How To Sell More Craft Brewery Merchandise: Our 12 Tips
Customers love to talk about your beer. Printed merchandise is another nice way to start the conversation. Craft brewers have people waiting with bated breath for their latest offerings and releases. Beer drinkers love to show their support for their favourite brews by proudly repping brewery logos on their go-to t-shirt, trucker cap or canvas tote bag. Creating a solid line up of merchandise for your brewery is a great way to build brand awareness and to create another revenue stream, aside from the sale of beer.
1. Show it off
Put your merch on display where everyone who comes to your taproom can see it, or so it is easily found on your website. Display it in an appealing way that will entice customers to want to buy it. We recommend buying wooden coat hangers from Kmart to hang tops on. A simple thing like using wooden coat hangers will make your merch display look much more thought out than if you had used plastic coat hangers. Keep the display organised and clearly display the product prices.
- Would you like a t-shirt with that?
- Would you like a t-shirt with that?
This is a great tip to up your merchandise sales. List your merchandise products on your menu. When customers are browsing your drink options, they might just buy a t-shirt at the same time. We’ve also heard of craft breweries who offer a special combo deal for customers who buy a t-shirt & beer at the same time.
- Make your merch your uniform
- Make your merch your uniform
Craft breweries often have casual work attire and do not enforce uniforms. We suggest giving your staff merchandise as part of their uniform and the option to buy more merch at a discounted price. Your staff will look great in your merch and will become strong brand ambassadors when out in public. It also reminds your customers to look at your merch when they see the service staff wearing an epic t-shirt!
4. Exit through the giftshop
Sometimes, all it takes to make a sale is asking if the customer has checked out your merch line. Lots of your customers will want merch to mark their trip to your brewery. Place a merch stand near your entrance and put a staff member on it when it’s busy to encourage customers to make a purchase. We recommend suggesting at the end of brewery tours that customers stop by your merch area, or you could put your latest t-shirt design on your table talkers, so customers can check them out while they wait for their order.
- Good design is marketed, great design is sold
Take the time to invest in the designs of merchandise. We recommend having a standard logo tee option, but often your most popular merch will have an artwork that has more colour and is a bit more out there. You can also usually charge more for t-shirts that are more original. Think about the effort that you put into the making of your beer, or designing the artwork on your bottle, this same consideration will lead to a popular merch line.
- Shoot it & share it
We highly recommend taking good flat lay and model shots of your merchandise. These photos will help to sell your merch on your website, but also make great content on your social media. When sharing images of your merch on your social media, put the link where customers can buy the product in the image caption or use shoppable links, this will help to drive traffic to your website & to elicit sales.
- This t-shirt is strictly limited edition
In the same way that your customers love your small-batch beer releases, give them some limited edition merch to wear too. You could number each of the swing tags out of 50 to help communicate the exclusivity of this tee. Limited edition t-shirts are the sort of item that will be framed and go straight on the wall in the man cave.
- Sell merch at beer festivals
Where possible, we highly recommend offering merchandise at the next beer festival you attend. Ask the AWOP team to add your merch products as hotkeys on your AWOP readers and watch the sales fly in. We’ve found that items such as headwear are very popular at beer festivals, as they’re easy to transport, are one size fits all, are relatively cheap to buy and if it’s a hot day will protect people from the sun. We’ve also found that merch is a great way to get a few more sales at the end of a beer festival when you’re no longer able to sell alcohol but customers still have $33.10 on their AWOP to use up.
9. Give it away
Custom branded merch is a great thing to use for giveaways on social media, or at your brewery. The more people who are wearing your merch the better. There are lots of creative campaigns that you could use to encourage user-generated content that you could then use on your social media. For example, an idea could be that your beer drinkers share posts of themselves enjoying your beers in picturesque locations, the best post wins a free t-shirt.
- Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
Further to the last point, you’re not allowed to offer alcohol as a prize for gambling activities, such as raffles, sweepstakes or prize competitions. However, you are allowed to give away merchandise. You could create a pint loyalty card for brewery goers, every 15 pints they could get a piece of merchandise.
11. One happy family
Although the whole family won’t be able to drink your beers, they might still want to rep your merch. Onesies are a popular item for many breweries, so are pet accessories, such as dog bandanas or leashes. Other items such as branded frisbees could be a good option for humans or pets!
- Price it right
A good mindset to have for brewery merch is to see it as a marketing tool. Selling a t-shirt at a cheaper price might mean you don’t make as much profit off each sale, but the cheaper price could result in far more sales. More t-shirt sales mean more people advertising your product. The more people who see your brand out and about will mean more have your brewery at the top of their minds. Build an army of brand ambassadors and let them do the work for you.
To get your brewery merchandise underway, fill out the form below and we can provide you with some pricing and visual mockups, then we can bring your merch to life!
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