Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Marketing the Innovation: Organic Beer

In an interview, the founder of an organic brewing company states that in the beginning there was no market for his innovation, 99.6% organic beer made from pesticide free hops from the United States and New Zealand. When Peak Brewing Company came on the scene in 1998, CEO John Cadoux says that “people were puzzled by our product because consumers were not asking for organic beer.” This got me thinking about our innovations, because some of them, like Pomegranate Wheat Ale with Acai, are niche products that may not have a wide market. 

For Peak Brewing Company, the answer to reaching a larger market was all in the six-pack packaging - trying to reach out to the undecided beer drinker who stands in the beer aisle for about 5 minutes trying to pick. In order to try and capture interest, Peak had devotees send in pictures of their own “peak” moments to make the six-packs interesting and attractive.

How do you go about marketing a product or service that there isn’t much initial interest in? This gets into the discussion of R vs. K strategists, but should you keep pursuing something that there isn’t a market for and hope that there will be in the future, or should you move on?

1 comment:

  1. I would argue that this beer wasn't an innovative product because it wasn't filling a need. It was just adding to the red ocean of microbrewery beers. I question who they though the market could be for this product. People who are drinking beer probably aren't concerned about incorporating the antioxidant benefits of acai berries. I would agree however that a way this product could make it would be through innovation, including an innovative marketing campaign. The idea of adding pictures to attract customers to something different reminds me of Seth Godin's Ted speech. People want something unique and if what makes this product unique is the packaging perhaps people will want it.