I don’t know about you, but when I think craft beer very specific and detailed images come to my head – of both the product and types of people drinking it.
Fundamentally, we are different, both in terms of what we expect from our product of choice and how view ourselves. This is great, and it is what has fostered such a unique, large and prosperous industry. Without these beer evangelists, multi-national conglomerates would have continued to have monopolistic control of a massive market which they exploited by continuing to offer terrible product.
One thing which has never remediated in my mind is consideration of who we/these people become between times of consumption. If we are to assume that the majority of hardcore craft beer enthusiasts consume their favourite beverage at the weekends, who do they become during the week?
Their passion for the higher quality, better taste and differentiation of craft beer over the high production, low quality, market leading alternative is crystal clear. Their support for a more expensive product because of its superiority is certain. Yet during the week it seems they regress to the mean and consume the same mass-market garbage as everyone else.
Something just doesn’t feel right
For people who have built their image of self perception on a punk ethos of higher quality, anti-commercialisation and an altogether better product drinking a Coke Monday to Friday it doesn’t make sense. Craft beer is a movement, soft drinks are mass marketing and commercialisation at its finest. That just don’t sit right with me.
But there are no alternatives.
Craft beer drinkers love the product because of its artisanal quality. They can taste the care, love and affection which has went in to creating each sip. From the feel of the glasses they consume the product from, to an unparalleled level of thought and scrutiny which goes into the size of the head, the aroma and the visuals of the liquid itself – craft beer drinkers are in search of brewing nirvana and they won’t give up until they find the holy grail.
But it strikes me as odd they abandon this endeavour between points of consumption. It seems comparable to a vegetarian operating under those principals at weekends while forging themselves on meat during the week, or someone who believes in Democracy opting for communism Monday to Friday.
It leaves a bad taste in the mouth, pun intended.
But none of the craft brewers have recognised this opportunity. Their unbridled passion for creating great beer ensures that is all they focus on.
And I can’t understand that
It’s why they have created superior products and changed the beer landscape.
But the market for fulfilling their followers taste buds between points of alcohol consumptions is exponentially larger. Coca Cola can’t seduce the sanguine requirements of these people in the same way craft beer has and it never will, because indiviudals don’t have the same reverance, love and effection for it.
What we need is a product which has received the same depth of care in it’s development as craft beer. We require an alternative brand which enables us to maintain our image of self perception. We have a thirst for an aspirational brand which enables us to consume the same level of artisanal craftsmanship in each molecule in our soft drinks.
Current mass produced soft drinks will never be able to provide this and a differentiated competitor will emerge, seek and destroy. Market share will be wrangled by focusing on those who know quality when they taste it.
For the second time, customer affection for a new interpretation of a product which has been around for hundreds of year will be the deciding factor in what others will base their own choices on. Sugar saturated monstrosities will feel the force of sharper taste buds finding something which loves them back equally.
The key to success in beverage market is fanatical support. The key to finding fanatical support is obsessing over each and every ingredient included in your product. It’s in focusing on the only thing that matters – creating a world class product which delights consumers by giving them something they’ve never had before; the manufacturers attention.
Coca Cola and their brethren may try to portray themselves as customer focussed but these are the same people who have caused the type-2 diabetes and obesity epidemics. While their focus has been on growing the bottom line their contribution to society has been an increase in average waist sizes and a significant detrimental impact to our health. They don’t care about us, they care about cash. While their products have made us increasingly unhealthy, we have focused our attention on finding better products in other areas.
This same line of thinking will proliferate every facet of our lives – this will be most keenly felt in areas which affect our health