Innovative PR tactics for launching new beverage brands

by | Apr 23, 2024 | Public Relations

The craft beer market continues to boom on an international scale, accounting for around 25 percent of beer sales in total and boasting literally thousands of brands from the small artisanal operators to the multinational brewers looking to get in on the action.

This is good and bad news for newcomers, as while there is a large audience for beverage products in this growing niche, there’s also a seemingly insurmountable level of competition to contend with. 

That’s why you need to be savvy about how you promote your fledgling beer brand—so here are some tactics to put into action that should get people talking about it for the right reasons.

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Image Source: Pexels

Managing media relations immediately

Media relations cannot simply be established and maintained by sending generic press releases to every editor you can find an email for. Instead this requires a strategic approach, including a combination of tailored storytelling and active engagement with the right people who specialize in craft beer coverage. 

Here’s how you can master this approach:

  • Identify key commentators: Research and compile a list of journalists and influential bloggers who have a dedicated audience interested in craft beers. For instance, if you’re hoping to crack the UK’s burgeoning beer market, the likes of Emma Inch and Pete Brown might be on your radar, while in the US there are respected beer writers like Beth Demmon and John Holl to liaise with.
  • Personalize your pitch: Tailor your messages based on the journalist’s previous articles or blogs. Mention specific pieces they’ve written when you pitch them your product, and make sure it genuinely connects with their interests. If you’ve not taken the time to do your homework, don’t be surprised if they give you short shrift!
  • Create compelling press materials: Your press kit should include high-quality photos of your products, background information about your brewery, unique selling points of your new beverage lineup, and personal stories from the founders.
  • Offer exclusive content: Propose exclusive tastings or first-access reviews to give media insiders something special that they can offer their audiences.

It’s also important to ensure that your early decisions are backed up by hard data, rather than wishful thinking, because people in the biz who know and love beer will be able to smell the whiff of BS from a mile away—so you need to have a firm foundation in things like the keg sizes, pour sizes and pricing models you intend to adopt. 

It’s easy to glean insights on craft beer prices to ensure you’re coming to market with a product that’s both delicious and competitive, so don’t be shy about highlighting your business acumen alongside your passion for a good brew as well.

Amplifying consumer trust with social proof

Social proof is a powerful psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions and opinions of others reflect correct behavior. This tactic can be especially effective in the craft beer market, where new consumers often rely on recommendations. 

Here’s how you can leverage social proof to enhance your brand’s launch:

  • Encourage user reviews: Actively encourage your first customers to leave honest reviews on platforms like Untappd or RateBeer. People are generally pretty tuned into the process of picking up on feedback before they commit to making a purchase—with one survey suggesting 70 percent of us will check out up to 6 reviews prior to pulling the trigger.
  • Showcase testimonials: Feature testimonials prominently on your website and social media platforms. Highlight positive experiences from credible individuals within the craft beer community.
  • Utilize user-generated content: Encourage consumers to post photos with your beverage on social media by creating a branded hashtag for them to use. Share these posts on your own platforms to build community and authenticity—alongside other types of UGC.
  • Collaborate with influencers: Partner with the right influencers who are genuine craft beer enthusiasts. Their endorsement can lend credibility and widen your reach significantly. This is a tried and tested method, and one which has seen a 53 percent rise in spending by brands in recent years.

Wrapping up

A two-pronged attack that courts traditional media with user engagement is a good way for any new beverage brand to put its stamp on a sphere that’s overstuffed with other options, so start planning now and choose your partners carefully to get the best results.

Jessica Perkins
Jessica Perkins is a writer and SaaS marketing consultant who helps businesses scale up their marketing efforts. She is obsessed with learning and also is passionate about sculpting.