I was having dinner at Philco Diner in Columbus, Ohio the other night and came across a long line of kegs in the back hallway. Being a compact establishment, the restaurant stores their empty kegs near the back door so they can easily be collected and aren’t getting in the way. There were maybe seven or eight central Ohio beers sitting there, distinguishable by their keg collars and keg wraps. What I found interesting about the keg collection was that some immediately caught my attention. Just mull that over for a second, I was drawn in and engaged by kegs. This led to a bit of a revelation, kegs are a marketing opportunity, and should be treated as such.
Free Real Estate!
The basic reason kegs are such a great marketing piece is very simple, they are big, and take up space. At first glance, the customer doesn’t interact with the keg all that much. They are filled at the brewery, transported to the bar or restaurant, and then collected, without ever seeing the end customer. But upon further consideration, there are actually quite a few instances in which the public comes into contact with kegs. I mentioned one earlier, but also consider when they’re unloaded from the truck, sitting out at beer fests and special events, and prominently displayed at the restaurant. Not to mention that the bar and restaurant owners themselves interact with the kegs, and if they recognize and engage with the brand they are more likely to remember (and prefer) the product.
Branding Your Kegs
So how do you create memorable kegs? There are a lot of ways, like painting, screen printing, and keg wraps, to achieve a great looking, branded keg. Additionally, creating a memorable keg collar (or keg tag) can turn a mandatory identifier into an eye catching marketing piece. Even though the exposure of an individual keg is limited, it’s relatively cheap to decorate a keg (often less than $0.50 per keg, even for a full color custom keg wrap and a keg collar) and it will be used multiple times.
Your keg is a lot more than a vessel for transporting beer. It’s a large piece of real estate that goes wherever you distribute beer. Even though it’s not getting as much exposure as a billboard off the interstate, it’s still seen by quite a few people. And if it causes someone to Google the name of the company, to ask their friends if they’ve heard of it, or to order a glass, that small investment will pay off very quickly. If you take one thing from this, remember, kegs are marketing pieces, cheap ones that you already own.