Create Your Ecosystem

True story.

I was in a Quarterly Huddle* with Rob and Rita last week when I noticed something interesting. They sell, on average, around $27k in merchandise a month.

Yep, you read that correctly, $27,000 in merchandise per month.

Important note: No online sales, no DTC… this is merchandise sold out of a single location.

To add insult to injury, they have an amazing food program and killer beer.

I know, I’m proud to call them a customer.

At the end of the meeting Rita asked: we heard that package beer to-go sales in taprooms are slowing down, are you seeing this?

I paused for a minute.

Now stay with me here, if this brewery is doing $27,000 per month in merchandise sales, just imagine how much food and beer sales they are doing. Think big, like real big.

Still pausing.

At this point, I was half trying to stop myself from saying something offensive and half trying not to vomit, when something occurred to me.

This brewery is special. 

This brewery has developed an ecosystem.

ecosystem picture

According to dictionary.com, an ecosystem is: any system of interconnecting or interacting parts

Ecosystems are controlled by internal and external factors. We are taught in elementary school that a coral reef is an example of a successful ecosystem. In business, we can refer to Apple as a successful ecosystem because they have beautifully interlaced their hardware and software.

Back to the beer.

This special brewery has cracked the code on risk mitigation. They draw customers in for an existential experience and are able to fend off any predators.

How did they do it?

Like most, it started with quality beer which took off like wildfire. The styles, flavors, packaging, quality all executed with pinpoint accuracy. 

They became comfortable in their competitive market and rose up to the challenge.

A few years later, before working with SBS, they saw the need for food and opened a kitchen. The food offering is unique and intentional, despite their small space. Since opening, their food program has taken a life of its own. Their menu is not what you would expect a brewery to serve, but it compliments the beer ohh so good. 

Customers pull up to this brewery and before walking in, pause to admire the space. Their building and outdoor space invokes that comforting feeling in your gut, similar to the first time you walked into Toys’ R Us as a child.

toy store window

Can you feel it?

So imagine after 3 hours at this brewery, taking in all the sights, tastes, and people, why wouldn’t someone want to keep the experience going?

SO THEY DO!

Even the most responsible Jerry in the land doesnt want that party to end. They keep it going by purchasing beer to-go and merch! 

It’s a wonderful ecosystem which keeps on giving.

There you have it folks. How Rob and Rita managed to sell $27,000 per month in merchandise. 

See you next Friday.

-cf

*Numbers Huddles are a process we run with our customers to review results, validate benchmarks, and discuss upcoming big ideas. IYKYK.

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