Ever since the first notion of starting our own brewery crossed our minds, we have been giving a lot of thought to what kind of beer company we would be. But to be perfectly honest, it has only been within the last couple months or so that those conversations have started to take a much more serious and contemplative tone.
Up to this point, it has been little more than cloud talk. Things might pass randomly through one of our respective transoms, and we would throw it out there. We might giggle or laugh a bit at whatever said idea was, but it was rarely anything that was serious or ultimately usable. The three of us each had our own areas we were focusing on, and progress was being made in each of these areas, but Regular Guy Brewing wasn’t really a holistically united entity. We weren’t quite on the same page, and our noses really weren’t anywhere close to the grindstone.
That though, I am ecstatically happy to report, has changed. We have each been busting out our “A” game here lately and a lot of great things have been coming out of it. What do we have to thank for this new boost of unity and inspiration?
The last time we tried, it was a disaster. Pumps froze up. Mash temps couldn’t be held. Propane tanks started sputtering. It was no bueno.
So while it may be an odd thing to admit, but the best thing that could have happened to our burgeoning brewery…has been the inability to actually brew beer.
This has allowed us to take a few months and focus our efforts on the non-brewing side of our operation and future business. Quality in-depth discussions have been had on a variety of key topics. Branding, marketing, business structure, logistics…you name it and we have probably given some well deserved time and consideration to it.
This unexpected winter hiatus has also given me time to do some self-education in other areas of business that I am not very well versed in. Two of the areas I have particularly been focusing on have been brand building and marketing.
Now, coming from a communications and visual media background, the casual outsider might think that I would already know a thing or two about branding and marketing. Well they would be wrong. I have some rough knowledge on the topics that I have gleaned via osmosis over the years, but I have never really delved into the depths of branding analysis or marketing strategy. So, I’ve been reading up on these topics.
An avid Kindle user, I am a big fan of the various e-books that you can find on Amazon. They are short, concise, and usually pretty easy (though not always grammatically consistent) reads. It’s not unusual for me to tear through one or two of these over the course of a night while lying in bed waiting for sleep to invite me into its sweet embrace.
One such book, that I quite enjoyed was “Brand Strategy 101: Your Logo Is Irrelevant – The 3-Step Process to Build a Kick-Ass Brand.”
The book, focuses quite a bit of its attention on how society cycles back and forth between two general perspectives. A ME cycle, in which the individual is viewed as the most important. And a WE cycle, where focus instead is placed on community. The authors claim that these cycles shift back and forth every forty years or so, and that they have been cycling at such a pseudo-predictable rate since the dawn of time (or at least as far back as they could track…who knows if dinosaurs thought in these terms or not…i’d like to think that they did though…it makes me happy to think that dinosaurs were kind of like us…I wonder what they did for marketing campaigns…i imagine a giant ad on the side of a brontosaurus would work…or maybe t-shirts…but could a t-rex even put on a t-shirt with those tiny arms…maybe a pterodactyl could tow a banner behind them through the sky…do you think dinosaurs all spoke the same language…did “RAWR” mean “I’m going to eat you” to one dinosaur and “give me a hug” to another…man that would result in disastrous consequences…what did dinosaurs taste like…did they all taste the same…assuming you had access to a stock of dinosaur meat, how would you cook it…low and slow on the smoker would be the way I’d go…but that’s just me…how long have I been thinking about dinosaurs…man this string of thought has been going on for a while…this is a lot of rambling, even for me….maybe I should digress…good plan Me, let’s do that…end parenthetical sidebar of conciousness)
So as I was saying…there are cycles. Smart companies see these cycles, and adapt their branding and marketing efforts to keep up with these changes in cultural perspective. As such, a company that makes their messaging all about “you” in one cycle, will make it all about “us” in another. According to the book, we are currently in a “WE cycle” and will be for another 30 years or so.
So, given that we are going to be in this cycle for a while, it makes sense for Regular Guy Brewing to keep this in mind as we make our plans for what kind of business and brewery we are going to be. I think we are on a good track on that front. And while we might still be fine tuning what we will be, I can tell you with 100% certainty what we will not be.
We won’t be this:
Let me be upfront and honest. I like Stone Brewing, I love IPAs and I even enjoy their Arrogant Bastard Ale…but we at Regular Guy Brewing have zero intention of being dicks about our product.
We appreciate that our future customers are hard working individuals who are deserving of a quality product to unwind at the end of the day. We want to provide them the means to do that without having their tastes insulted and assaulted.
We also won’t be:
Again, no disrespect to Dogfish Head. They, just like Stone Brewing, have truly been vanguards in the craft brewing industries and their hard work has certainly paved the way for breweries like ours to being a reality.
That said, we do not want to be like Dogfish Head. Their off-centered ales are not what we want to make. Their beers might be good, but we have no interest in being needlessly esoteric. We have no plans of brewing beer for which our customers will require a dictionary and encyclopedia to understand.
We chose the name of our brewery because we wanted it to be perfectly clear who we would be brewing our beer for. We aim to provide a quality craft product that can be enjoyed by regular guys. We respect the regular guys in this world and want to give them a drink that they can truly call their own.
Craft beer. No arrogance. No pretension. That is all.