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SweetWater co-founder Freddy Bensch

For the Craft Brewing Professional


its greatness How SweetWater Brewery continues to lead the way in the business of craft beer

PLUS: Building your business is not rocket science Illuminated Branding: Making choices that work


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VOL. 1 : ISSUE 1


MARCH/APRIL 4 5 6 8 12 16 20 22

EDITOR’S NOTE The center of your universe INSIGHTS Industry News ILLUMINATED BRANDING Making choices that work CRAFTING ITS GREATNESS How SweetWater Brewery continues to lead the way in the business of craft beer IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE To build your business, you’ll need a business plan. A GUY WALKS INTO A BAR… CULTURALLY SPEAKING Do you have a great brand or just great people? Or is there a difference? EDITOR’S NOTE The center of your universe

EDITORIAL EDITOR: Michael J. Pallerino 678.513.2397 •

STRATEGY DIRECTOR: Eric Johnson 401.226.6366 •


CONTRIBUTING WRITER: Ron Treister • 772.232.6614

ADVERTISING PUBLISHER / EDITOR David Corson • 678.765.6550 • (fax) 678.765.6551

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editor’s note

The center of your universe

Michael J. Pallerino


The pour. That's what your customers look forward to every time. That sound a beer makes when it hits their glass. Anticipation is everything. In a marketing world defined by how today's brands define their customer centricity initiatives, is there any better product that puts its customer at the center of everything like craft beer? Creating a customer-centric culture is all about understanding your brand's value proposition and how to deliver it to your customers in a way that fills their needs. And that's not always about doing and saying everything your customers’ want. It's more like focusing on what they value most, and keeping those interests in line with your mission statement, business strategy and brand promise. Today's craft brewers are not only the mark with the products, but the branding as well. Cool product names. Clever in-store merchandising and packaging. Enterprising social media initiatives. The sights, sounds and, well, the tastes that continue to make this marketplace one of the most exciting around. Perhaps nobody knew the marketing game better than Steve Jobs, the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple. Jobs once said, "Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves." In Jobs' words is the true essence of customer-centric marketing – the true vision that every craft beer must incorporate to move its brand forward. Your customers know. And here's the thing – they'll tell if you listen. Matching your marketing and branding prowess with the incredible attention to detail you put into your product will pay dividends in the end. That's why we're here. As we move forward, Craft Brand & Marketing Magazine will share the insights and wisdom from some of the marketing world's biggest and best thought leaders. We'll help give ideas you can slide into your branding blueprints. And if there's anything you need – some road you've been wanting to go down, let us know. We'll help build that bridge.

Matching your marketing and branding prowess with the incredible attention to detail you put into your product will pay dividends in the end.

See you at the taps. Michael






What they’re saying... “We exist because of the consumer. We wouldn’t be in retail stores without

consumer takeaway, and we wouldn’t have a business without the consumer. To fail to see the marketplace from the consumer’s perspective would be the end of us. It’s something I can’t even fathom.”

– M’Lou Walker, CEO of Zicam, on why it's important to continually view your marketplace from your customers' perspective

Reach for it – the art of brand awareness One of the biggest tools in your toolbelt for raising brand awareness is employee advocacy. Why? Because your employees have the ability to amplify your brand’s reach far beyond your company’s official social networks, they can really help boost your brand awareness. The first step you should focus on is reach. In other words, the more people your employees can "reach" out to, the more recognizable your company becomes. The genius is in the simplicity. What are your employees doing to drive your brand's awareness?

What would Howard Shultz do? As you prepare to deliver on your company's mission in 2017, here are five leadership lessons from Starbuck's indelible founder and CEO: • Be passionate about how your products and services help improve the lives of their employees and customers • Never grow tired of sharing stories that shaped your character • Treat your employees benevolently • Obsess over every aspect of customer experience • Remind your employees of what the business they’re really in is all about

Book Rec Contagious: Why Things Catch On Paperback – By Jonah Berger What makes things popular? If you said advertising, think again. People don’t 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 online content go viral? In Contagious, Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger tackles these questions and more. For the the last decade, Berger has studied why 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 from the cars we buy, to the clothes we wear, and the names we give our children. Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. See how how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheesesteak or why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use. Contagious provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and content that people will share. In today’s highly competitive and growing craft beer marketplace, Contagious can help show you how to make your product catch on.

