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Newsletter #825: The “Ideas from Beer” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Like all boys from Milwaukee, many of my best business ideas come from beer. Here are a few to get you started:

1> Follow your fans
2> Turn a competitor into a partner
3> Help people help others
4> Check it out: Basset Hounds Running

1> Follow your fans

For 20 years, sales of Pabst Blue Ribbon had been steadily declining until 2002, when an unsuspected surge in popularity drove overall sales up 5 percent. The folks at PBR set out to find what was going on and discovered the epicenter seemed to be Portland, where trendy hipster bars were adding it to their menu. They decided to run with it, but quietly and cautiously. They began with small-scale, unobtrusive sponsorships of events and organizations this new customer base associated with: art galleries, independent publishers, and skateboard movie screenings. And following these fans seems to have paid off in big ways: overall sales are up more than 25 percent.

The lesson: Show love and support for your fans in whatever form they may come in.

Learn more: The Society Pages

2> Turn a competitor into a partner

If you only see “everyone else” as a competitor, you’re missing a lot of opportunities for great partnerships. Take Sierra Nevada and Anchor Steam, for example. These two northern California brewers recently teamed up to make Fritz and Ken’s Ale to celebrate Sierra Nevada’s 30th anniversary. It’s a unique partnership that earns both brewers new fans, publicity, and sales.

The lesson: Instead of battling with your competitor, is there a way you both can win?

Learn more: Cool Hunting

3> Help people help others

When you make it easier to buy your stuff and help others at the same time, the entire shopping experience changes. At Australia’s Shebeen bar, a variety of beers and wines from developing countries are available. And with each purchase of a country’s liquor, Shebeen then sends a small donation or microfinance loan to support projects in that country. So whether it’s Ethiopia or Vietnam you want to help, all you have to do is order a round.

The lesson: Make it bigger than just another sale by helping your customers help those in need.

Learn more: Springwise

4> Check it out: Basset Hounds Running

The headline says it all. Check out what happens when fluffy, pudgy dog owners get high-quality cameras.

Check it out: Buzzfeed


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