Can you spot the difference?

Pictured above are 5 beers from 5 different independent breweries.

  • They are all Pale Ales
  • They are brewed using the finest ingredients, and local hops
  • They brew only small batches so it’s always fresh
  • It’s packaged onsite and delivered to the local market.
  • The brew team are passionate about beer
  • The company is part of the local community
  • The owners left their jobs in IT to follow their passion in craft beer.

Sound familiar? Well that’s because you could be talking about any one of a hundred or so Craft breweries around the country these days. Of course 5 or 10 years ago, this was an interesting and exciting story, but with so many breweries around these days, it’s becoming increasingly hard to stand out.
But, I hear you say, “We are different”. Well are you? That’s great if you are, so let’s just put it to the test. Grab a pen and list 5 things that make your brewery and beer different than any other small independent brewery. Make sure you are honest about it, don’t just say our beers are better, because that is subjective of course.

In the bid to stand out, some brewers are going for crazy styles and you can see that being pushed all over the place. The race to be the juiciest NEIPA, or the thickest Milkshake IPA, or the craziest inclusions of flavours that you can come up with, that’s not different, that’s just experimentation.
The question is not so much about what makes your BEERS different, it is about what make your BUSINESS different? Why would someone chose to do business with you?

If it’s purely geographical, that can work when you are the only venue around, but what happens when other breweries move in? Will they still come to you?
The craft beer industry have been riding a wave for the last few years, with increased interest and growth in the market, but this can’t last for ever. In fact we are already seeing some casualties with a number of breweries closing both locally and overseas. Some of these weren’t fringe players either they were big players . In Australia alone we have had 40 breweries close in the last 4 years, so that’s nearly 1 a month and there is more to come.


Most breweries have moved to cans for their packaging these days, so there is no competitive advantage there. Can Art can play a part in selling your beer off the shelf, but there are plenty of funky looking designs these days. Probably your biggest selling point here is your Branding and if you have done this well, you may have a bit of an edge over your competitors, but what is in a “Brand”.


Branding is way more than a logo, or a consistent design or colour scheme. Branding is the essence of your business, it’s who you are, it’s what you stand for, it’s how people see your business, it’s how you see your own business, it’s what attracts people to your business and what keeps them loyal to you. It’s the connection between your customers and you.

Sometimes it’s hard to conceptualise what a brand is, until you see it demonstrated somewhere else. One brand which is easy to get your head around is Ferrari. Just the mere mention of the word, already has people conjuring up thoughts of the brand. No doubt you have already thought of something like the trademark Scarlett Red colour, the Dancing Horses on the crest, or the sleek designs of the car. It’s interesting to note that the Colour isn’t even technically part of the car, but for a lot of people that colour is just associated with the brand, even to the point where people say “Red cars go faster”.

So what does your BRAND look like. What does it say about you and your Business? Do you even have a brand, or do you just have a logo and some can designs?

Standing Out

Trying to stand out in a competitive market is always going to be hard, especially when you don’t have any real points of difference. Remember the 5 Pale Ales? We are not talking about beers though, we are talking about what make your BUSINESS stand out?

Want to know one brewer that stands out, amongst the 600 or so breweries around the country? Wildflower Brewing! Do I need to say anymore?

What makes you different from your competitors? Take some time to think about. It will be hard and if you are honest with yourself, you might find that you actually can’t come up with anything at all which is fine. You might think to yourself, we are doing OK, we are punching out some good beers, and we have got plenty of local support, we are paying the bills and enjoying what we do. But how long will that last? What happens when another brewery (or 3-4) open up down the road, or start selling their beer in your market. Will you survive? Will you continue to grow, or will you be one of the causalities?

Time to shine

So you want to stand out, but you are not sure how to go about it. First up, Grab a pen and try and list 5 things that make your brewery and beer different than any other small independent brewery.  Then start thinking about how you can start playing to those strengths in everything that you do which will in turn help you start thinking about your brand. Of course if it all gets to hard and you need some help you can reach out to someone with some experience in this area. Someone with Marketing, Branding or Business experience that also understands the industry that you work in.

We have been working with small businesses for over 20 years helping them to STAND OUT by using effective marketing strategies. We love working with the Craft Beer industry and we would be happy to talk to you to see how we can can help you too. Contact us today for an obligation free chat.