43 The percent of Millennials who say Facebook is the social media platform they use most often, compared with 61% of non-Millennials, according to Fluent’s “Marketing To Millennials” report. Younger Millennials say other networks, including YouTube, Instagram & Snapchat, are catching up to Facebook in usage, the report says.




By Eric Johnson

Illuminated Branding Making choices that work

and economical. A budget-friendly purchase of $5-20 per piece based on volume and complexity. Illumination takes your visibility to an entirely different level. But, it’s an investment of $100-$400 based on complexity and volume.

Finding your source

Want to take your brand to the next level of visibility? For maximum brand impact in a retail environment, there’s nothing better than illumination. Particularly for point-of-sale (POS) applications, an illuminated sign offers high visibility and brand retention characteristics. Most of you started your POS materials journey with tap handles and tackers. We all know that today’s competition for on-premise taps is fierce. So a stand-out tap handle is critical for building visibility. It’s often a great investment of even $100 per handle to provide that visual distinction. Metal tackers are different. They are the obvious choice for a small, growing breweries first POS sign purchase. They are often colorful, noticeable,





The two most widely-used light sources today for illuminated signs are LEDs and neon. Both are bright, energy-efficient, long-lasting, and good value-for-money. There are inherent differences between the two light sources. It is important to understand them so as to make the best choices. A neon is an illuminated tube. An LED is a solid-state device. Each has advantages and drawbacks, very much dependent on desired effect and applied use. LEDs are a pinpoint light source. To provide even dispersion of lighting, LEDs are used in clusters or linear arrays. Some LED have lenses to spread the light. Conversely, Neon tubes are linear light sources, possessing 360-degree traits. Relative costs of purchase are equal, as are light efficiencies in lumens per watt. Efficiency is dependent on color selection with whites being the most efficient. LEDs get the nod for more durability and versatility, being relatively unbreakable. They can be fit into tight places and in close proximity to other materials.

The two most widely-used light sources today for illuminated signs are LEDs and neon. Both are bright, energy-efficient, long-lasting, and good value-for-money. LEDs are great for backlighting of translucent, printed plastics. Excellent for halo effects as well. With LED technology, color selection is limited. It's red, blue, green, amber, and various whites. Neon has definite advantage for making outstanding bold, bright statements. By nature, they lend a fair amount of dimensionality to a sign design. More significantly, neon is an art medium with 100 years of use in commercial advertising applications. It is iconic in many ways. Neon evokes emotion, triggers memories, and suggests a variety of moods and past experiences.

Craft brewers are particularly drawn to neon for its aesthetic appeal. After all, neon is a “craft” as well, often perceived to have high “cool” factor. Neither LED or Neon signs last forever. A good sign should easily last five to seven years. Ten-year service life for neon signs is not unusual. There are even neons continuing to function after 30 to 40 years. Since LEDs have not been used in sign apps for more than 15 years, their longevity is unknown. One last topic to cover… serviceability. Here, neon gets the nod. Components can easily be replaced, new tubes made. Power supplies are readily available. When LEDs fail, it’s almost impossible to replace individual components. Remedy is to rip them all out and start over.

Eric Johnson is the strategy director for Craft Brand & Marketing Magazine. He can be reached at



Crafting its

greatness By Michael J. Pallerino





How SweetWater Brewery continues to lead the way in the business of craft beer They were roommates. Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerny spent those collegiate formative years at the University of Colorado at Boulder where, along with picking up a couple of diplomas, they also logged time cleaning kegs part-time at a local brewery.

