Category Archives: Marketing

Results from the Focus Groups

Without a doubt, the 2 focus groups we held were the best ideas we have spawned throughout this process.  The opportunity to connect with craft beer enthusiasts, and more importantly, to share our basic business premise with individuals who appreciate and seek out craft beer, was amazing.

We held 2 focus groups over the course of 7 days, and they were more than effective in helping us shape the name of our business.  To be honest, the results of these focus groups will help not only name our brewery, but also determine the direction of several other important variables that we are looking at.  Things such as the layout of our tasting room, the size of bottle we are going to put our beer into, and the types of beer we are going to produce are all facets of the business that we touched on in these focus groups.

What I learned from focus groups is that a name should be short, easy to pronounce and spell, meaningful, genuine, and unique.  There was a feeling among both groups that a generic name, or Vancouver based place name (such as False Creek Brewing or Strathcona Brewing) didn’t capture exactly what we are trying to do.  More importantly, people feel like these names can come across as horribly disingenuous.  Names such as Stanley Park Brewing (brewed on Annacis Island) and Bowen Island Brewing (Northam Brewing) seemed to come to mind when people thought of place names.

For the brewery we are creating, it seemed a name that was representative of what we are doing was most applicable.  In other words, a made up name, or a word that is picked for purely interest sake, with some connection to what we are doing will show people the honesty and approach we are taking to things.  This really matters to us, and as such we took this feedback to heart.

So we took out the names like Orange Brewing, Strathcona, False Creek and even East Van Brewing Company.  What we were left with was a group of about 8 names that really stood out as top of the list.  We are currently looking into the legal side of these names, and how that will impact what we choose to do and how that effects the last part of our naming competition.

Until then, thanks for the continued feedback and interest in things …. I really look forward to sharing the last part of the the naming process:  The final few choices and letting everyone vote on those names.


First Focus Group Results …. coming soon!

On Tuesday of this week, we had a focus group with the purpose of getting feedback on naming our brewery.  It was the first time I’ve planned and implemented a focus group, so it was many things rolled into one, not the least of which was a great learning experience.

Like anything in life, preparation is the key.  It was something that I prepared myself for, and even knowing that there was a lot of work for something like this, I was blown away by how much work it actually took.  I did keep a total of the amount of time I spent organizing this focus group, and up until the minute things started, it was 48 hours of work.  Where the hell did 48 hours go you ask?  Let me tell you:  Organizing participants, preparing questions, meeting with the moderator, securing the space, getting the food and beverages, printing copies of questions and non-disclosures, etc, etc, etc.

The focus group itself went well in my mind.  There are always questions you would change, formatting alterations you would make, and slight differences you would make if you did it again.  For the second focus group that we are having this Sunday, I will likely only change one question.

A huge component of the focus group is your moderator.  Luckily I had the help of a real craft beer enthusiast and very personable, yet professional individual.  I can honestly say, that next to the preparation involved, the moderator can make or break the implementation.  Rebecca was so unbiased, and also so personable, and was able to take the outline I gave her, and worked with it in her own way.

The feedback was somewhat expected and completely unexpected all at the same time.  While I would love to go into the details, I will wait for our second focus group to complete before commenting on them.  What I can say, is that the results will help us pick the name that is right for our brewery.  What we do know is the name we pick will represent what we are doing, what words are meaningful and what name fits with the local market.

I will update everyone more after we have our second focus group on Sunday and get closer to having our list of names narrowed down to 2-4 finalists.

Onto Phase #2 of Brewery Name

OK, so thank you to everyone that has sent in their name request.  We had an overwhelming response from the community, and we are grateful for this.  I think the name of our brewery is on that list, and I hope we can now move onto phase #2 in order to find out what the general public feels.

So we now move to getting feedback from a small group of individuals in order to move us towards naming our brewery.  If you would like to comment on any of the names on the list, please feel free to send me an email, or you can post a comment on this blog.  I would love your feedback and it will help us move onto the next stage.

For now, I am going to contact some people for a focus group, and hopefully you can make the dates that are available for discussion.

Lots of other stuff going on, not the least of which is making a decision in the next couple weeks on our space, and whether we are going to remove subjects or not.  My fingers are crossed and I hope that things continue to move forward as they have so far.

How Important is the Name???

One item that I have grappled with for some time is the name of my brewery.  There seems to be three different avenues people take in naming a brewery, which appear to be popular.

The first is to name the brewery after the owner.  Think R and B Brewing, Phillips Brewing, Hoyne Brewing, and even Molson.

The second is to name the brewery after an area or landmark.  Think Coal Harbour Brewing, Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers, Granville Island, and Stanley Park Brewing.

The third is to name the brewery after nothing in particular.  Think Storm Brewing, 33 Acres Brewing, Bomber Brewing, and Dead Frog Brewing.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason why names are chosen, and some end up being good and others end up being a little less than interesting.  My belief is at the end of the day, a name is not that important.   In my opinion, If you make shit beer, but have a great name, your chances for success are not going to be great.  On the other hand, if you have a shit name, but make great beer, I think you are going to succeed.

I would love to know what people think are good names in the marketplace?  I have my opinions, and for the most part, I think having a variety of names in the marketplace is a good thing.