What Marketing Agencies Can Learn From Craft Breweries

What Marketing Agencies Can Learn From Craft Breweries

The quality found in “craft” marketing


Quick quiz. When I say beer, what companies come to mind? Budweiser? Coors? Miller? Those are the answers I heard in a quick, informal poll around the office and in my neighborhood last week.


Second question, what’s your “favorite” beer? When I asked that question, there was a little overlap, yet several others names came up. Fat Tire, Allagash, Ommegang, and Dogfish Head were some of what I heard.


Final question (for now). What is the common thread with that last list of names? You got it, they’re all produced by microbreweries or considered “craft brews.”


Craft breweries have been popping up in staggering numbers over the last two decades. Initially, this newer entry into the beer market was thought to be a fad, yet in recent years, big time breweries have been forced to take notice.


This graphic does a nice job of showing the growth craft breweries have shared in recent years:

Marketing Craft Brewer lessons














(More information about Craft Brewing Business can be found here.)


It could be argued that craft brewing is not new. It is, rather, the original form of brewing. Case in point, Belgian monks often win “best beer in the world” contests, following secret recipes handed down from generation to generation. The monks brew on behalf of their monasteries, produce the end product in small batches, and price their beer in accordance with the premium item that it is.


Today’s craft brewers act in much the same way – small batches, priced as a premium item. One key difference between today’s craft brewers and the monks are the age-old recipes. Contrary to their Belgian counterparts, today’s craft brewers generally are open to experimenting, playing with flavors, and changing things up to create unique and memorable brews. Anchor Brewery in San Francisco has been producing its “Anchor Christmas Ale” each year since 1975. In those 40 years the brew masters have never used the same recipe. The beer is similar from year to year, yet something is different and unique to each year’s concoction.


New question. Why am I, a marketing and communications guy sharing all of this “stuff” about craft brewing? Well, in recent days, I’ve been a little troubled with a statement I’ve heard countless times over the 20 or so years I’ve been with DeeterUSA. When talking with prospective new clients we have often said that we view New York and Los Angeles-based agencies as our competition. The implication here is that we can go “toe-to-toe” with the big name agencies in public relations and advertising … the Budweisers and Millers of our industry.


While I do agree with that sentiment, I actually think we can take it a step further. Instead of comparing ourselves to these big agencies, I prefer making the comparative between us (and other great, modest sized agencies around the country) to the high-end, highly successful micro brewers. We are nimble in our approach to communications and are able to adjust programming to ensure that we are crafting the best recipe of tactics that strategically support our clients and their products or services offerings. We are pioneering and inventive and willing to go the extra step to make our own brand of “brew” that is truly exceptional … and we are never satisfied. We are always searching for ways to make programming better.


In essence, DeeterUSA is a group of “craft marketing and communications professionals.” And while I am not slamming the big agencies in New York and Los Angeles, I do firmly believe that companies looking for high quality, highly effective public relations, advertising, digital/social support, and more might be well served in looking at agencies in Austin, Texas … Portland, Oregon … or Doylestown, Pennsylvania.




-Drew Deeter

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4 days ago

Deeter USA

50 ... 40 ... 30 ... 20 ... 10 ... SCORE!!!

This morning when going to work, my thoughts were:

- Another week has flown by, even in the stand-still of the coronavirus.

- Negative news far outweighs the positive - I think newscasters must stand in front of a mirror and practice sounding as frightening and disturbing as possible. When did local and world events become show business?

- To add to the worry of one friend with cancer on her face, another with cancer of the brain getting a super chemo boost right now in the hospital, I just learned that a special neighbor will have totally unexpected colon cancer surgery Tuesday! What?

- My husband and I have known 33 people who have died in the past year, 10 were close friends.

- Our business is "hanging in there" after 35 years of diligence, ups and downs, and lots of great experiences. Some clients simply paused to see what was going to happen. Fortunately, others see this as a time to rise above all others and make lemonade.

- Our family has grown up way too fast, and they are all wonderful, unique individuals, very very special to us (I always try to find the positive and this is at the top of the list).

So, I began to think of a football game. Not that I like football very much, I tolerate it. I'm not into pain. I know enough to see the team moving the ball down the field - one play at a time. I compare this to the coronavirus and what we're experiencing now. We must have a game plan. We must be flexible and able to adapt when needed. We move forward a play at a time. Opponents try to stop us. Team members stumble, get hit, get hurt, and leave the game. We continue down the field, otherwise we're out of the game. We MUST get the ball into the end zone if we want to score a touchdown and win.

Some people are content to watch the game. Some tailgate like it's some sort of party. Some play but they fear getting hurt so they don't really give it their all. Others want to be on the team but don't do much. Someone's the water person, some are cheerleaders, some coach. And the game is won by those who work together, give it all they can, keep their eye on the ball as they move it down the field, stay focused, and "can see" the celebration that will happen when they score.

We're all in this pandemic game, whether we choose to be or not. We have to do all we can to get into the end zone. Work as a team, follow the guidelines, take care of one another, follow our coach, and be prepared to leap for joy when we win.

- Linda Deeter
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5 days ago

Deeter USA

We have some fun experiences and enjoy saying, “Every day is different.”

From Kirk today, remembering when we launched KUDOs Granola Snacks ... “Years ago, when I had a full head of hair... shaking hands with the great John Denver. I just spent a couple days in the backcountry with the family... and the guitar. "Rocky Mountain High" has always been a standard, but this summer, for many reasons, it means a helluva lot more. His voice, and his tunes will never be forgotten, at least not in these mountains. We're still playing them, and the notes are bouncing off the rocks and over the streams. True legacy.”
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