If you're thinking every college kid's dream, you're not far off. Spending their off hours around the brewery business left an impression in both of them. After graduation in 1993, Bensch moved to California to study at the American Brewers Guild, while McNerney set off to work in several breweries in Colorado and California. Several years later, as the world came to Atlanta for the 1996 Summer Olympics, Bensch made his way Southeast. And then it hit him – why not bring that West Coast style brewery to the Southeast? Before long, McNerney joined him, eventually raising the initial funds to open the brewery's first location off Interstate 20 on Fulton Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta. As for their vision's name? It came to Bensch while he was kayaking down Sweetwater Creek, a tributary of the Chattahoochee River in Georgia's Sweetwater Creek State Park, which was a few miles west of the brewery. They began brewing in January 1997 and sold their first keg a month later – SweetWater ESB and Blue. To note, SweetWater's most popular beer, SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale – named after the date it was first brewed (April 20) – followed shortly after. Today, SweetWater Brewery is one of the nation’s 18th largest craft brewers in sales by volume, according to 2016 numbers by the Brewers Association. Its current distribution footprint spans 18 states, including Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Mississippi, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. It's also in Ireland. Craft Brand & Marketing Magazine sat down with Brian Miesieski, VP marketing at SweetWater, to get his thoughts on why craft beer continues to inspire the masses.

Give us a snapshot of today's craft brew market. Growing, competitive, increasingly inventive and creative – with a strong focus on local. Proliferation of brands, styles and skus stresses the importance hitting all cylinders from marketing and sales standpoint – uniqueness, authenticity, quality, personality, variety, creativity and consumer connection.

What trends are defining the space? Brewers are getting more creative to help differentiate themselves and offer new and unique products. Examples for us are pioneering the usage of hop hash, creating our own house strain of Brett, and our new barrel-aging facility and its Woodlands Project brews. Also, consumers’ preference for local, and desire to experiment and be trendsetters in terms of discovering new brands and styles

What is the Sweetwater brand perspective? SweetWater Brewing Company lives by the motto, "Don't Float the Mainstream!"

Walk us through your branding strategy. We are lifestyle oriented, with a focus on having fun outdoors and on the water. We also are keen eye on giving back to the community, particularly when it comes to the environment and water conservation. Our branding and creative strikes a nice balance between aspirational lifestyle and product. We feel we're hitting the sweetspot from a marketing and sales standpoint.



What is today's craft beer consumers looking for? Consistently tasty brews from a brand that resonates with their lifestyle, plus makes them feel they're tuned into trends in craft beer.

Define your consumer. What are they looking for?

One-onOne with ... Brian Miesieski, VP marketing, SweetWater Brewing Co. What’s the most rewarding part of your job? The opportunity to shape a brand that has so much upward mobility and make an impact in a growing industry. Plus, free beer.

What was the best advice you ever received? Remember that it’s just beer – don’t overcomplicate it, have a good time, and be good to your customers and the planet.

What are the three strongest traits any brand should have? Quality product. Authenticity in communication. Genuine ability to make an emotional connection with consumers.

What is the true key to marketing success for any brand? Authenticity. Depending on the segment, “marketing but not marketing.”



What's the biggest issue related to the marketing side of the craft beer business today? The consumer and retailers are hyper-focused on local, and there's a proliferation of breweries, brands and styles. Consumers tend to be curious and promiscuous, so it’s a challenge to keep them staying within your portfolio, which leads to higher frequency of rotation among retailers.

What is the secret to creating a branding story that consumers can buy in to? It’s a perfect storm of lifestyle, product, quality, creativity and making emotional connections with consumers in terms of interests and behaviors – we believe a dash of connecting with the local community.

What is the one thing that every craft beer brand should be doing in the way of marketing? Developing a social media presence that's authentic and engaging with fans, in order to connect with the local community and stay top of mind.



Because we’ve been around for 20 years and have expanded from only being available in Atlanta to being in 20 states, our consumer base is diverse. We have the guys and gals who were craft beer pioneers in the '90s and have been choosing 420 ever since. They're looking for a consistent, quality product. And we also have the Millennial consumers who are exploring craft beer, trying whatever is new and fresh. They're looking for us to deliver fresh seasonals, along with more progressive styles like our Woodlands Project brews. They also want to associate themselves with a brand that is authentic, fun and genuinely cares about what it stands for.

