my two cents....
I know it is a very tired metaphor BUT
"You don't sell the steak, you sell the sizzle!"
I have been in the craft brewing world since 1993 and the theme I see repeated again and again and again is:
(wait for it!)
............sell the story.
Kinda' anticlimatic, I know.
I grew up in the craft beer world in Fort Collins, Colorado.
We had several great breweries making beers.
Personally, at that time I loved drinking New Belgium Wheat because it came from a small, quirky, local brewery. (They were actually small then!, I used to get my home brew bottles from them!) The beer in the bottle was good, real good. The label art made me think of summer and sweet, easy times. I loved the story of the brewery: started in a garage and at the time in a old railroad depot. Bottom line: it was all-around cool!
First off, you NEED to make a good beer, period.
Your marketing needs to be the next step. It carries the beer in the bottle. It gives the consumer a story to muse about as they drink it. The beer and the marketing reinforce each other.
You are selling an experience, a thought, a storyline. Your physical brewery and public area MUST tell that story.
Your packaging MUST back that up. Your beer MUST beer good enough that, aside from the story, people want to taste and experience it again.
I guess in my melon it comes down to:
You are not brewing a beer, you are creating an experience, selling a story.
Please bear in mind, this is just my opinion.
Glacier Brewing Company
"who said what now?"