Most people enjoy a glass of wine after a hard day’s work or a refreshing beer at the weekend BBQ but if you are one of a growing number of new boutique wine or craft beer producers, there’s a number of issues you need to solve to get your precious drop from your barrel or vat, to wine and beer lovers’ tables and glasses.
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Preparing your beer or wine before going to market
Before you can put your beer or wine out in the market, you have to make sure that its well-presented, properly packaged, and that you apply a label that will help to attract customers and popularize your brand. Your brew may taste great, but that alone isn’t enough to get it noticed; you have to brand it and present it in a unique and attractive package.
Presenting your beer or wine
Just like with any other product, presentation matters when it comes to craft beer and wine. Product presentation encompasses many issues, including design, packaging, and labelling of the product. You may want to hire a designer to help you with your product presentation. The aim here is to make your wine or craft beer stand out from all the other brands that you have to compete against.
Choosing your bottle or other types of packaging
With craft beer, your choice is between a bottle and a can. Craft winemakers on the other hand use bottles for the most part (it’s possible to package your craft wine in a box, but given the small scale of your operation, it’s probably not advisable). Bottles are great for both wine and beer makers because they come with so many design variables to choose from. The shape of your bottle says something about your brand; a plain bottle may give your brand a conservative image, while a shapely bottle (although it may cost more) may make your beer or wine more appealing to younger consumers. Bottles are also advantageous because they can be branded in 3 different areas; you can brand the bottle cap, attach a band to the bottleneck, and apply the main label around the bottle. If you choose to package your beer in a can, your main advantage is that you have a lot of surface area to work with (you can brand the entire surface of the can).
Labelling your product
There are lots of labelling materials to choose from, including; paper labels, matte labels, labels with glossy finishes, metalized film labels, and clear film labels. Select the kind of labelling material that best represents your beer or wine brand. When designing the label, it’s best to work with a professional to come up with the logo and the design that best represents your brand. When it comes to applying the labels to your bottles or cans, instead of outsourcing this function to another business or doing it by hand, you can purchase a label applicator from Great Engineering and use it to attach your labels with precision.
Getting your beer or wine to market
Now that you have your product ready, it’s time to get it out there and sell it. Many boutique winemakers and craft brewers underestimate how challenging it can be to find a viable market for their product. You must choose your target market, come up with a distribution model, and promote your product.
Choosing your market
What kind of market are you aiming for? You have to decide whether you want to sell you beer or wine locally or nationally. If you only produce a few hundred bottles, there’s no need to target a wide national market. However, if your business is large enough, don’t shy away from going national.
Selecting a distribution model
You can distribute your product through retail chains. This can involve getting in touch with retailers and liquor stores directly and asking them to carry your product. You may be able to get some supermarkets to put your wine on their shelves this way. Alternatively going through a distributor may be an easier and more effective option as they already have these connections and distribution channels in place.
You can also choose to sell your product through online distributors. There are lots of online wine lists that may be willing to add your wine to their catalogues. As for beer, you may be able to enlist your brand on the websites of distributors who fill up orders from retail buyers.
Self-distribution is also an option for both wine and beer makers- If you make wine, you can open your own wine shop and sell your product directly to the consumers. If you make beer, you can visit pubs in your area and try to get them to sell your beer. And, of course you can set up an online store, though you will need to find a way to not only promote it but to have people feel comfortable in parting with their cash, which is why giving people the opportunity to taste your creations is so important for boutique wineries and craft breweries.
Promoting your wine or beer
To promote your product, you can organize tasting events at local venues, bars, and restaurants. You can even give free samples of your product at the local pub; your aim here is to get more people to know about your product so that they can vouch for it through word of mouth. You can also promote your craft wine or beer by creating a website, having an active social media presence, and building an online community around your product. Creating tasting events and promoting them online gives you a way to reach more potential customers and convert them to raving fans of your product.