Hardly a week goes by now where we aren’t receiving some kind of announcement regarding a branding update. Last month it was Brooklyn Brewery who unveiled an updated look, the first in 28 years. Just days before, Ninkasi Brewing unveiled new label artwork for three of its flagship offerings. Others too, like Bell’s Brewery, Stevens Point Brewery, Full Sail Brewing, among others, have already announced similar refreshes this year.
So at the 2016 Craft Brewers Conference, held last week in Philadelphia, Brewbound asked several attendees for their thoughts on the recent uptick in craft rebrands and how companies should approach the process of updating their looks.
Driving the rebranding efforts, respondents said, is a surge in competition and a fight for shelf placements. With 4,400 breweries currently operating in the U.S., the value of owning space on sagging retail shelves has never been higher, and the battle to stand out never more fierce.
Several interviewees also suggested that many of the of branding efforts were being introduced by established breweries who, after a couple decades, are in search of a ways to unify their look under a distinct brand identity.
But updating a brand’s image also comes with some inherent risk, and many respondents cautioned against making drastic changes. While a simple refresh to label art may help a product get attention, a company could run the risk of confusing customers or, worse yet, driving drinkers away from the brand.
Watch the video above to hear what some CBC attendees believe are the keys to a successful rebrand.