What do you see as some of your biggest opportunities moving ahead? As we fill out more states, staying relevant with our consumers and building brand awareness. Also, we’re pursuing more international distribution. Our Woodlands Project brews are also an incredible opportunity for us going forward.

Are you optimistic about what you see in the retail sector? Yes. Retailers across the board are getting more educated about and interested in craft beer, which is great for the industry.

What's the biggest item on your to-do list right now? Our annual 420 Fest, April 21–23. It's a three day celebration of music and our

Consumers tend to be curious and promiscuous, so it’s a challenge to keep them staying within your portfolio, which leads to higher frequency of rotation among retailers. beer in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, headlined by Widespread Panic, Trey Anastasio Band and Slightly Stoopid. There are 50 additional acts. We’re expecting more than 70,000 attendees this year. (For more information,

Tell us what makes the Sweetwater brand so unique? We don’t pay much attention to what the masses are doing. We push ourselves to be better every day, making beer that we as brewers enjoy drinking. It’s amazing how many folks share the same mindset as we do: great beer, great lifestyle, giving back and having fun along the way.

What should people expect from Sweetwater moving forward? More heady brews, even more fun tour experiences and event. From a marketing perspective, you’ll see an updated campaign from us that we

hope inspires consumers to get outside, step off the grid, enjoy the water and, of course, serve to protect it. “Where’s there’s water, there’s SweetWater” is the tagline. This speaks to our passion for recreation and preservation of waterways and natural habitats. We hope the imagery in the campaign conveys our brand strategy of striking a balance between lifestyle and product.

A winning hand... • SweetWater co-founder Freddy Bensch was listed among the "100 Most Influential Georgians" by Georgia Trend Magazine in 2012, and was featured on the cover of Brewer Magazine in 2016. • Fortune Magazine described 420 Extra Pale Ale with, “In fact, it’s damn near perfect.” (Nov. 2015) • Men’s Journal named Hash Session IPA as, “one of the Best New and Seasonal Beer Releases” for 2016.

• Southern Living dubbed SweetWater, “one of the best breweries in the South.” (March 2016) • Paste Magazine has included 420, IPA, Happy Ending and Hop Hash in its blind tastings, resulting in top rankings for each. (November 2016) • Men’s Journal named Pulled Porter as, “one of the best 12 smoked beers in the world.” (March 2016)

• Fortune Magazine included Atlanta in their list of “best beer cities,” citing SweetWater as the anchor. (March 2016) • Beer Street Journal called SweetWater’s The Woodlands “nothing short of fantastic,” while the Atlanta Journal Constitution called the new barrel aging facility a “game changer.” (December 2016)



It's not rocket science

But that doesn’t mean you can’t build your business. After all, if you’re the king or a top-ranking officer, it’s paramount that if you fall down, the best thing to do is to get up and keep moving toward your goals. I know that sounds a bit clichéd. But if you have a program from which to work off, a strategically posed business growth plan, I don’t think you need a magic wand to build your business. Just some patience, a strong dose of optimism and, a firm commitment that once your plan is crafted, you’ll stick to it. From a discipline standpoint, having and sticking to a business plan really is no different than committing to get your tired old body back in shape. You put together (or have someone put together for you) a workout program, and then stick to it religiously. No pain, no gain. And, after you get used to the routine, you see results. Your business-building plan can work just as easily.

To build your business, you’ll need a business plan. By Ron Treister

If you’re a business owner/manager, chances are at times you’ve felt like the mythological King Sisyphus. Remember him? He was punished by the Greek gods, with a sentence to spend eternity rolling a colossal boulder up a mountain, only to have the stone roll back to base of the hill. No matter how fast or how often Sisyphus rolled the rock upward, it inevitably rolled back down. He was forced to resume his labor again – a maddeningly frustrating task. Not ironically, ever since those ancient times, tasks that are both laborious and futile have been described as “Sisyphean.” Quite honestly, it’s not always good to be King.




