Distilling Some Marketing with Canal Spirits Craft Distillery

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Drinking is an American past time, just ask some of the Founding Fathers. Seriously, they have some pretty wild stories to share. If you have a time machine, you can ask them yourself. If not, a quick Google search will do the trick. It interesting to see how alcohol played such an important role in our history, especially with the Prohibition! I mention all this because the company we’re featuring today is taking us back to our roots with some traditional drinks!

You can listen to the episode and read the transcription below. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, YouTube, or anywhere else you get your podcasts by searching “Creativity Killed the Cat”.

— Opening Story — 

Once upon a time, there was a man with a dream. He wanted to created something that could embody the history of our American culture, yet still be enjoyed by everyone who came across it. After thinking through a variety of ideas, he knew he wanted something that could engage his local and hometown community. Thinking back through the centuries, this man wanted something that would get people participating in historical traditions. He wanted to create an experience. That perfect combination was found in a distillery.  

— Intro — 

Hey there all you beautiful people! Welcome to the Creativity Killed the Cat podcast. My name's Andrew Chwalik and I’m going to be helping you develop creative marketing that won’t break the bank.

As always, our episode is brought to you by Twillful. My creative marketing agency that helps businesses develop and implement creative marketing campaigns as well as energize their social presence.

Alright, time to get down with a fun fact. 

Fun Fact: I used to collect sports cards when I was little. Sure, that may be a normal thing for many kids, but I was a freak about it. I would get a new pack any time I could. Then I would organize and alphabetize every card. I had thousands...

Alright, on with the show!

Remember, I take one small business or brand and develop some creative marketing concepts that could be implemented as soon as you finish listening to this podcast.

How weird was it that the Fourth of July was right in the middle of the week? Quite confusing if you ask me. Were you supposed to celebrate the weekend before or the weekend after? You can’t get too crazy on the actually Fourth because it was on a Wednesday. Kind of a bummer. However, what is one thing that people everywhere most likely had at their parties? If you said hotdogs, your probably right, but I’m talking about alcohol. It just so happens we’ll also be talking about some specially made alcohol in this episode. But before we start the party, let’s talk about colors. 

— Marketing Chat — 

If you have a brand of any type or a physical location, which should encompass every company, you are using color in some fashion. In your brand, you have colors injected into your logo and website. Hopefully, those colors are consistent wherever your brand is represented. If you have a physical location, you paint your walls a certain color and use colors for all the various aspects found in your location. No matter what type of company you are, you use color. 

Actually, I was sitting here trying to think of a type of company that won’t utilize colors but I’ve got nothing! Even if you’re a sub-contractor, you still have a brand that represents your business. If you can think of a company that doesn’t use colors at all, you let me know. I’d be curious to know what they do.

You get the picture, color is important. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s dive a little deeper to see how color influences your customers. 

Psychology is a huge aspect of marketing to consumers. Everyone has reactions to certain stimuli. Color is one of those things that encourages certain reactions. As a business, you should be using color to inspire your target market to take action! In one study called the Impact of Color on Marketing, data shows that up to 90% of quick judgements made about products can be based on color alone. That’s crazy! It just reiterates the importance of using color the right way.

Depending on your brand and products or services, you should use certain colors. There’s a reason why you don’t see too many purple power tools. Check out this list of colors and their associated meanings. 

Red represents power, passion, energy, fearlessness, excitement, anger, danger, warning, and defiance. 

Orange represents courage, warmth, confidence, innovation, friendliness, energy, deprivation, frustration, and immaturity. 

Yellow represents optimism, warmth, happiness, creativity, intellect, extroversion, caution, anxiety, and irrationality. 

Green represents growth, health, freshness, nature, prosperity, hope, money, stagnation, boredom, and envy. 

Blue represents trust, loyalty, logic, serenity, security, coldness, emotionless, and unappetizing. 

Purple represents wisdom, wealth, spirituality, imagination, sophistication, reflection, excess and decadence. 

Magenta represents imaginative, passion, caring, creative, innovative, quirky, outrageous, rebellious, and impulsiveness.

Black represents sophistication, security, power, elegance, authority, oppression, coldness, menace, evil, and mourning.

White/Silver represents innocence, purity, cleanliness, simplicity, pristine, sterile, empty, pain, and cautious.

Now that you know what each color signifies, does your company utilize color the right way? Is your logo using colors that illustrate your brand? How can you better use color in your marketing? These are just a few questions to get you thinking about the way you can use color to your benefit. In marketing, detail matters. Every aspect has a nuance that can help you generate more leads. Take advantage of them by injecting color into your marketing strategies. 

You can always refer back to this episode as a guide to determine what colors you want to use. 

— Canal Spirits Craft Distillery — 

Canal Spirits Craft Distillery is Stark County, Ohio’s only distillery and is owned and operated by Massillon native Vinnie Carbone. They are located in historic downtown Canal Fulton and are stationed in the landmark Brimstone Building designed in the mid 1800s. Canal Spirits Craft Distillery produces Apparition Moonshine, an un-aged corn whiskey made from traditional corn mash with corn grown right up the road. Hand-crafted ~ Grain to Bottle. Smooth and nostalgic tasting…just like our grandfathers made. Their recipes are simple...all natural, local ingredients processed directly by the owner himself.

