We have a Scottish Terrier named Wallace, and he’s the quietest dog I’ve ever been around.
In the house, there is no barking, no whining; basically silence. You might hear the occasional grumble or huff when he’s annoyed, but that’s about it.
However, Wallace owns his backyard.
When he’s allowed in the yard, he patrols the fence, waiting for someone to walk by, waiting for a squirrel or cat to walk on top of the fence.
Then, he goes crazy.
Constant barking, defending his turf, showing those squirrels whose backyard they’re infringing on.
Wallace owns his backyard, and that’s exactly what you need to do.
I have to give credit here, I recently talked to Jack Dyer with Topa Topa, and one of his company goals is to own their backyard.
Before they worry about distributing to different states, or even different counties in their own state, they want to own their backyard.
They’ve expanded to 5 taprooms in their local region, with the community hoping for even more taprooms on top of that.
We talk to breweries with goals of massive distribution.
They want to distribute internationally, they want to hit all 50 states, they want their beer in every grocery store in their state, but are they owning their backyard?
Are they the brewery the locals talk about?
Think about the benefits here. We all know that the taproom is your most profitable revenue source.
By owning your backyard, you have a solid customer base that is not dependent on tourism or seasonality.
You are the brewery that people think of when they think of your area.
You are a pillar in the community.
You know your customers and they support you, with more than just their dollars.
So how do you get there?
Do you help with any local charities or road cleanups?
What about community events?
Are you showing up so that people can see your brand and associate it with your neighborhood?
Are your beers on draft at local restaurants for bartenders to recommend, along with a trip to your taproom?
Are you advertising and specifically targeting your local area?
We recommend you spend 4-6% of your gross income on advertising, and before you go statewide or nationally, consider focusing on your backyard.
Big goals are great. Keep reaching.
If you want to hit all 50 states, then keep building your brand, promoting your product, and perfecting your beer (more on expansion strategies here.)
But remember your community.
Be the taproom the locals love and recommend.
Be a destination taproom where they send their friends.
Keep your piece of the local revenue before you focus on the less profitable regional and national sources.
Build a strong base. Be like Wallace.
And own your backyard!