To begin, you must: • Know what you strengths (and weaknesses) are. Be honest. • Ask yourself, “What is a reasonable sales growth goal for my firm?” • Step out of your ego. Just because you don’t like your competition, don’t be in denial if they’re beating you in certain areas. • Never hate your competition. Be civil regarding them, especially if you ever rub elbows. You might even be able to find out more than you’d ever realize. Remember what Don Corleone said? “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”


• Include your management team in the development of this plan. Their input will prove to be invaluable. • Make sure once your plan is in place that you share it with your people. Get them excited about being part of it, especially your sales team. • There is no reason not to keep using old school tools to promote your business, especially if they’ve successfully worked over the years. But to be afraid to learn about/ implement the newer online promotional tools is insane. If you’re over 55 and set in your ways, be smart enough to bring in younger employees who aren’t. It’s even smarter if you jump into the 21st Century and learn/understand these disciplines.

From a realistic standpoint, growth sometimes can be gauged based upon internal need.

• It is imperative to have personnel with a strong understanding of today’s social media and how it can be used to positively build your image, reach prospects and educate your targets regarding why they need you.

The focus in the thing Let’s talk about focus. What kind of growth are you looking for? The easiest is to stay where you are, work hard to maintain all your existing customers, and then just raise your prices across the board by a certain percentage. Now, that sounds pretty basic, and it can make sense. But would your incumbent regular customer base stay

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From a discipline standpoint, having and sticking to a business plan really is no different than committing to get your tired old body back in shape.

with you, were you to announce a 10 percent price increase, especially right at the beginning of a New Year? From a realistic standpoint, growth sometimes can be gauged based upon internal need. For example, if you’re maxed out, if all of your team members are working more hours than ever to accommodate your clientele, then obviously, you need more bodies. But don’t just bring in new hires as a Band-Aid due to having more work than workers. Rather, bring in people who not only can help you meet the demands of your everyday business – ones who will free up fellow workers. Allow them the time to focus on bringing in new business, rather than just slaving to maintain what you already have. After all, this is 2017. Everybody wears more than one business hat these days. Do you want to grow what you already have and branch out in other directions? Or, maybe you are thinking about growth by acquisition? Maybe you just want to grow your business, so that it can go on the sales block? In other words, build it to sell it.

On your mark, get set, grow... Once you decide the direction to grow your business, go online and look for some of the economic reports, which often readily are available. Obviously, knowing your marketplace well is a necessity. To structure your plan, there are many basic protocols. Here’s an outline of one: • Start out with your company’s mission statement. • Every firm has a certain company culture. State yours here. • If you’re big enough and want to project your organizational structure, possibly via a flow chart showing hierarchy of positions/roles, do it. • Go into detail regarding company goals and the financial projections needed to attain these. It’s best to be conservative. • In great detail, outline your product/service offerings. With your staff, go over each component that you “sell” to your customers. Be open and honest. Are each of these offerings as good as they could be? If not, how can they be improved. • Make sure you have an ironclad HR program in place for existing personnel and those to be added. If your firm is large enough to have a dedicated HR person/department, look at that as a great insurance policy for your firm. • Make a listing of all the challenges you envision in the upcoming year. Of

course, this will change, but by realistically forecasting what you very well may confront, eye-opening business surprises during the year will be dealt with more effectively. • Clearly, know all the laws to which your firm must abide. • Embark on a cogent marketing program. And to do so, think about working with a professional marketing firm offering a strong track record within the industries you target. Even though so many firms want to go “inhouse,” which in many cases makes sense economically, determine if you’ll get the best talent that way. Or, should your company partner with an outside firm? This marketing program should be put together in great detail. It can and should include participation in networking events, utilizing social media, ongoing content development, advertising, public relations, community outreach services, an ongoing protocol for targeting potential customers… and, so much more. Included also should be a review how to best support your sales team with the best marketing tools and customer services. • Make a strong effort to make your plan flexible, so you may adjust to the many business variables to be encountered. Let’s face it – 2017 is now upon us. Some people believe an “election year” is a guarantee of business increases. Whether or not that's valid, I cannot answer. But I can state that if a company puts together a convincing business plan, remains patient and optimistic, good things will happen. If you do it the right way, business can and will grow. Unlike King Sisyphus, you indeed can be King of your own domain.

