Friday, March 6, 2009

OBF Program Guide

Visitors to the Oregon Brewers Festival have had the opportunity to purchase and use this program guide each year. We settled on a booklet size after several tries with larger forms. Guests told us they wanted a program that could be carried easily and, perhaps, fit in a back pocket. This size and style has been the standard since 2003.

What do you think? Too much? Too little? Does it need more content in some areas and less in others?

We have also included a "Tap Map" with the guide since 2006, a change that appears very welcome.

Should the guide remain in print or go digital, or both? How about mobile?

Oregon Brewers Festival Program Guide 2008

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Brand revivals

Don't expect this beer to be featured at the 2009 Oregon Brewers Festival. However, it's a good lesson in brand development, or redevelopment, and by one of the experts at brand revival, Pabst.

The craft brewing phenomenon in this country, at least in this writer's opinion, grew from a desire to actually taste what the drinker had in front of him or her. In some ways, the growth of craft brewing was a reaction to sophisticated brand development and segmentation and marketing. "I don't care about the babe commercials, the sports tie-ins and clever slogans. Give me a brew with taste," were on the tongues of microbrew aficionados as they stormed the barricades.

That was then. This is now. Craft brewing has evolved and most brands are paying attention to, well, brand.

That's where we come in. The Oregon Brewers Festival, like so many others that have followed, is a brewer's opportunity to not only show and tell, but taste. Sampling, a common practice in so many pubs and breweries, is the heart of a festival dedicated to expanding the craft brew experience.

As most brewers know, that is never enough to put the brand on the beer drinkers map. It takes an integration of on-premise experiences, shelf-talking, brand language and various channels of promotion to insure that a particular craft brew, no matter how well made, gets into the hands of the desired drinker.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Old schools and new tools

The Oregon Brewers Festival serves the world's oldest beverage, beer. That's old school. Promoting the festival and serving the interests of the brewers that make it possible relies on traditional communication channels from word-of-mouth to printed display advertising. The festival waded into the rising waters of new media and social networking with Facebook and Twitter. Now, the advertising initiative is putting its toe in the same waters.

For more than 20 years, festival guests have carried and used the Program Guide to learn more about craft beer and more about the craft beer being poured at the festival. Breweries, pubs, bottle shops and more have reached that audience with display advertising. Thank you, advertisers.

The festival wants to do more. More for advertisers, more for guests and more for the craft beer community. But, we need your help. We need to know what "new tools"--Facebook, web advertising, blogging links--craft brewing marketers want and need to reach their audience. And, what makes the most difference to the audience they reach.

Comment here and make suggestions about those things that will make a difference for craft brew audiences whether you are marketing to them or are one of them, or both.

2009 Brewers Festival Advertising

The Oregon Brewers Festival is revamping its approach to advertising this year. We recognize that beer marketers are looking for more ways to build their brands and create communities that support their products.

We are not abandoning our commitment to the festival program, though. It remains a vital part of the festival guest's experience and an indispensable guide to "what's on tap."

Look for new ways to reach the largest beer festival audience of its kind in the coming weeks. To join the conversation, leave comments here with programs and approaches that you think will help your favorite brew reach its audience.