The Best Stories are Told at the Bar

Tell your brand story at the bar for a dash or authenticity and more sales

How many movies have you seen where the main character is propping up the bar whilst sharing his or her woes with a kind-hearted bartender? The drinking environment seems to be synonymous with storytelling. However, it’s not just customers who should be sharing their story at the point of purchase; many alcohol brands are missing a trick by failing to optimise their on-trade experience in a bid to increase sales.

Influencing consumers at the bar no longer translates to simply having beautifully branded bottles or running a pricing promotion. To truly cut through the competition and start a meaningful relationship with potential customers, your need to be using the point of sale to tell your brand story and forge an emotional connection with consumers.

Don’t hide your story on a label

The reason that brand storytelling works so well as a marketing tool is that authenticity has never been more important to consumers. According to a Cohn & Wolf study, honesty is the number one thing that people want from their brand communications. Meanwhile, a separate Nielsen survey has revealed that 75% of people view brand origin as a major influence on their choice of drink – demonstrating an appetite for consumers wanting to know more about the drinks they’re buying.

Many brands have invested a significant amount in telling their story through labels and packaging for retail sales, but while this might help to explain your inspiration, sourcing, production methods and serving suggestions at the supermarket or off licence, if your brand story is buried on the bottle then drinkers aren’t likely to notice it when choosing a beverage at their local pub or bar.

This doesn’t have to be the case, however. Technology is helping beverage brands to bring on-trade messaging to the fore, by creating POS material for your pub and bar network that forms an emotional bond with consumers.

Claire Devereux

Chief Marketing Officer at Elateral
I'm the Chief Marketing Officer of Elateral and write most of our blog posts. I've been in marketing and advertising for more than 20 years and still love it.

This doesn’t have to be the case, however. Technology is helping beverage brands to bring on-trade messaging to the fore, by creating POS material for your pub and bar network that forms an emotional bond with consumers.

Collaborative collateral that’s easy to create

Resonating with potential customers and influencing their on-trade purchasing decisions is not just a matter of what story you tell; it’s also about the way in which you tell it.

Scientific studies have shown that 90% of information sent to the brain is visual, which means the appearance of your POS collateral can determine whether drinkers opt for your brand or someone else’s. Menu design software gives you the capacity to create beautifully designed assets that showcase your brand identity and the story behind your drinks, as well as developing serving suggestions that entice consumers to make a premium purchase.

More importantly, if you choose the right software, you can influence purchasing decisions in a way that doesn’t put added pressure or responsibility on your customer network. That’s because market-leading design solutions enable you to create design templates for menus and other POS collateral, which bar managers can then customise with their own logo, imagery and prices to build bespoke campaigns.

This way, your sales reps can easily collaborate with each company in your customer base to create on-trade collateral that tells authentically tells your brand story and create a compelling reason for drinkers to choose your serving suggestions above others.

And in addition to being simpler, the collateral creation process is much quicker when working with templated content. Developing materials from scratch can take 2-3 weeks using traditional processes, which is just too long in the fast-paced hospitality world. If you choose menu design technology that works online or via mobile, however, your sales team can customise content during the course of a meeting with bar managers, and even send it to print there and then for next day delivery.

The culture around spirits and beer has changed a lot. It’s all about choice as consumers become savvier, more knowledgeable and want to experience something authentic.
Drinks International Magazine

The ripple effect of emotional impact

Ultimately, consumers make purchasing decisions with their eyes and their instincts, and high quality, evocating messaging at the bar is your best chance to get them to choose your brand – whether they walked in wanting to try something new, or they’re making a spontaneous purchasing decision.

Well-designed POS materials can communicate a brand story that potential customers may not otherwise have been aware of and persuade them to choose your serving suggestions over less prominent competitors.

In addition to boosting on-trade sales for both you and your customer, communicating your story at the bar can have a powerful organic impact on your brand reach. If consumers enjoy their drinking experience then they are more likely to share with friends and family, and according to Harvard Business Review research, brands that inspire emotional intensity are three times more likely to be recommended by word of mouth. This ‘ripple effect’ can continue beyond on-trade recommendations too, as a strong connection at the bar often transpires into retail sales.

If you’re ready to make more of your on-trade experience, Menu Maker by Brandgility enables you to create authentic, emotional brand connections through POS marketing, without a complex production process for you or your customers. Available online, offline or via mobile, menus and supporting materials can be designed on-the-spot in collaboration with venue staff, and sent to the printers immediately, so your stories can be told within days.

71% of consumers frequently share images on social media when they go out for a drink.
Vodat International

Kick your collateral creation up a gear with Brandgility Menu Maker: book a free demonstration to see how our menu design software works.

Read our free white paper on how to get consumers choosing your brand at the bar

Learn how brands are creating category uplift through influencing consumer choice at venues.