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MAY 2020 • VOL 4 • ISSUE 3

The Voice of Craft Brands

John Harris, Owner & Brewmaster, Ecliptic Brewing

Heavenly brew How Oregon’s craft beer icon gave Ecliptic Brewing its place in the stars

PLUS: Branding in a brave new world


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VOL. 4 : ISSUE 2 : MAY 2020

HEAVENLY BREW

How Oregon’s craft beer icon gave Ecliptic Brewing its place in the stars

IN EVERY ISSUE: 3 EDITOR’S NOTE This way up 4  INSIGHTS Industry News

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BRANDING IN A BRAVE NEW WORLD 7 ways to market in a time of isolation

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CRAFT’S NEW WORLD Make every job a sales job


editor’s note

This way up

F

“Food is love,” said the beer brand. That is the message that the Dock Street Brewery wanted the people of Philadelphia to embrace. In a time when people everywhere are hurting because of a pandemic that shut down the way we live, work, love and play, Dock Street (and the scores of other generous and righteous craft spirit makers out there) wanted to give something back. And it should not go without saying that while they are giving back, they are hurting, too. But that is not the point of giving. If one person is hurting, that is one person too many. So, after the Philadelphia brewery donated more than 200 pizzas to health care facilities across City of Brotherly Love, it turned its attention on the less fortunate, including shelters like Episcopal Community Service, Project Home, Bethesda Project, Womenspace and Families First Philadelphia. The sign of love was so impactful that some of the members of the Miracles in Progress, a recovery house for drug addiction, talked about the act in their therapy session the next day. Over the past few months, our website and social media posts have been trying to keep up with the breweries that have not only figured out how to pivot in times of great duress, but also how to make sure that the people in their communities know they are thinking about them. Curbside deliveries. At-home deliveries. Donating food to shelters. And the list, I am proud to say, goes on and on. And, as everyone of us looks for the light at the end of the tunnel, the sun through the clouds, or whatever cliché you want to throw at the situation, the only way out is up. The only way to keep your business, your

brand, your employees and yourself sane is to keep pushing upward. I am not going to repeat what we have heard repeatedly the past few months, i.e., that we are all in this together. Because while we are, some brands, like Dock Street, are putting their taps and pizza ovens and people where they count. So, as you read this and roll through another issue of a magazine that covers and industry we are so thrilled and honored to be a part of, remember that the person next door, down the street or just over the rise may have it worse than you. Showing a little compassion does not always ring the tip bell, so to speak, but when you make that kind of gesture, it feels good, important. That is the way up for all of us.

Michael J. Pallerino

As everyone of us looks for the light at the end of the tunnel, the sun through the clouds, or whatever cliché you want to throw at the situation, the only way out is up. CRAFT BRAND AND MARKETING

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insights

Your 3-step plan to creating a winning brand playbook In today’s ever-evolving media landscape (which has been flipped upside down, making an emotional engagement with your customers is going to take some work. But with a little effort, you can do it. Google’s chief evangelist of brand marketing, Gopi Kallayil, offers these three tips for getting on their radar:

Partner with neofluencers A traditional way to build a brand was through celebrity endorsements. But the new influencers (neofluencers) hold unprecedented power and reach. Think your craft brand with YouTube and social stars, for example.

Respect the modern consumer’s power of choice The old-fashioned model of brand building was to shout about your brand wherever the largest gathering of humans took place. To succeed today, you must respect new consumer choices and play by their rules.

Be consistent across all touchpoints Today, your craft brand is shaped by every digital surface it shows up on, every way it behaves and everything said about it. To succeed, you must show up consistently across all the touchpoints that the consumer may access to explore or experience the brand.