Ron Treister is President/Founder of Communicators International, Inc., a marketing communications firm headquartered in Jupiter, Fla. For three decades, his firm has worked with major accounts. He may be reached at:






By Eric Balinski

A guy walks into a bar… A Guy Walks into a Bar…. You’ve all heard a variation of that joke, right? The following story goes something like this – a guy walks into a bar and sees a stunning illuminated sign for Angry Orchard® Hard Cider on the wall. Struck by the sign, he pulls it off the wall to see where it came from. On the back is a phone number, which he writes down and tucks in his wallet. When our guy goes back to his office the next day, he remembers the sign, pulls the paper out of his wallet and calls the number. He introduces himself to the person answering the phone and says, "I understand your company made the Angry Orchard sign?" “Yes”, was the reply from the person at the company. "Can you make a sign with our company’s logo and have it say “An Official Bar of Our Company?” our guy asks. Turns out the “guy” is the communication director for a professional sports team. He wants their hometown bars, pubs and restaurants that are passionate about their team to proudly showcase their loyalty by displaying the team’s brand identity. He also wants to offer it to their “Superfans.” Much like this communication director, craft brand marketers should know that each day that a customer sees their brand identity is a day to reinforce all that their brand stands for. In the words of advertising legend, Leo Burnett, “If you don’t get noticed, you don’t have anything. You just have to be noticed, but the art is in getting noticed naturally, without screaming or without tricks.”



But craft brewing is different than many industries. It’s not an industry built on the filling customer needs, discovery of unmet customer needs or a unique technology that will change the world. Rather, it’s often people who like drinking beer and decide to make it, too. They get inspired to share with others, sell it and a craft brew company is born. Often, the brewery's founders start with the notion, "If we brew this, they will come." But that’s not exactly a “customer-centric” model.



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What about branding and marketing? To build your craft brand in this unusual industry, you must deal with three challenges: • Fierce competition • A world becoming more impersonal • Clutter – it’s everywhere Competition in the craft brand space is escalating faster than it seems possible for any brand to be effective with their brand identity campaign. Think of it this way. There are more than 5,000 brewing entities trying to make their lifestyles famous. What makes your personality so special? It’s probably not the beer, no matter how many flavors, styles or types you offer. Not that you don’t make great beer. It’s simply that so many people make great beer these days. In addition to the growing competitive landscape, your customer is living in an ever increasingly impersonal world while often interacting more through devices than in person. Conveying the personality of your brand is difficult and complex. It requires the drive, heart and persistence of a three legged dog. And savvy use of branding and marketing techniques. Third, our world is hyperactive compared to Burnett’s time. It is filled with many more competing brand messages than just those from craft





brewers. To get your brand into the imagination of your customers, you must deal with reduced attention spans. In 2000, research found people have the average attention span of 12 seconds, while in 2012, the research showed the time frame is down to six to eight seconds. And yet these challenges are the reason branding is more relevant than at any time. Here’s why – in a nano-attention span world, an effective brand gives instant context and connects at a human emotive level. And that’s really the underlying connection your brand needs to make. Here is a simple test. Ask yourself what would you remember more: text/words or photos or brand's logo?

The reality is, you must create a brand identity, but it’s awful hard to do. Here are the three principles to keep in mind to building your brand:

No. 1 – Know yourself Contrary to brand wisdom where the top priority is to know your audience, you must really know who you are. The craft brand emanates from the soul of the craft brewer. It is the reflection and ethos of the founders with the brand identity anchored by their personalities. Not the unique products needs it meets for beer drinkers. Thus the brand identity is really a lifestyle identity of the founders. Your challenge is to figure out if there are enough people like you out there to make the business financially successful. Are there are other brands that have the same personality? That may be okay if there are enough customers to keep everyone in business. This is where traditional market analysis techniques can be useful.

