Beer that is not talked about does not sell well

By Ted Wright April 21, 2008


Excellent articles and reporting from this year’s craft brewers conference in San Diego is available from Harry Schuhmacher and his crew at Beer Business Daily. Find them at At this year’s conference, there was a great panel of craft brewers talking about differentiation and “beer buzz”. Later, Fizz was asked to comment and this is what we said –

In our realm, differentiation is critical because it can drive sales. However, differentiation can become silly* as entrepreneurs seek to enter a market but all existing positions seem to be taken.

I share with you the two tests that Fizz uses when working with clients on differentiation:

1) “WGAF” An acronym that stands for “Why should someone Give A Fuck?”. This test flows from Nietzsche’s famous comment that I paraphrase in the following way – once humans understand the “why” of something the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “how” will fall into place. This test forces a supplier to articulate a compelling story as to why a consumer would exchange their precious resources for that brewer’s product.  

2) “Interesting, Relevant and Authentic”Differentiation is great but for the “different” story to be shared by one customer to another it has to meet the three criteria below. Fail on any of the three criteria and the beer won’t get talked about. Beer that is not talked about does not sell well.   

“Interesting” – The story has to be interesting to those Influencer beer consumers otherwise they will not pay attention.  

“Relevant” – The story has to be relevant to someones beer drinking life. Irrelevant = not talked about.  

“Authentic” – The story has to be immediately recognizable to the consumer as “authentic” to the beverage brand or category. Fail in this and a brand spends all of it’s time convincing consumers that what it is saying is “true” rather than spending it’s time sharing their brand story with as many people as possible.  

*We were working our gin client’s booth three years ago at WSWA. On our right, Ed McMahon’s vodka and on our left, vodka in a replica Kalashnikov bottle. When Ed and “that gun guy” are launching in a category you know it is going to be “silly” for sometime to come. The fruit beer craze of 2000-2001 would be another example.

We look forward to your comments.

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