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Photo power Study shows visuals lead marketing strategy Infographics. Social media posts. The digital age brought an increased use in photos and images in all types of marketing. Being visual is essential to any marketing strategy because it communicates quickly and effectively. According to a study by Vengage, marketers saw a 10.5% increase in visual content usage between 2018 and 2019. That number is only expected to grow. Here's a look how frequently brands are publishing content that contains visuals each week:

Book Rec

Contagious: Why Things Catch On By Jonah Berger

36% Less than 3 times a week 39% 2 to 5 times a week 17% 5 to 10 times a week 6% More than 10 times a week

They said it... “It must be an even more stressful, scary time now than usual, and we didn’t want them to think they aren’t valued, loved and thought about We wanted to make sure that some of our fellow Philadelphians who don’t have a home are at least getting a warm, fresh, handmade meal.” — Renata Certo-Ware, head of marketing and events for Dock Street Brewing on its efforts to give back to the community's homeless “Many people who work in and own restaurants and bars have had their lives upended due to Covid-19. Besides the economic devastation they now find the establishments that they built at risk of not surviving. We try to help each other whenever we can.” — Bill Shufelt, co-founder of Athletic Brewing Company on its pledge to help restaurant employees displaced due to pandemic “Everybody is going through the [buying] decision-making process with another layer of emotionality. They’re more irrational than ever before.” — Kit Yarrow, consumer psychologist professor at Golden Gate University, on consumer psyche trying to navigate today's pandemic-challenged landscape

What makes things popular? If you said advertising, think again. Jonah Berger says that people do not listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes things go viral? Berger, a Wharton marketing professor, spent the last decade answering these questions, taking a deep dive into New York Times articles make the paper’s own “Most E-mailed” list, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything. In Contagious, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious. You can take note of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements and content people will share. It is a book craft beer brands should put on their to-read list.

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The Voice of Craft Brands

Heavenly brew How Oregon’s craft beer icon gave Ecliptic Brewing its place in the stars

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By Michael J. Pallerino

John Harris loves astronomy. You know, the natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. Things like planets, moons, stars, nebulae, galaxies and comets. Take one look at the names of the beer that dot the collection of his Portland, Oregon brewhouse, Ecliptic Brewing, and you get the picture. As Harris tells the story, ecliptic is the path that planets take around the sun each year. Those rotations, if you are following along at home, can be seen in Ecliptic’s seasonal beers and menu offerings. Harris honed his craft until it made him an iconic figure in the world of Oregon beer. As a brewmaster at Deschutes Brewery and Full Sail, his creations spawned some of the state’s most beloved offerings, including Jubelale, Obsidian Stout, Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond, to name a few. In 2013, he transformed that legendary status into Ecliptic Brewing, a must-visit brewery and restaurant in North Portland. With its Brewer’s Spotlight Series and Rotating Lager Series offerings, Ecliptic is the brand today’s craft beer lovers anxiously wait to see what comes next. Flagship beers like Starburst IPA, Carina Peach Sour Ale, and Capella Porter, or seasonal favorites like the Quasar Pale Ale and Filament Winter IPA. And don’t forget its special releases and Cosmic Collaboration beers. Today, along with being available up and down the Oregon coast, you can find Ecliptic beers in the state of Washington, Northern Idaho, Colorado, North Carolina, Canada and Japan. To get a line on where the Ecliptic brand is today—and what the future holds—we sat down with John Harris (JH), owner and brewmaster, Erin Grey Kemplin (EGK), sales manager, and Colette Becker (CB), marketing manager.

What are some of the adjustments you made to your business model surrounding the recent state of events? JH: Well, losing all of our free cash flow from the restaurant has been an adjustment. We have lost thousands of dollars weekly. We have gone to an all takeout business model in the restaurant. All of our draft production has been swept into cans. EGK: Our sales team focused mostly with the on-premise side before COVID. Once it hit, we pivoted very quickly to the off-premise model.

