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Newsletter #921: The “Lessons from Three Floyds Brewing” 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.]

People who live in Chicago — where there are tons of great breweries — actually make field trips to Munster, Indiana, just to visit Three Floyds Brewing. The heavy metal-inspired artisan brewery has a cult following that camps out for their events, stands in line for a six-pack, and even gets tattoos of their logo.

Here are some ways Three Floyds sparked a frenzy of followers without spending a dime on traditional advertising:

1. Be committed to your brand
2. Be there for your loyal fans
3. Be truly rare
4. Check it out: Three Floyds Tattoos

1. Be committed to your brand

It’s not that outrageous to be outrageous anymore. What’s remarkable are brands who are true to their identity in everything they do. Three Floyds sticks to their metal culture throughout their entire branding. From the names of their beers, like “Zombie Dust” and “Arctic Panzer Wolf,” to their collaboration with the Viking metal band Amon Amarth and local tattoo parlors. Because of their authenticity, they’ve tapped into a demographic that’s proud to support their brand — and even get their tattoo (now that’s metal).

The lesson: How can you let your identity show in everything you do?

2. Be there for your loyal fans

Events bring people together who love to talk about your stuff and gives them even more reasons to spread the word. The most die-hard Three Floyds fans and beer geeks buy tickets to their annual event, Dark Lord Day. It’s the one day of the year they sell their most popular beer and tickets sell out in minutes. Beer enthusiasts can try other beers, listen to live metal shows, and eat barbeque. These events give their biggest fans a chance to get in on something exclusive and feel more connected to the brand.

The lesson: What are you doing to help your biggest fans feel closer to you and your stuff?

Learn more: Dark Lord Day

3. Be truly rare

Scarcity is a great word of mouth motivator. A lot of people try this, but they don’t commit to being truly rare. Three Floyds only distributes their beer locally in Chicago, Indiana, Milwaukee, Madison, and Louisville, and some of these stores limit one six-pack per customer. In fact, some of their brews are so small they only sell them to the lucky few who win a golden ticket at Dark Lord Day.

The lesson: If you’re going to make something exclusive, make sure it’s truly rare.

4. Check it out: Three Floyds Tattoos

Yes, their fans are this loyal.

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