With August at our doorsteps, there are about 10 beer and cider appreciation events scheduled for the summer all over the country. Clearly, beer will play an important role in our friendly gatherings this season.  All these events are likely to boost the sales of beer for the summer months, but what are the secrets to crafting a successful beer marketing strategy?

Picture of two beer bottles being clinked in cheers, against the backdrop of a sunset in the countryside

Beer Breweries: A Growing Business

Beer has always played a prominent role in shaping the social culture of Wales as well as its economy, with an ancient history dating back to the druids and the intoxicating power of different kinds of grain.

Nowadays, Wales has more than 90 independent breweries, a number that has increased by almost 7 times since 2002. The majorities are microbreweries that operate on the local territory, often in Welsh speaking areas.

The popularity of microbreweries has been growing steadily in the past few years due to the market’s increasing appreciation for craft beer. They are often independently owned and have a focus on flavour quality and on avant-garde brewing strategies. This kind of brewing companies can be found all over the national territory, from the Wild Horse in Llandudno, North Wales, to Boss Brewing in Swansea.

Welsh and Proud: Beer Marketing Strategies for the Land of Dragons

For many of these ales, stouts and bitters, the “Welshness” of the product is often a core part of brand identity, as it was successfully remarked by Brains Brewery’s seasonal beer Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, brewed to commemorate the national anthem.

Language plays a substantial role in the way consumers connect with a brand and a beer marketing strategy aimed at bilingual content is a secure solution for those areas where Welsh is spoken as native first language.

An interesting example of this is Cwrw Llyn, a brewery from the Welsh speaking area of Gwynedd. Founded in 2011 in a building that used to be a cowshed, by the next year the new-born enterprise had to move into more adequate premises to be able to satisfy the growing demand. Since then, the brewery has enjoyed a flourishing business, marked by a proudly Welsh-focused marketing strategy. Between 2013 and 2014, Cwrw Llyn engaged in a legal battle with the British Trading Standards Office for the right to produce beer glasses with the pint measure marked with the Welsh “peint” instead of the English word. You can find the whole story of how the first peint came about in their fully bilingual website, where Welsh speakers can enjoy a complete customer experience in “Cymraeg”.

Welsh Beer Export Successes: Localisation is Key

A small group of Welsh beer brands are also active on the international market, with the US as the main export destination, followed by Scandinavia and going as far as Hong Kong and New Delhi.

Some of their labels, such as the Thames Welsh ESB, are designed for export only and are accompanied by a marketing strategy which usually plays the “Welsh card”. Fonts and designs often concur to create a purposefully Celtic feeling.

Infographic on beer marketing showing a woman with a beer bottle and with the sentence: "More than 80% of customers won't buy a a product advertised in a language different than their native."

For these exports, localisation plays a fundamental key role in beer marketing strategies, adapting language and message content to the cultural needs of the buyers. A foreign language is not the only barrier to foreign markets – though data has shown that more than 80% of clients won’t buy a product advertised in a language different than their native. But different countries have also different sensibilities and different traditional approaches to social activities, especially regarding the consumption of food or drinks.

A foreign market that has proven challenging for British beer exporters, for example, is the Indian one. This is not only due to the high import taxes and the diverse regulations across different states, but also for the partial stigma that many social groups in the country still associate with drinking. It was only at the end of 2016 that Cardiff’s Brains was able to come up with the Witlinger, the first crafted beer ever to be commercialised in India.

Your Language Partner for Success

Showing respect and appreciation for the diversity of needs is a plus strongly valued by the customers. Companies that invest in content localisation have a higher return on investments compared to companies that don’t.

A marketing strategy targeted towards your client’s cultural environment could increase your export profits. For this, it is fundamental to develop a communication pattern that can really speak to your clients. At Wolfestone, we know exactly how to do that, with our long-standing experience in localisation.

If you want to know more about our Welsh translation services and how a localisation-based marketing strategy can help you expand your firm’s horizon, both in Wales and abroad, contact us today to get in touch with our translation specialists.

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by Costanza Rocchi

Project Manager at Wolfestone and freelance translator. Graduated with distinction from Swansea University's MA in Professional Translation. A language professional with a passion for storytelling, Costanza has recently started to widen her skills to include content writing. She smiles a lot and likes hiking and finding a quiet corner to read.