What kind of conversations are you having with your customers? JH: We are trying to stay engaged with our fans through social media. EGK: We try to find ways we can help them. What needs do they have that we can help fulfill? How can we do our jobs while still making sure they are comfortable during our interaction with them? CB: When COVID first struck, things felt very somber and serious. There were adjustments to be made in the

ways we engaged with our customers. That had to be acknowledged. It almost didn’t feel right to announce a new beer or menu item in our restaurant. It shifted quickly to a “how can we help” type attitude. But as time went on and this became the “new normal,” we wanted to bring some light heartedness and normalcy back to our brand. We resumed beer launches in safe ways, like holding virtual release parties on Zoom, and started posting regularly on social media, minding our tone, but having fun. For example, we started Space Trivia for takeout orders. Every takeout order included a Space Trivia card, and people could post a picture of it on social with their answer. Each week we choose a winner for some free Ecliptic swag.

What role should a brand play in being a leader in a distressed market? JH: At this time, they should bring good value and a high quality product. Give people something comforting. EGK: Try to shift the focus off of us and onto them (the accounts). CB: I believe in upholding positivity and hope, while remaining mindful of current situations. So it is not all “unicorns and sunshine” all the time, but to be calm and mindful, sometimes even a bit playful, can evoke a certain strength during distressing times. There is so much negativity in the media and online conversations; it is refreshing to see a brand you know and love just “keep, keeping on.”

What is the best piece of advice you can offer to other brands in these unthinkable times? JH: The first four weeks of the shutdown we were really treading water. We were just waiting for it to end. Recently, we have been more like, “Well, here we are, it is where we are, and we need to just start moving forward. Let’s look for new opportunities. Time to pivot. Who are we now?”

Give us a snapshot of today’s craft spirits market from your perspective. JH: Cans are king. No one wants bottles anymore. It is time to keep innovating and explore all possibilities in beer.

What is likely to happen next? EGK: The bars and restaurants will start to open very slowly, but people will be extra cautious. It will take a long

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Ecliptic Brewinghead department

time to get back to where we were. As the bars re-open, I think that will be reflected in slower package sales. CB: I think this situation is going to affect our world in more ways than we can fathom, when we get the green light into returning to “normal.” There are discussions about what bars and restaurants will look like or how they will operate—small things, like, will we continue having reusable menus? Or will they be used one time and recycled?

What trends are defining the space? JH: New takes on IPA. Lager beers. Special releases. EGK: Cans, cans, and more cans. CB: I have definitely noticed lots of craft lagers. We just celebrated the release of our first Cosmic Collaboration of 2020 with another local brewery, Ruse Brewing, on an Italian-style Pilsner—another style we have noticed in the market. I know I am biased, but it is fantastic, crisp. We are really excited about having a canned craft lager.

With John’s rich history in Oregon’s craft beer scene, people are excited to see what sort of creativity he was able to bring to his own brand—a place where he could lead the charge. At Ecliptic, we make beers that people want to drink. It is what the market is looking for. But we also have our Brewer’s Spotlight Series, which gives each of our brewers a chance to play and experiment in the brewhouse. You might see some more unique or historical styles there. Whatever the beer style, Ecliptic’s beers also aim to teach some astronomy, so you can always learn a little something, if you want to. John was also determined to have a brewery with great food. In the past, he had always heard people say, “Let’s grab a beer from so-and-so brewery, and then go get dinner elsewhere.” His mission was to make Ecliptic Brewing synonymous with delicious food—a place where people could visit for beer and dinner. Ecliptic’s cuisine is unique, but approachable. Our story is also about our people. Ecliptic Brewing strives to provide excellent service in all aspects of our business—from the front of house restaurant team, to our brewery representatives visiting accounts, and our brand ambassadors pouring at festivals. Our enthusiasm comes from loving where we work, because Ecliptic Brewing takes great care of its employees. Overall, our story is about the grandness of space and our place within it, celebrated with high quality food and beer, and made, served and sold by happy people.

What is your branding strategy? JH: High quality food, beer and service.

What is the biggest issue today related to the marketing and sales side of the craft beer business?

