a place I want to be and tells people what they value as a brewery too​,” he said​. ​”​They are someone that really inspires us. And we’ve done things in the design and marketing space that are directly inspired by Allagash.​”​ But ​the Cincinnati brewery is also inspired by Marz in Chicago. ​”They got a really good modern/hip city-dweller vibe​,” he said​. ​”​This is a very different brewery than Rhinegeist​.​ ​They do a lot of things that we think are interesting and we can be inspired by it. Everything from custom illustrations to hosting DJs in their taproom, they have a clear point of view about who they want to be and how they want their brewery and the life that you go after.​”​

If you’re inspired, ​consumers will be too​, he noted​.

​”We get to design a world of craft beer​,” Althoff said​. ​”​All people are asking from us is recipe work that is interesting and thought-provoking and cool, which is pretty much every designer’s dream.

​”​Get inspired to try to do work that makes you happy. If you do that, people out there going to pick up on that, and they’ll be really drawn to you.​”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.