No. 2 – Find your vision statement Armed with the understanding about your life, your beliefs, what turns you on and off, etc., your messaging will come naturally. Because you are using words and visuals important to you. Your communication should evoke their imagination and cause your brand fan to live the sense of your brand because they identify with you. One advantage craft brewers often have is the potential of using unusual images and artwork that reflect who the founder is. Unlike many other consumer products, the personalities of a craft founder(s) often translates into strong dynamic visual imagery that can connect with and be repurposed anywhere your fans live, work and play.

No. 3 – Build a roadmap The personal interests of the brand founders, whether they be playing music, partying like rock stars or enjoying the serenity of fly-fishing, offers a “roadmap” for where your customers will experience your brand in their own worlds. The sports team director knew the behavior of his Superfans because he too was a Superfan. Always keep in mind, yours is a lifestyle brand. It must integrate into your fans’ world as a whole. Yet, since you can’t afford to be everywhere, determine and add it where your brand identity brings the most meaning to your fans, whether they're at an event, in their man-cave or in the virtual world of mobile devices and social media. The guy walked out of that bar Who was the guy who walked into the bar? The guy was from the Chicago Blackhawks. He understood the power of visual branding. So consider this. If a professional sports team that has won five Stanley Cups, three Conference Championships, two Presidents’ Trophies and 15 Divisional ChampionEric Balinski is ships, feels it needs to keep its brand identity in front of the owner of its passionate fans. What does it suggest your craft brand Synection, LLC, company should do? which is a strategy “If you plan to win as I do, the game never ends.” – and growth Stan Mikita, Chicago Blackhawks consultancy Here's to the next guy or gal who walks into a bar to firm. For more enjoy a craft beer. information, visit: Cheers!



legal tap

By Tawny Alvarez

Culturally speaking Do you have a great brand or just great people? Or is there a difference? I often tell clients that their employees can be their greatest asset or their greatest liability. The company, itself, is in the best position to determine which it will be. Breweries are no different. As you are well aware, one of the things that distinguishes the craft brew industry from other markets and industries is the collegiality between breweries. The fact that breweries in many markets – including in my city of choice, Portland, Maine – are happy to share supplies and ingredients, is one of the things that makes the industry so enjoyable to work in. But a big question is what do we do if we don’t want to share. If we have people, recipes, logos or catch-phrases that we want to make sure remain our property, not to walk out the door when the person who came up with the idea decides to start his or her own brewery.





There are multiple ways to go about providing this protection, but as an employment lawyer, I naturally focus on how we can work with our employees (or contractors) to obtain these protections. One way to obtain this protection is with a proprietary rights agreement with your employees. Such an agreement would be signed by the brewery and the employee and would result in the employee certifying that all writings, inventions, recipes, ideas or other work that was created, conceived, or produced while he or she was employed by the brewery is the work product which the brewery holds the intellectual property rights to. The definition of “intellectual property rights” and “work product” can be limited or expansive depending on your business model and what your long-term goals are. This type of provision could be a stand-alone contract or the term could be included in a larger employment agreement with benefits, non-compete, and other similar agreements. Another way to protect copyrightable aspects of your brand is through “Work Made for Hire Assignment Agreements.” “Work made for hire” is a legal term defined by the Copyright Act of 1976, but brewers could also add language to an agreement that would provide the employee irrevocably assigns to the brewery (for no additional compensation) all the rights, title and interest to “work made for hire.”

While normally, the individual who authors work (or names an amazing brew) would be the owner of the copyright that protects the work, the Copyright Act of 1976 would apply when: • An employee, within the scope of his or her employment, prepares the work • A brewery (or other entity) specifically commissions work from an independent contractor (as long as certain statutory conditions are met) In these cases, the brewery (or employer generally) owns the copyright to the work, unless the parties agree to a different arrangement through a signed writing. In order for the Copyright Act to apply the brewery would need to prove that the individual was an “employee” under the statute and that the product/design/recipe was created within the scope of the individual’s employment. In determining the “scope of employment” question, courts will normally look at three basic elements: 1. Is it the kind the employee is employed to perform 2. Does the work occur substantially within the authorized time and space limits 3. Is the work performed at least in part to serve the employer A court will look at these three elements to determine if the product/idea was developed through the course of employment. With regard to the first question, of whether the individual is an “employee,” this is a situation we run into a lot with start-up breweries. Home brewers find themselves talking about their craft, sharing successes (and failures) when a non-brewer comes up with a “great” idea. Have you ever thought of adding pistachios to the recipe and calling the brew, “to crack a nut?”

