At Atlas, we have access to thousands of promotional products to help a brewery or a cider, kombucha, or soda producer grow its business. If you need taphandles, of course, we’ll send you to our friends at Taphandles.com or one of the other producers listed in the Brewer’s Resource Directory, because they’re the best at what they do. But if you need metal tacker signs, bottle openers, keychains, clocks, koozies, table acrylics, backpacks, serving trays, point-of-sale displays, or anything else along those lines, we’re happy to help. With the touch of a button, we can tap into a massive supplier network and find the right product for your needs.
But before we get started on that search for that perfect speical product, we’re going to ask you if you’ve covered the basics: coasters, decals and basic apparel. These are the “must have” fundamental items for the startup brewpub or production facility.
Of course, you should consult with your distributor and follow guidelines in your state regarding premiums, but a sleeve or two of coasters at the bar where your newest tap stands communicates your new offering to dozens or hundreds of potential consumers at that bar—not just the folks who see the tap. Decals turn your customers into your marketing team as they drive around town with your brewery logo on their back window. And a few well-designed but basic apparel pieces given to the right people at the right places (bartenders, perhaps?) can sell more beer, and in your taproom and on your webstore, they sell themselves.
Take coasters, for instance: At one end, a giveaway coaster can be a fancy…heavy weight paperboard, special diecut, embossed, and even repacked so that sleeves of different versions, with different messages, in the same box. But it doesn’t have to be! A basic medium weight coaster, round or square with an attractive full-color designs on both sides can be effective in raising brand awareness and draining kegs at a bar. Plus, many folks collect beer coasters. Collectors move your brand out of the bar and into their homes. Some people are nuts about their coaster collection, including some people at Atlas (Robert guards and cherishes his set of Water Street Brewery (Milwaukee) Christmas coasters like they were rare family photos.
And decals? There are two approaches to decals…and each has its purpose. The first is to print a high quality, outdoor-durable decal on vinyl which is suitable for bumpers, car windows and the like. These more expensive stickers can be sold at a high margin or even given away (to the extent permitted by state law) at the taproom or through your retailers and distributors. Among the most well-known of these is the unique Avery Brewing decal. We’ve seen it all over the country—even in places where it’s still hard to find Avery’s beer. And for higher volume giveaways, there’s a more economical option. Some of our customers produce inexpensive “festival stickers” to hand out at special events such as . . . ummm. . . . festivals. These inexpensive stickers can be included with the final tab in your brewpub. These are typically printed on self-adhesive paper or poly film using a higher-speed flexographic press, and delivered on a perforated roll so staff can pull them off and hand them out one at a time. They’re attractive and work great (it’s amazing how many folks will instinctively put them on their shirts for the day, just like they would an “I gave blood” or an “I voted” sticker). One of our customers, a West Coast kombucha company, uses custom festival stickers for in-store tastings and special events. We were able to print 3 different small festival stickers for them, all repeating on the same roll, so that their logo appeared in three different shapes as shoppers tried—and liked—their product.
And finally, apparel: When someone is wearing your brand (especially someone who is be a beer expert), it speaks! Case in point: we visited the Cinder Block Brewery here in Kansas City a few months ago, the owner/brewer was wearing a Jolly Pumpkin T-Shirt. Of course, we drank Cinder Block’s beer while while we were there, but that shirt inspired us to split a bottle of Calabanza Blanca the next day at our 3:30pm beer break. But that’s nothing, of course, compared to the Free State Brewery T-Shirt. You’ve probably seen it: “Without beer, things do not seem to go as well.” Free State shirts are ubiquitous in Kansas and even Missouri (despite the Bluejackets and William Quantrill). Free State shirts have been spotted all over the world. A friend of ours from western Kansas once reconnected to an old acquaintance in Italy simply because she spotted the Free State Shirt in Venice. A full apparel line with hats, work shirts, and short- and long-sleeve shirts, sold in your taproom and online, is highly recommended, but for those not ready to place that large an order or take on such a sales task, the minimum is a few basic (but well-designed) T-shirts to promote the brand.
Getting your promotional basics in place—coasters, decals, and t-shirts—is not as difficult or as expensive as you might think. Give Atlas a call to discuss your needs and we’ll get started on the basics for you today.