Folks who have been following our blog for a while know that we've been planning to can our cider since the beginning, and that a lot goes into turning that decision into a reality. Well, it's finally happening - we have our cider in cans and we're about to start selling them!
I wanted to take a moment to pull back the curtain on what key things we've done to set ourselves up for canning success (hopefully!).
1. Design, design, design!
As you know, we've talked before about how much good design means to us and our brand. We attribute a lot of our early success to having a logo that is well-designed and a tasting room that's beautiful and conveys that we care about our customers and our products. The same is true with cans - in fact, even more-so, because their reach will be much greater than just the small segment of people who come to the near-Eastside of Indianapolis to our tasting room.
That being said, we stuck with our trusty designer, Amy McAdams, for our can design. And what a great decision that was -- look at them!
We're totally in love with how they turned out.
2. Gotta nail that price-point.
We've spent a long time working on what our price point should be for these canned ciders. It can't be too low, or else we wouldn't make enough of a profit for cans to be a sustainable part of our business. But if they're too expensive, we might exclude some potential fans. We decided that we want our price point to be in the 'Q3' price range when compared with other available packaged ciders. What does that mean?
If you look at the normal distribution image below, we want our ciders to be priced between the '0' and the '+1'. In other words, we're going to be more expensive than a fair amount of packaged ciders out there - we have to be: we're small, we don't use concentrate or added flavors, and we let the cider ferment slowly enough to develop some complexity of character. Our cider is higher quality, and therefore more expensive, than some other brands (Q1 and Q2 pricing). It's also less expensive than a different batch of brands because we don't use heirloom juice for all of our ciders, nor do we age them for months, for example (Q4 pricing).
Nailing the price point is hard and requires more than just math. It helps build your brand and tell your story, too.
3. Generate some buzz.
If you're launching a new product that you want to be a big part of your company, you need people, a LOT of people, to know about it. We've already got a pretty strong social media following, but to really generate buzz, we decided to send out a press release and have two separate launch parties.
Press releases aren't necessarily the most exciting thing to write, and compiling a good list of industry and local news people takes time and effort. But take that time and effort, get someone with experience to look it over, and send the news out. Hoping that local news will pick up on your product launch from seeing your social media feeds isn't realistic - those guys are busy and you need to give them the words to say, the images to use, and advanced notice. Here's a great article about how to write a good press release.
Our two launch parties include one invite-only soft launch, geared specifically at retailers, and one for the general public. The retailer product launch is a way for us to get our cider into the hands of the people who we want to sell it. We're inviting them to our tasting room with the assumption that most of them have never been before. We're providing them with free samples, a tour of our space, and time with leadership to ask any questions they might have about our ciders and our company. We'll also having marketing materials on display so they know that we're committed to helping them sell our cider in their stores. If you can get retailers on your side and give them a story to tell their customers, they will be a lot more likely to recommend your product compared to a similar brand.
Finally, the release party for everyone else is just a big, fun day geared at getting folks excited about what we're doing. We're offering discounts on 4-packs and even deeper discounts on cases, along with tours of our production facility and a Q&A with the cidermakers. If I'd been on the ball a bit sooner, I would've also had a new line of merchandise to unveil, but alas, that will have to wait until the summer. Our goal is to get as many people there as possible, especially new customers.
All of this being said, click here to visit the event page for details for our canning release party, and as always, thanks for reading!