WHAT COMES AFTER COVID-19 FOR CRAFT BRANDS?
Back to Business… as Unusual. Craft and Artisan Brands in stress; needing our support and inspiration right now.
As SIP (Shelter-In-Place) behavior is lifted across the country, what can we do to resuscitate the craft market? Some people say that the decade’s long run of new craft distilleries (growing in numbers and share of market) has been dealt a death-blow because of Covid-19. Survival and ultimately their success will be born from a new set of behaviors that include nimbleness, ingenuity and flexibility. We think many will be rewarded for having developed a strong brand loyalty. We hope it’s a nice pay-back for all their investments and being a great community neighbor by doing things like providing hand sanitizers to essential workers. What’s next? What do you think?
When SIP began, tasting room sales for craft distilleries and small wineries died overnight. Many of our craft customers simply had to shutter over night; pre-Covid sales had been gained by on-premise sales and experiences. Very few had substantial off-premise channels. If they did have other channels, these were most likely other on-premise locations, which were also shuttered.
You have to hand it to the many craft entrepreneurs who converted distilleries into hand sanitizing products. True to form, their customers were the same neighbors who supported their business: local, front line people at hospitals, fire and police departments. It should also be said that many products were donations.
We should all be proud of this segment of our business. That nimbleness, we believe, will pay dividends in the long term by ingratiated these community heros. In the long run, this may prove to be a brilliant marketing strategy. What they’ve done is to emphasize the single thing that made them so very attractive in the first place: BE LOCAL-BUY LOCAL.
What other ideas can CRAFT distilleries leverage NOW that shine a light on BE LOCAL-BUY LOCAL?
The urgent thing right now is for us to make sure these incredibly creative and community-based businesses can weather the storm we’re in RIGHT NOW. Craft distillers rely on the idea of socializing and sharing good quality products with friends. Maybe the back-to-normal practice of coming in for an on-premise experience won’t happen for a while. Until then, what can we do to help?
What can we do to help them take advantage of the current situation, perhaps with a special limited-edition premixed, TO-GO cocktail version? What would the vessel be? Maybe something better than a large red Solo® cup? What do you think?
That’s what we’re imagining; let’s start a conversation.