Now that you know about the cool moonshine they produce, let’s get creative.

I was a history minor in college and adore American History, especially when it comes to the presidents. I’m going to share that love with you right now. Your distillery has an old-fashioned theme and I think that’s pretty baller. It’s the right type of branding for the products you sell. Why not keep going with it? I want you to incorporate a little presidential history.

Did you know that the founding fathers loved their alcohol? George Washington spent a full 7% of his income while in office on booze. His infamous farewell party tab totaled over $15,000 present-day dollars. There are so many…interesting statistics like that surrounding the early presidents and founders of our great country. Honestly, you could run an entire marketing campaign around this theme. It would be pretty sweet. Have a few little posters made with the facts on them. Hang them around your distillery. Use a custom design. Implement the same on social media by sharing one fact a day. You can share them as graphics, just like your posters.

Okay, time for the most creative part and center of this strategy. I mentioned George Washington and his habits, let’s bring him back to life. Once a month, or whatever timeframe you prefer, have a Washington Wednesday. Either dress up like George or hire someone to do it. Your choice. Encourage people to join you in your distillery for special tastings and it will all be served by or first president. Just make it a fun day. You can even have him tell stories from his drinking days - you can find a ton of them online. Plus, when you have events and pop-up locations, you can have good old George Washington be your bartender. This would be an absolute hit with your target audience and could even blow up on social if you played your cards right by producing engaging content. You know I’d be there every Washington Wednesday!

Next concept. We want to get people visiting your distillery and trying your fantastic moonshine and rum. Plus, you have a cool location so you’ve got a lot going for you. The final piece is getting people to hang out with you and take in the atmosphere. One great way to do that is by sharing knowledge and a fun experience.

Moonshine has an interesting culture around it. Remember that show called Moonshiners where people make it illegally and try to avoid the authorities. That was quite popular for a while and was quite interesting. People were curious about how it was made and the entire process.  Of course moonshine is legal in Ohio, but play with that concept a bit. Have certain days where you host tours of the distillery and walk people through the actual moonshine making process.

I’m not sure on the regulations, but it would be even better if you could get people engaged in the actual creation. Have them mix in the corn or sugar. Maybe have them help you bottle. You could charge visitors for the entire experience and give them a bottle at the end of it all. You could then encourage them to buy more and give to friends since its a batch that they made. Have stickers that the creators can sign and place them on the bottles. Honestly, if the stickers look professional, I’d be much more likely to buy a few bottles to give to friends and tell them about the experience. Integrate a social aspect by having people take pictures and selfies during the experience and share it digitally. You could also make some great videos of the experience as well. So many possibilities!

Here we go, one final creative marketing concept. You use local corn for your moonshine, that’s awesome and something you should promote more. People love when small businesses use produces from the area and support the local economy. That could be a marketing campaign in itself. Spread the news about your local product usage on social. Make that a feature on your website. You already have a quality image of corn posted on you homepage, amp it up by letting people know where you get your corn. To make the biggest splash, you’re going to partner with some of your corn producers.

What are some fun things you can do with a corn field once it’s harvested? Make a corn maze! Partner with your closest producer and develop a corn maze for your customers. You can have cool graphics and signs throughout the maze to promote your moonshine. Each checkpoint could be the next step in the moonshine making process so maze goers learn how the corn they’re walking through is made into the drinks they love. You could even make it a competition and the person that does the maze in the fastest time gets a free tour experience at your distillery or a discount on their next purchase. This could be an annual event and you could have a “mazers wall of fame”. This is a great way to let people know your awesome products are made from local corn! 

—  Canal Spirits Craft Distillery — 

Boom. Canal Spirits Craft Distillery now has some creative marketing ideas that won’t break the bank and will get more people buying their Ohio-made moonshine. Not going to lie, I’m excited to head to Canal Fulton just to meet President Washington and have him serve me some moonshine. You know I’d be posting that all over Instagram. If you’d like to try some of their moonshine or rum, head to 103 South Canal Street and check out their website at canalspiritscraftdistillery.com.

— Closing — 

Well, that’s all folks. Thanks for joining me on this episode of Creativity Killed the Cat! I hope you had as much fun as I did and were able to take away some creative marketing ideas that YOU can start using right now. If you did enjoy the show, I’d love you forever if you left a review on iTunes. It helps more people hear about my little podcast so thank you!

Now, if you’re still stuck and need a little extra creative juice, head over to creativitykillscats.com to find some more content that will continue to get your creative gears turning. Plus, you can subscribe to my email list to get a weekly email with creative marketing wisdom that will keep your brand feeling fresh.

I’ll see you all on the next episode of Creativity Killed the Cat. In the meantime, if you ever need help organizing your massive collection of sports cards, I know a guy who has some pretty great experience with that.