Hop selection.

What is your story from a brand perspective? JH: We are the space brewery—fresh beer from earth. CB: John’s answer is the sweet and simple one: fresh beer, from Planet Earth. I can elaborate. Ecliptic Brewing is about uniting John’s two passions: beer and astronomy. Yes, our “theme” is space, and that is expansive and fun for branding. We will never run out of spacethemed beer names. But there is a lot more to our story. We are about bringing people together with good food and great beer. Everything funnels down—from space, to Planet Earth, to the USA to Portland, Oregon, right to Ecliptic, where we take you on a journey back to space.

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EGK: The sheer volume of options. How do we get the word out about what Ecliptic is doing when it feels like there are at least 20-plus new beers coming out every day? I see the Instagram posts from the local bottle shops, and it feels like there is a wave of new cans and bottles hitting the shelves daily. So many of those beers have incredible labels. How do we make sure we don’t get missed in a market like that?

What is the secret to creating a branding story that consumers can buy in to? JH: Make sure they learn something along the way. For instance, we use space beer names to get folks to look at astronomy.

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Ecliptic Brewinghead department

CB: Give people a real, inside look at your brand—humanize it. A brand can often feel like just that—a “corporation” or an innate thing that’s perfectly constructed. But we are real people. It is fun to show consumers the faces behind the brand. What do we do every day to make our products and why we do it? For example, we have a “Featured Employee” on Instagram each month. This highlights what their role is at Ecliptic and how long they have been a part of our team. We have low employee turnover for the industry. We take pride in the fact that our employees tend to stick around for a long time. Our chef has been around since we opened, along with others. It is also important to stick to your branding story. Space is incorporated into everything we do, even subtly. You are creating an experience for your customers and encompassing them into your “vibe” from the moment they pick up your beer on a shelf or walk into your taproom.

What is the one thing every craft beer brand should be doing in the way of marketing? JH: Daily interactions on all social media platforms. EGK: Utilizing Instagram to the fullest extent of what it can offer and doing it well. In my opinion, it is the best marketing tool out there. But it needs to be done well. Anyone can have an Instagram account, but very few have a great Instagram account. CB: Social media is so important. It is the voice of your brand, an extension of your overall brand experience. It is often the quickest way to reach your customers these days, too. In the times of COVID, we were able to use social media to send immediate updates to fans about what was shifting with Ecliptic.

What do you see as some of your biggest opportunities moving ahead?

How you can connect with ... Ecliptic Brewing 825 North Cook Street Portland, OR 97227 http://eclipticbrewing.com/ Facebook: @EclipticBrewing Instagram: @eclipticbrewing Twitter: @EclipticBrewing

JH: We are continuing to give beer drinkers what they want. Watch trends and find ways to use them in our planning. At Ecliptic, we still have strong demand for our beer and brand. Working on finding how to get more beer made. Our physical space is maxed out. We are working with some MBA students at looking at what opportunities we can leverage.

What is the biggest item on your to-do list right now? JH: Get through to the new normal. CB: Figuring out how we convey who we are when we do not have a physical brewery for our customers to be immersed in right now. How do we stay agile, shift and create new opportunities, but also stay on brand?

What is the most rewarding part of your job? JH: Watching people enjoy our beers and food in our restaurant. EGK: Working with others in the craft beer community— whether it is bars owners, retail shops, other reps/brewery staff and our internal team at Ecliptic. I love being part of this bigger, like-minded group. CB: When I hear someone say how much they love one of our beers, I get all the warm fuzzies. It reminds me why I do what I do every day. You are so often looking ahead toward the next beer launch, that it is nice to stop and be present in the moment to talk to people about their experience with your brand.

What was the best advice you ever received? JH: Don’t open a restaurant with less than 100 seats.

What is the best thing a customer ever said to you? CB: Someone once told me that not only do we have amazing beer, but our whole brand was on point. They loved our social media, our graphics and packaging, working with our sales team, our events. It was incredibly humbling and truly one of the best things I had ever heard, because we work so hard for this each and every day.

