As the craft beer industry grows beyond expectations, and enthusiasts around the world take a swig of a brand new beer, craft brewers struggle to find the upper-hand. With so many new competitors, how do you stand out, and make sure craft beer enthusiasts are rating your beer, and not your competitor’s, on Untappd?
Of course, making a great beer should be your starting place. But if no one picks it off the shelf and tastes it, it won’t make the cut. This is where great design comes in. In a discussion among craft beer professionals, one quote stood out: “You can sell bad beer with good packaging, but it’s a lot harder to sell good beer with bad packaging.” The message is clear: the way your bottle looks is your first impression, and it should be good enough to get the customer to pick your bottle off the shelf.
The reality is that the craft beer world has a long and interesting history with design. At the beginning, craft brewers had a tendency to ask someone local, think a friend or an artist, to do their packaging for them. Mostly, this was done to save money, and because the design wasn’t the priority.
This tendency, however, had unseen consequences. It led to highly creative and unusual designs. In a twist of luck, this is exactly what customers were looking for. Why? Because early on craft beer enthusiasts, and many nowadays, sought out something completely different than the hundredth lager beer that tasted the same. The design of craft beers was so different, that it pulled them in.
What About Now?
However, as the craft beer world becomes bigger and bigger, this advantage in design is slowly becoming its own downside. With hundreds of craft beers populating the shelves in stores, the very unique, different, and creative packaging sometimes get lost in the overcrowded shelf.
Today, the craft beer industry proves to be a playground for designers – where there are none of the usual limitations, and creativity is key. But finding the best way to stand out amidst so many unique designs becomes a challenge, and a problem, for craft brewers.
In spite of the challenging nature of developing the right design, it should be a focus for craft brewers. A recent Nielsen Study found that two-thirds of American craft beer buyers say a beer’s packaging is “very” or “extremely” important. Clearly, craft brewers should not underestimate the power of persuasive packaging.
What Does This Mean for Your Craft Beer?
The craft beer industry’s interesting history with design has led to a world where creativity dominates, and norms are thrown out the window. The options are, thus, endless. The only goal? Telling the client what makes your brewery worth it, and why they should pick your craft beer off the shelf.
At DesignBro, we believe every craft brewer deserves a great design, for an accessible price. Designers at DesignBro are hand-picked, experienced and are well-versed in craft beer designs. So, if you understand the importance of design for your craft beer – this may be the perfect time to take the leap and get your beer looking as good as it tastes. Start your project today, and receive quality designs within days.
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.