I love Dogfish Head… a lot. And it’s not just the deliciousness of their exquisite and eccentric libations. Founder Sam Calagione and his team have ingrained their “off-centered” brand throughout the company – first and foremost in their beer recipes, but also throughout the production line and in their marketing. Good beer and a good brand is nice living.
They recently announced that the latest batch of IBU-heavy 120 Minute IPA won’t be released to the masses because it didn’t pass their taste test. Sometimes the yeast doesn’t cooperate and you get a sub par product (I once brewed an IPA that tasted like PVC because of minor faults of my own but I swear it was mostly the yeasts’ fault). I’ve had other microbrews where one year’s batch varied significantly from the previous year in a negative way. Kudos to Dogfish for biting the bullet on this expensive write-off (a single 12 oz. bottle goes for about $10). The fact is, Dogfish’s off-centered approach is a perfect fit with social media. They tell their fans and followers exactly what’s up – good or bad. Their honest, engaging approach has spawned an active community of loyal consumers who gawk at inferior brews and are incredibly loyal to the craft brew movement. Plus, it’s nice when one of your favorite brands responds back to you within a few minutes.
Let’s be honest, Dogfish doesn’t have the marketing dollars to compete against the big brands, Budweiser, Miller and Coors, or even Sam Adams (who only holds about 1% of the market share). What they do have is an incredible brand that is genuinely translated throughout their social media assets to their Facebook page’s 69,000+ fans and their 20,000+ followers on Twitter, all while Sam visits on and off premise samplings. All are perfect channels for the Dogfish brand.
Seems like an easy formula: create awesome products, be true to yourself and be true to your consumers.
Want another pint of craft brew goodness from Antler? Check out 8 craft brews to follow on Facebook.