Packaging Team

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branding

By Jennifer L. Jacobson

Branding in a brave new world 7 ways to market in a time of isolation No product sells itself without help–not even in the best of times. So how is your business supposed to market itself, as they say in Hamilton, “when the world turned upside down?” On the marketing and PR front, a lot has changed. Ads from “the before time” featuring large crowds or one-on-one interactions can be downright triggering. Regular marketing and PR cycles have been disrupted, major events have been

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canceled, and seasonal trends that worked last year just don’t make sense now. On the home front, Americans face problems that keep people up at night. More people are working from home, if they are lucky enough to still

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have a job. Kids are “learning from home,” putting extra strain on parents and caregivers. Unemployment in the United States is at a historic high. Many have lost loved ones. Many are wondering how they’re going to get through this time.


So what is a marketer to do? It does not seem right to try to get people jazzed about your product when the world is so very different than it was mere months ago. Fortunately, there are some simple guidelines to help you keep your company’s brand as stable as possible, despite this most unusual and difficult time.

1. Speak to the new need People still have needs, though those needs are decidedly different for many than they were before self-isolation. Take a step back from your traditional marketing and PR efforts and ask yourself—what keeps your customers up at night, and what can you do to help. Look for ways your product fills some of their most important needs. Even if your product only offers a little consistency for your customer, that is still something people need. If your product can help them with bigger problems, even better.

3. Look for complimentary partnerships This is a good time to think creatively about companies that you can partner with. If your company addresses a need that people have right now, what are some other companies you could partner with to expand that reach? Whether it is an article exchange on your company blog, social media boosts, or inclusive stories for the media about how multiple companies are coming together to help people, there is a lot of room for opportunity when you think creatively.

pandemic, the apocalypse, murder hornets, etc.). Even though everyone else is doing it. It is tacky. Your email should get to the point quickly. How quickly? In the subject line, and then again in the opening paragraph, and do not forget that call-to-action link. If you’re offering your customers a discount or a no-cost trial, lead with that. No one has time to read paragraphs of fluff. Life is short. Get to the point.

7. Accept your new customer base The demographics of your customer base may change radically. Accept that some of your customers can no

Take a step back from your traditional marketing and PR efforts and ask yourself—what keeps your customers up at night, and what can you do to help.

2. Connect with a cause

4. Be respectful

If you have not already, dedicate a portion of your revenue, to a cause that is helping people get through this pandemic. Do not pick a small pet-project that your customers won’t know, or relate to. Pick something that helps those directly impacted by the pandemic. If you can, tie it into something related to your business. For example, if your business makes exotic decorative collars for cats, consider donating to a cat rescue that is rehoming animals from people who are no longer able to care for their pets. If your business makes an education app for kids, donate the proceeds to an organization working to help parents get the support they need through the pandemic.

Don’t assume everyone who normally does business with you is in the same place they were a month or two ago. This is not business as usual. Read the room and retool your messaging and campaigns accordingly.

5. Do not bother your customers Do not join the trend of sending emails reminding people how things have changed, or how difficult life has become, and that your company cares. This is the time to show customers what you are doing to improve their lives. If you cannot do that, and you do not have another good reason to reach out, do not reach out at all. Just stop.

6. Do not bury your benefit Do not lead with COVID-19, (aka, the

longer afford to be your customers. Empathize with them, they are going through hard times. These are real people (remember, no one thinks of themselves day to day as a customer of anything). Some customers might just need to pause until their lives get back to normal. But some customers may need your product more than ever and it is your job to find them and help them. The bottom line: Do not be afraid to get creative and look for new ways to help people with the problems they are facing today. What you do today matters. Figure out how to connect with your customers in meaningful ways. This will help, not only your brand, but also your chances of being a brand that survives and thrives.

