Marketing kombucha during the COVID-19 crisis

The Brewers Association CBC Online series of presentations featured Christina Kyriazi, VP of Marketing at Ekos, reviewing ways craft beer producers can adapt their marketing to drive revenue during the current COVID-19 crisis. The presentation content was supplemented by a blog post on the Ekos website. A second blog post provided additional information.

These highlights are equally applicable to kombucha companies. We’ve included appropriate examples.

12 options to drive revenue

With social distancing in place, kombucha brewers need to explore ideas for driving revenue outside the taproom. Here’s a dozen options to choose from, as time and funds permit.

1. To-Go Products. Offer bottles, cans, and growlers — in place of on-premise consumption.

2. Kerbside Pickup. As businesses practice social distancing kerbside pickup is becoming a popular option. Set up a tent or table outside your facility, or open your walk-up window if you have one, where customers can purchase products without entering the taproom.

3. Product Delivery. If your staff has the capacity or you already use a delivery service like Grubhub, offering home delivery is a great way to get your ‘booch to customers.

4. Gift cards. Share links on social media where people can purchase gift cards (ideally without coming into your retail location), and consider offering a deal. For example, buy $50 worth of gift cards for $40, or something similar. Also, check out the KBI ‘Heal-In’ initiative discussed below, when consumers will be encouraged to purchase gift cards

5. Set up your online storefront for pickup and/or delivery orders. Even if you can’t deliver, an online storefront allows customers to complete their order with minimal contact by paying online and picking up their products from your facility.

6. Update your website. Be sure the information on your site reflects the current situation. At a minimum, put a warning on your website about the impact of COVID-19 will have on your business. Reassure customers that they can still get in touch with you if needed and how to do so. This can also be reiterated on your social media channels.

7. Post to social media as often as possible. Aim to keep your customers informed. Post at the beginning of each day with your hours, methods of purchase (online, phone, in-person), and available products. Keep it fun and post in a way that reflects your company’s personality.

8. Create FOMO. Create a sense of urgency or “FOMO” (fear of missing out) on your social media profiles by encouraging pre-orders from your online store. Marketing releases in a way that suggests scarcity can help you create a buzz and get engagement on your posts.

9. Offer to-go meal deals. Does your business offer food in addition to beverages, or are there popular food trucks, restaurants, or caterers in the area that you have a relationship with? Create a bundled “meal deal” with food.

10. Tap into your customers’ desire to help others. Specifically, you could encourage people to purchase kombucha for folks on the front lines to enjoy. Kombucha Brewers International is launching a ‘Heal-In’ campaign that aims to donate 100,000 bottles of kombucha to front-line workers.

11. Get repeat purchases. Ensuring repeat business should be your main goal right now. If you have an exclusive membership program, think up extra incentives you could offer to encourage purchases.

12. Include extra goodies in pickup and delivery orders. Include stickers, bottle openers, or any other small promo item to give buyers a piece of your brand to remember you by after they’ve consumed your product.

The future

Sooner or later the social distancing and negative impact of COVID-19 will pass. This slide from McKinsey is a thought-provoking roadmap.

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5 Responses

  1. the_editor says:

    Cross Culture Kombucha in Danbury, CT is another company offering curbside pickup and home delivery.

    Cross Culture Kombucha

  2. the_editor says:

    Oregonic Tonic in Portland is bundling their ‘booch with gourmet meats.

    Oregonic Tonic meal deal

  3. the_editor says:

    Mortal Kombucha in Boulder, CO is offering a great ‘booch-to-porch’ deal for online orders.

    Motral Kombucha Online deal

  4. the_editor says:

    A cool marketing idea which also saves lives from the folks at Tribucha in Cary, NC — custom screen-printed masks

    Masks from Tribucha

  5. the_editor says:

    Compassion Kombucha in Bend, OR has teamed with a local farm-direct food sales company to bundle their ‘booch with other probiotic-rich foods.

    Compassion Kombucha

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