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Craft Beer Brand Development

BlackDog Strategy & Brand


ALBANY BOSTON BUFFALO 518.621.2686 617.671.0431 716.898.0874 email:



The craft beer market just got really crowded. New competitors are storming your market and corporate brands are getting pretty crafty at masquerading their swill as artisan brew. If your vision is bigger than “local” you’ll need a kick-ass brand that transcends regions, connects, and keeps the craft-drinking enthusiasts loyal.

Quite simply a BlackDog brand aligns working cultures and buying markets around a Big !dea* that enthuses and compels.

BlackDog is in the business of changing the game and getting results. We excavate iconic brands that inspire engagement, shift power, grow markets, innovate forward, and compete to thrive. Not to be confused for spin and hype campaigns.

-Owns a distinct idea beyond “local” that reflects your unique philosophy and stands for something interesting in a bland, brand world. If you make something you’re proud of, you should say something you’re proud of.

Some people wait for the phone to ring; not us. We’ve reverse engineered the RFP (Request For Proposals) process. This is a Request For Work. It’s a call to committed renegades that purposes to do what no one else had the courage to do. It’s a shout out to anyone, leading anything that is driven by a purpose, has a quality product or service, and good people…but not the traction or results that they should have.

WHY BLACKDOG Who develops your brand is as important as the decision to invest in brand development. We get it; we activate, represent and enliven a spirited brand of our own every day. Never trust a bland “brand mill” to position you for brand insistence. All brand houses are not equal. Many brand houses seek projects. BlackDog seeks partnerships and accepts challenges. As a matter of fact BlackDog has only accepted 31% of the opportunities that we have been offered since 2009. Who we work with is as important to us as how we work. Results matter.

*Big !dea: Your humanized and relevant strategic advantage captured in a simple concept that connects with decision makers.

A BlackDog Brand…

-Raises genuine awareness by explicitly distinguishing what you do differently, how you do it and why your brew matters….ensuring a valuable piece of the craft beer pie. -Overcomes the roadblocks hindering your long-term & short-term goals, holding back expansions plans, and keeping you from the fridges of the thirsty many. -Drives and sustains sales, inspires preference, and overcomes the inherently disloyal nature of the ever curious and experimental craft beer aficionado. -Aligns your brewing culture and attracts likeminded, zealous, inspired talent that shares your values and purpose. -Takes a stand for relevant issues that matter to you, reflect your brand, and support your supporters- the human experience, the legalities of brewing, sustainability, locally-sourced agriculture, organic farming, GMO labeling, the arts, social responsibility,…

We double-dog-dare you to find a brand house with the breadth of capabilities that we have. Or the results. Or the references. Ver. 101

©2012 BlackDog Strategy & Brand

What Makes

BlackDog Credible?

People are our business plan. BlackDog is financed by customers. We are outsiders. Want to know why so many brands look alike? Well-

intentioned people hire the same industry specific firms, over and over and over. We refuse to “own” an industry niche. We have ears to hear what everyone on the outside wants to know and needs to hear.

We’ve taken an oath to do no harm. We aren’t part of the spin and hype, empty promises, noise-making problem. We’ll leave you better than we found you.

We are holistic, multi-disciplinary systems thinkers who anticipate

natural consequences and keep a weather-eye out for the unintended ones. We are always asking “what could go wrong if this social experiment were to fail”?

We DO NOT brand efforts that do not and will not contribute to the world that we want to live in 20, 30, or more years down the line. We choose our clients carefully. We both have everything to gain by your success. Results matter.

We align and engage working communities that get things done, with

We eschew “cookie cutter” approaches. We don’t have any “swanky”, self important, trademarked names for our brand building processes. We haven’t settled on one sure brand generating method. We’re not convinced that anyone should given that every brand initiative that we’ve ever wrangled is so remarkably different than every other.

We are good eggs; genuine and real. We make a habit of bringing our

humanity to work every day. There isn’t anything haughty or indifferent about us. We are prepared to contribute positively to healthy exchanges and the professional work culture.

We humanize brands. Brands that connect with people are inspired by

people. We take the time to talk to all the right people. The people that make it, sell it, buy it, and don’t buy it. Our projects evolve and take shape through exploration and dialogue.

We know that the better you are the better you look. We

operationalize brand experiences. We are strangers to the social constructs, systems, processes, and language that organizations accept and often can’t see past. Our fresh eyes synthesize robust and scalable next practices; signature innovations, and emergent solutions that create new approaches to delivering your unique, people-centric, brand promise.

We are bold, daring, vulnerable, open-minded, and forwardthinking; because selling out, mimicry, and the good ‘ole tried and true method of doing things the way they’ve always been done just isn’t for us and mediocre should never be for you.


We will never leave you hanging or wanting more. It’s not our way.

We’re invested. Once we are on, we are all in. We work thoughtfully,

We don’t brand bullshit. Expressed explicitly, our fearless position ensures

passionately, and generously. We aren’t coasting on anyone’s laurels or riding on yesterday’s victories. We are fully engaged at every phase.

We never lose sight of the fact that as we are building your brand, we’re amplifying ours. What we say about you says everything about us.

We stay ahead of the curve and stand behind our work. We aren’t your

average merry band of creatives. We double-dog-dare you to find a brand house with the breadth of capabilities that we have. Or the results. Or the references.

that your brand will never be confused for shallow, disingenuous, or irrelevant bullshit.

Going To Church Doesn’t Make You A Christian Anymore Than Going To A Garage Makes You A Mechanic. Lawrence J Peter

“I tell you all of this to tell you this - you need BlackDog. I'm not in the practice of doing commercials for my "vendors". But BlackDog is not just a vendor. They have so surpassed my expectations and hopes for this project. And they have made a significant impact on the future of our company. And these are things that I want for you, too. I encourage you to reach out to Gloria and BlackDog Strategy today. You won't be sorry.”

“BlackDog doesn’t just create strategies; they create new.” Thomas R. Ulbrich, Executive Director UB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL)

Josh Bouk, Senior Vice President, Strategic Services Veramark Technologies

“BlackDog has a passion for breaking down barriers and for guiding your organization to be the best in the business.”

“BlackDog made (and continues to make with ongoing support) the "big idea" of Sustoil a reality. Many of you in academia, government, and private industry have dreams that you would like to begin living. As such I feel I must share my high praise for Dr. Gloria Zemer and her firm, BlackDog Strategy & Brand. If you are interested in brand clarity, brand centric unity, and brand driven innovation this is the firm to call. I am grateful to the BlackDog team.”

Gretchen Galliford, Patient Experience Director, Catholic Health

“BlackDog Strategy & Brand successfully designed and implemented energetic strategies in the spirit of “One World One Dream” that respected the complex and diverse interests, markets, human services, investments, expectations, and experiences at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. BlackDog inspired consensus within the hearts and minds of the many interests and people in place to execute and express the designed strategies. BlackDog’s strength is a savvy business acumen, warm hearts, and helping hands.” 祝 建康快乐 Lui Yang Vice President, BOCOG

Dr. Malcom Nevens, Environment and Energy Policy Manager, Sustoil

“Their work is not about developing a new logo or tagline; it's about tearing off layers to expose the core, the very soul of your firm. What really matters? Why are you in business? How are you different from everyone else? How does the rest of your team perceive this? How do your customers perceive this?”

David Fiegel, President Blackbird Asset Services, LLC

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