Jennifer L. Jacobson is a PR professional and communications strategist with two decades of experience growing brands stand out in competitive industries. Jennifer delivers outstanding results to brands, startups, and nonprofits who often have limited budgets, time, and resources. For more articles by Jennifer, visit: jacobsoncommunication.com/blog.html

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sales

By Cindy McGovern

Craft’s new world Make every job a sales job

Even if your brewery has an official sales staff of only one or two employees, the fact is that every person who works there is a potential sales representative. Craft businesses have the luxury of a staff that loves their product. Many employees have sought jobs in the industry simply because of their love affair with unique brews. Those are the best people to sell your product.

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And they are selling it every day—after they go home. Every time they tell friends and family members how smooth the latest lager from your shop tastes, they are literally inviting more people to plan a post-pandemic pilgrimage to your pub. Whenever they have ordered a pilsner with your brewery’s name on it with a restaurant meal, these connoisseurs—who have a taste for the very best beers—showed waiters, diners and pals that yours is the very best. Those are sales. The people making those sales do not realize they are doing it. They do not do it on purpose. They are not responsible for doing it. Yet they do it nearly every time they crack open a cold one with your label on it. Why not harness that passion and unofficial sales experience by training every employee in the art of selling? You do not have to put them to work in the sales department, saddle them with quotas or pay them commissions. You do not have to reassign them away from the jobs they already have. You just have to teach them how to do their thing— the thing they’re doing anyway—in a more purposeful way for the benefit of the brand. The fact is that every job is a sales job—or can be. The person who will answer the phones when you are back in business post-crisis can make a sale simply by treating callers in a friendly, respectful way so they will have a good impression of your company and will want to buy from you. A waiter in your pub can observe what kinds of beverages her customers seem to favor, and suggest that they sample your latest batch. When you get people back in your taproom, the bartender who chats up customers can let them know about your subscription plans

and upcoming events—if they are trained to do that. Likewise, the drivers who deliver bulk orders to restaurants and liquor stores can ask their clients to recommend your brand to the managers of sister stores and to pals who also serve beer to customers. Your accountant can suggest that her networking group serve your farmhouse ale at its annual conference.

to sell. Some believe they do not know how. Others perceive selling as manipulative, pushy or cheesy. A few might even say they would rather quit their jobs than to have to sell.

Craft businesses have the luxury of a staff that loves their product. Many employees have sought jobs in the industry simply because of their love affair with unique brews.

> Teach employees the power of the “ask.” If every employee simply asks every customer for more business during every encounter, sales will increase. Their questions: “Can I offer you a taste of our new beer?” “Would you recommend us for your office party?” “What else can I get you while you are here?”

These are not salespeople—officially. But they have influence with the people they do business with on your behalf. They consume your product themselves. Why not teach them how to spread the love in a way that brings in sales? First, however, you will have to get them to agree to sell. Most people who have not chosen sales as a profession don’t want

To get buy-in: > Point out to the non-sales staff that they already know how to sell: They do it all the time just by naturally promoting the product because they enjoy it so much.

> Selling something that the customer already wants and likes easily creates a win-win for the employee and the buyer. The best salespeople are those who only try to sell products that their customers want or need; that can solve a problem for a client; that will make the buyer happier; or that will make a situation easier. There’s nothing cheesy about that. In a small brewery, most employees have regular interactions with customers, vendors, individual craft beer lovers and others who will, more often than not, say “yes” when offered something they wanted anyway. Leverage your employees’ and customers’ mutual love of craft into a boost in sales. Turning your nonsales staff into brand ambassadors will make them feel good about helping the company they work for.

Dr. Cindy McGovern is known as the “First Lady of Sales.” She speaks and consults internationally on sales, interpersonal communication and leadership, and is the author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller E”very Job Is a Sales Job: How to Use the Art of Selling to Win at Work.” She also is the CEO of Orange Leaf Consulting, a sales management and consulting firm in San Francisco.

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