Craft Brewery Brands: self-awareness through performance
Paper in proceedings, 2014
New principles emerge, with brands, innovation and design being driven by
passion and meaning. Companies strive to resonate with consumers, tapping
into culture, myths and ideologies, but also move to becoming “citizen
artists” who inspire people. Design may play a central role in this,
materialising values and interpreting meaning. A product category that is
seemingly localised, socially engaged, and value-oriented is craft breweries.
These are often small-scale and use traditional approaches to brewing,
emphasising craftsmanship and quality, based on an often rebellious but
playful nature, challenging the status quo, while having a passion to learn.
We aim to understand how to develop brands based on own passion and
principles, while being open to influences in society. What is the role of design
when establishing a craft beer brand? We conducted a comparative case
study using interviews, site visits and extensive desktop research. The results
are compared through a framework seeing identity as a self-image that is
embodied, performed, interacted and re-negotiated in an ongoing process.
Both cases actively use design and engage with their audiences, but do so
with different agendas: preserving and perfecting traditions, or playfully
creating new brews and scenes.