Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dogfish Head: Smart Marketing on Beer Money.

Suppose you’re a local craft brewery, without the marketing resources of a Coors, Miller or Sam Adams. You don’t have money in the budget for national TV commercials—or any TV spots for that matter. So how do you get the word out about your award-winning brews?

If you’re Delaware-based Dogfish Head, you make the most of your marketing dollars—by leveraging the Web and social media to help spread the word and turn casual customers into loyal fans.

Now if you’ve ever had a bottle of any type of Dogfish Head, you’ll know that this is one company that knows what they’re doing when it comes to making beer. Dogfish Head brews are consistently tasty, distinctive and often complex in flavor, with notes that are more akin to a fine wine than a beer.

So it probably comes as no surprise that these passionate brew masters have brought the same level of passion and flair to their brand marketing efforts. A few highlights that set the brand apart:

A robust Web experience—at the Dogfish site, you can read about the latest Dogfish Head releases as well as happenings at the brewery and company restaurant. What’s important here is the sheer depth of the content. Each brew—and there are lots of them—has it own page, with the story behind the beer, tasting notes and even food pairing recommendations.

An active presence on Facebook and Twitter—the key to success on both of these social sites is to keep the material fresh and interact with those who reach out to you. Dogfish Head does both and has over 55,000 Facebook followers and 18,000-plus on Twitter, impressive for a microbrew.

Its own video-rich YouTube channel—most of the videos feature founder Sam Calagione with a behind the scenes look at the brewing ingredients and process. Sam is personable, has a good camera presence and his commitment to his craft comes through loud and clear.

A community of fans—what better way to develop brand advocates than to develop a place where they can congregate and interact. At the site’s community forum, members can pontificate on issues ranging from music to home brewing to, of course, Dogfish Head’s latest releases.

On a personal note: my favorite Dogfish Head beers are the delicious 60-minute IPA, or when I’m in the mood for a more intense “sipping” beer, the raisin-infused Raison D’ Etre.


This blog originally appeared on Loyalty Truth on July 1, 2010, and is by Tom Rapsas. Tom can be reached via Twitter @TomRapsas