What the beer industry can teach us about effective advertising

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Every customer has a certain criteria that must be met before making a purchase decision. The cool thing is, you have the ability to make that decision for them.

All you have to do is sell the only product that meets their criteria!

Let’s look to the beer industry for an example.

small__386631865For decades, brewing companies would advertise their product as fresh, ice-cold and made of “only the best ingredients.” When every brew is perceived as the same, and not one stands out as better than the rest, it’s impossible for the consumer to justify spending more money on one particular brand.

Then the master jumped in!

Claude Hopkins revolutionized the industry with a campaign that changed everything! For the first time, consumers ranked the quality of a product above the price.

How did he accomplish this deceivingly impossible task?

He approached the brewing process with the same keen eye a reporter uses when fishing for a juicy twist to a breaking news story. He posed the cerebral question, “What about your beer is different from your competitors?”

The answer might surprise you! “Not much.”

Every brewery used similar ingredients, mirrored flavorings and had an almost identical brewing process. But what Claude had observed, was that not one single brewery was explaining their process in a way that brought the consumer inside the inner sanctum of the brew house. Every brewer’s methods were symmetrical, but what would happen if those methods were revealed in print?

What if, and with extreme detail, their advertising revealed the painstaking ingredient selection procedures, the miles of copper tubing that was used to pump ice cold spring water and the never ending filtering sequence that guaranteed a crystal clear pour every time?

What Claude was able to do, was define a criteria for what made a quality beer. If a competitors process matched theirs, they certainly weren’t shouting it from their roof tops. Now, and only after showing them exactly what constituted quality, the consumer’s purchase decision was made purely on comparison, and no longer did this brewery have to fight for top spot in the motionless ranking of “only the best ingredients!” They emerged as the brewery who worked harder, and guaranteed quality in every sip.

Claude’s overly descriptive advertising painted a picture of just how hard it is to create a wonderful beer. Suddenly, that work ethic resluted in a beer that was worth the extra five cents per bottle. You can do the same thing in your business. We strive to offer a high quality product at a fair rate, but the costumer is always concerned if they are getting what they paid for. It’s your job to ease their concerns, and give them a sneak peek behind the curtain. If your explanation is convincing enough, your business will set the standard for quality.

Just as Claude was able to do in the beer industry, the opportunity is there waiting for someone to take action.

All you have to do is tell them.



There’s a ton of stuff the beer business can teach us about effective advertising.

The selling of alcohol is one of the oldest professions in the world. After prohibition, many successful men emerged, and their advertising was taken to a whole new level.

Learn from the masters!

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We love getting social while enjoying a wickedly chilled brew!

photo credit: josef.stuefer via photopin cc
photo credit: Atilla1000 via photopin cc

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