Another way to protect copyrightable aspects of your brand is through “Work Made for Hire Assignment Agreements.”

Let’s say you decide to brew a batch, for fun, and it ends up being a huge success that takes off and you base your new brewery off this signature brew, which you called, “to crack a nut”—this issue would not fall within the Copyright Act exclusion because the individual who provided the name of the brew is not an employee. If we take it a step further, we can understand the “scope of employment,” analysis. Let us lay out an all-too-familiar situation. A brewery (where employees have not signed a proprietary right agreement) has a contest to see who can create the next great brew. The prize – bragging rights of course, and the ability to name the beer and have it produced at the brewery. The maintenance supervisor submits a home-brew that he has been working on for years. The maintenance supervisor’s homebrew wins and is produced by the brewery. The homebrew (which is no longer simply a homebrew) becomes a seasonal brand for the brewery. Who owns the recipe? Who owns the beer? What if the maintenance supervisor leaves after the first run and decides to open his own brewery? What if, what if, what if? Well we could likely turn to the Copyright Act to create some confusion as to who owns the name of the beer. First, the maintenance supervisor likely isn’t employed to brew beer, so the brewing itself was not the kind of work that he was employed to perform, nor was he employed to name beers, so that would be one strike against the brewery’s attempt to employ the Copyright Act protection. The brew was developed at home over the course of years—which would qualify as substantially outside the authorized time and space limits of the brewery. But, when (and how) did he come up with the name for the beer? That may change the analysis. Finally, while we could argue that the work was performed at least in part to serve the employer (otherwise why would he have entered it in the contest), this argument will likely be overshadowed by the fact that it was not the type of work the maintenance supervisor was employed to perform and it was outside authorized space and time limits. Instead of performing the above analysis each time copyrightable materials are created, however, having employees sign “Work Made for Hire Assignment Agreements” may make more sense. I recognize that the job of an attorney is to look at worst-case scenarios; to see a dark cloud over every happy moment. Attorneys do, in fact search for where the liability is hiding, in even the greatest things like craft beer. Knowledge is power, and while the collegial nature of relationships and the rewarding culture of most craft breweries is something that we all appreciate, it’s important to recognize there are small steps that can be taken to protect your product and brand from a potential hurricane of Tawny Alvarez is an issue such as claims that you don’t own the name to an attorney at your flagship brew. Verrill Dana.



publisher’s note

And we’re off...


Welcome to the premiere issue of Craft Brand & Marketing Magazine. You only get to do a first issue once. It's just like when you had your first glass of craft brew. There was a consistency there that spelled the key to your success. Craft brewers and magazine publishers are very much alike. We both have a vision of what we want to create for our customers taste, whether its craft beer or editorial knowledge. As a craft brew master, you look for the best ingredients to use in the brewing process. Tap into your craft brewer’s sense that you're on the right track. And then put in all on the line to see if you received a thumbs up on your liquid creation. We do the same on the magazine side. We look for strong editorial that's laid out in a colorful and eye-appealing way. And we try to keep our subscribers awareness to read each issue from front to back, with the hopes that they will apply one nugget of knowledge from our content to their daily activities. It's all about getting them to come back for more. Getting the word out about your creation is just as important as the brewing process itself, which is what our magazine is all about. This is my eighth launch of a B2B trade magazine, and I'm confident it will be a success. Just like the others I've started over my 20-plus year publishing career. The day we stop learning is the day we should do something else. That's why we want your feedback as we move forward. If you feel you have content that is of interest to our community, forward over to us and we'll put it in our pipeline. We wish you good brewing, health, prosperity and the best of success in the rest of 2017.

David Corson

Craft brewers and magazine publishers are very much alike. We both have a vision of what we want to create for our customers taste, whether its craft beer or editorial knowledge.






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