If the title didn’t make it glaringly obvious – I’m thirsty for beer! But stay with me here because there are also a couple of things I think we can learn about marketing from my thirst and consequent waxing nostalgic over the Golden Road Brewery in Los Angeles.
Sometimes a brand gets things just right and it deserves to be recognized for contributing awesomeness to a world that is unfortunately overrun with boring and/or trying-to-hard marketing efforts.
We here at Gabriel Marketing work with all kinds of tech companies, from startups to Fortune 10 giants, and we’re always looking for the best ways to keep technology marketing interesting and relevant. The Golden Road Brewery in LA has displayed two traits that I think any brand could take into consideration when reviewing its marketing strategies.
1. Don’t Get Lost In The Crowd
Los Angeles gets a bad rap as a plastic surgery obsessed haven for reality stars and dumb blondes and I’m not here to try and convince you otherwise, because honestly – that’s a fair description of at least a 10% segment of our population. However, it’s not all we have going on here.
LA is also home to incredibly talented, down-to-earth, super smart people who set up shop here and continually offer up new reasons for us non-movie stars to continue our love affair with this one-of-a-kind town.
In a city often recognized for glossy, over-the-top establishments, the Golden Road Brewery stands out because of the comfortable, laidback feel the team there has been able to foster. There’s a great community feeling that’s amped up with open dining hall style seating and it even feels a bit like Seattle or the Midwest when you’re bundled up in a hoodie on overcast, chilly autumn days.
It’s located in an old warehouse next to the railroad tracks in an industrial area near the LA River and behind Griffith Park, and it’s instantly obvious as you walk up the loading ramp entrance into a half-indoor-half-outdoor setup, that the vibe is about as far from the stereotypical LA scene as you can get.
Golden Road could never get lost in the crowd here because they do what they love and they do it in their own special way. I guess the point is that by being yourself and staying genuine to the things that feel right to your brand, regardless of what everyone else might be doing, you’ll stand a much better chance of carving out your place in an industry and building up a loyal following of customers who love you for exactly who you are.
2. Show a Little Hometown Love
With the explosion of the internet and then social media, going global has become a possibility for any business. You can start a company from your home office and gain customers and fans all over the world on a near non-existent marketing budget.
In the rush to go big, a lot of brands have forgotten just how powerful it can be to stay local. I think people have always loved the idea of rooting for their home team and just because we have access to the whole world doesn’t mean that’s always what we want.
There’s just a special kind of pride I feel as an Angeleno when I see something marked with a “Made in LA” stamp – it’s the same feeling I get watching the Lakers dominate on the court, and the same reason I pray to the NFL gods every night that we’ll finally get our team.
So I have to admit that when I see Golden Road’s Point The Way IPA (my hands down favorite) stocked up in the local grocery store stamped with that “Made In LA”, I feel a real sense of pride for my city. It doesn’t matter if you’re from a small town or a megalopolis, it feels good to rep your hood. Brands everywhere could take note and remember that people love to root for a hometown hero, so maybe it’s worth taking the time to incorporate a little hometown love in your marketing efforts.
Maybe the title of this post should have been Keepin’ It Real: The Marketing Edition, because really that could sum up the advice pretty succinctly: Be yourself and don’t ever forget your roots.