You worked hard all year producing the best brews. Now, it’s time to end the year strong. The holidays are your time to shine.
During this merry time of year, drill down on all of the ways you could be out there making more sales. There are parties, which call for event space, kegs, cases, and more. Gift-giving is huge too – speciality beers, premade baskets, hoodies – you can’t go wrong. All of these opportunities are waiting for you this season. Check out our guide on selling more this holiday season to make sure your brewery’s wishlist comes true.
Evaluate Previous Years
Before jumping headfirst into the season, evaluate previous holiday marketing strategies you’ve utilized. This will give you some perspective on what works and what doesn’t for your customers. Ask yourself:
- When you initiated campaigns in previous holiday seasons, did you gain more taproom sales? Customers? Distribution sales?
- Did some products sell better than others? How did they sell?
- Did you run special promotions related to gift-giving and bigger purchases?
- What tactics were effective at boosting sales in your taproom? Advertising on social media? Promoting your deals in-house?
If you didn’t find success before, think about why. Did you have a strong strategy in place last year? Are there events or deals you thought about running but didn’t quite get to? Did you host events like live music or holiday parties?
After you’ve considered what went well (or didn’t) in the past, you can plan for the future.
Promotions, Deals & Special Offers
Everyone loves a deal, especially during the holidays. Some people are on the hunt for the cheapest thing they can give while looking like they tried. Others are looking for the perfect thing, no matter the cost. In any event, you should have something for everyone.
Consider creating product bundles or gift boxes based on your bestsellers or your favorites for a beer lover. These options will make it easy for some shoppers who don’t want to put something together themselves. For others, it gives them a deal if they were already planning to purchase several brews.
Great North Aleworks offered several gift packs last year. Some featured growlers and dog treats, and others included pint glasses and a range of beers.
Pumpkin beer is all the rage in fall months. In the winter, it’s porters and stouts. Consider adding a winter beer to your lineup to bolster your regular offering. Chances are, your regulars will be down to try something new, especially if it’s celebrating the season.
Don’t be timid with it either – you can have multiple releases during the winter months. One example of this comes from Fullsteam Brewery, which released several winter-themed beers in 2020. First Frost came out in early November and features lots of persimmons, cinnamon, and apricot.
Next in their lineup last winter was Pine Four, which came out just before Christmas. This beer is a white IPA with spruce and douglas fir, orange, and coriander.
Special brews also give you a festive promotion to post on your social media accounts. Just like you’d pair your beers with food on the menu, tell your customers which holiday foods they should couple with these seasonal offerings.
Break Out The Kegs
With holiday parties on the horizon, someone is going to want a large quantity of your beer to treat their friends. So, be prepared with kegs and cases at the ready — not just when they come to you, but before.
When the time comes for parties, promote your party-sized beers and don’t be afraid to tack on a discount. This could entice customers to take advantage of a deal. No Boat Brewing, for example, offered $15 off cases from December 22 to January 3 last holiday season.
Offering gift cards and other special discounts when customers spend a certain amount of money is another great way to beef up your holiday sales. Gift cards are universal, and you don’t have to know what kinds of beer someone likes to give them one. Second Line Brewing constantly reminded customers in 2020 of special deals they had running for purchasing gift cards and making them feel good about spending money locally.
Swag Out Your Customers
Some of your customers could be writing “merch from my favorite brewery” on their wishlist – don’t disappoint. Vista Brewing restocked Yeti cups and water bottles last holiday season just for gifting. Like them, don’t be afraid to veer away from the typical t-shirt and hat merchandise. Some people just won’t wear them.
Oyster City Brewing made some of their most popular pieces available for online purchase. Making your products easy to access for holiday shopping could be a crucial step to reach more of your fans near and far.
Don’t Forget Marketing
All of these ideas are great… unless no one knows they’re happening! Be sure to utilize your digital space on social media, your website, email lists, and digital signage in your taproom. Make it as easy and convenient as possible to get in on what your brewery has going on this winter. It doesn’t need to be challenging for you, either. Look to the above examples for inspiration related to promoting your winter specials and remember to have fun with it.
Manage Holiday Sales Orders Efficiently
It can already be a challenge to manage retail and beverage distributor orders during the rest of the year. With parties and gift-giving, the holiday season is sure to ramp up your demand. Don’t get caught off guard or overwhelmed. Take steps to effectively manage and organize your sales orders before that time comes with a digital portal just for your retailer and distributor customers.
Ekos Order Hub provides an easy-to-use, centralized spot for your orders. It updates inventory in real time so you don’t have to manage conversations over text, email, WhatsApp, and GroupMe. Simply have your customer place an order directly to your portal and you can approve or modify it. Easy peasy.
If you’ve been in the business for a while now, you know that accurate sales and inventory data is essential to running a successful business. Without it, you’ll be behind and making promises you can’t keep to customers when they request something you thought you had enough of, but don’t. This hurts the trust your customers have with you, and could set your business far behind financially. Having a system like Ekos Order Hub will take plenty of work off your plate so you can focus on perfecting your special winter beer and connecting with customers in the taproom this holiday season.
Don’t get caught off guard this holiday season. Plan early and plan smart so you can make some extra cash for your business’s wishlist next year. And, remember why you got into this: probably to have fun. The holiday season is no exception. Have fun with it and your customers will too.