What does BrewDog do then – brew things with a bit of bite, I suppose?
Correct. BrewDog is a self-styled ‘punk brewer’ with a flair for courting controversy. In the last few years the brand has turned out some heady brews and provocative campaigns, including three separate claims to the title ‘World’s Strongest Beer’ and a beverage sold in promotional ‘bottles’ made from stuffed squirrels. We kid you not.
Not your average brewmeisters then – they sound like the shock-jocks of the beer world.
I think they’d prefer shock-Scots – the brand hails from Aberdeen, Scotland, and has emerged as one of the top dogs in the rapidly growing ‘craft beer’ industry.
Och aye! And what have the naughty punks at BrewDog been up to lately?
Well, the brand just launched its third public share offering – Equity for Punks III, to give it its official title – allowing its fanatical fan-base another chance to literally buy into the brand. Being a shareholder entitles you to special discounts on beer and an invite to BrewDog’s punk AGM. Which we imagine must be a little more stimulating than most shareholder get-togethers.
Did they do anything to promote the launch?
They drove a tank through central London. Around the Bank of England. Trailing a ‘mini-army’ of BrewDog fans.
A tank? Of course – how else would you launch a public share offering.
Quite… Goodness knows what outgoing Bank of England Governor Mervyn King thought of the affair – perhaps that his successor had decided to speed up the transfer of power with a beer-fuelled coup.
In any case, backed by the brand’s expert blitzkrieg on social networks, the stunt proved a real hit, rallying hop-headed investors who poured £1million into the company in just 24 hours – a healthy assault on Brewdog’s ambitious £4million target.
So what does all this have to do with content?
Great content and a clearly defined identity are the cornerstones of BrewDog’s marketing success; the brand has its own video channel, a print magazine and has commissioned a TV show about the booming US craft beer movement.
BrewDog proudly eschews traditional advertising, with company founder, James Watt, quoted as saying: “I would rather take my money and set fire to it. It’s the antithesis of everything we stand for and everything we believe in. It’s a medium that is shallow, it’s fake and we want nothing to do with it.’
They’ve instead harnessed the power of editorial engagement to consolidate an authentic, controversy-courting punk attitude, driving massive press and social coverage, and building an amazingly passionate network of beer-loving brand ambassadors.
The brand is also very good at keeping up the conversation with its fans and involving them in everything it does. BrewDog has already taken a big step into co-curated product development by creating #MashTag, the world’s first Twitter beer, the finer details of which were selected by the brand’s following. The latest share offering is yet another way that BrewDog is fostering ever-closer relationships with its consumers. We’ll raise a glass to that.