Updated: Jun 13, 2021
I live in Fort Collins, a university town north of Denver, Colorado. I went to college at Colorado State University in the mid-90s. Fort Collins was smaller back then. Population around 150K.
My junior year at CSU I found work through a temporary employment agency. Jobs including product assembly, warehouse loading, landscaping, and whatever needed doing. After one short term assignment I called the temp agency for a new gig. They explained the assignment and asked if I was interested. Are you kidding me!?, I said?
I had been assigned the crème de la crème of college kid jobs. The jackpot! A two week stint working at New Belgium Brewery, which at the time was referred to as a microbrewery.
My job was to watch bottles as they passed by on the assembly line. If the fill level was below a certain amount, we would remove them before they continued to packaging. Automation does this job now, but back then college students were the last line of defence. I intently watch the bottles pass by and pull any that were underfilled. I wasn't taking chances on flat beer. Better safe than sorry.
I was essentially New Belgium's fill-level quality control. New Belgium's strategy of hiring college students for this job was spot-on. We had vested interest in how we performed. All of the defective products were split amongst the workers after each shift. On a good night, I'd go home with a case and half NB's flagship Fat Tire ale.
Fast-forward to yesterday when I'm checking out at my local liquor store. I'm not one to experiment with exotic beers. I typically stick with my usual, Budweiser cans (classy right?). I'm checking out when I notice something I have never seen before. It somehow catches my attention. Like my kids in the candy aisle when grocery shopping, I grab it without a second thought.
An impulse purchase of New Belgium's Dominga Sour Mimosa Ale.
I can appreciate the difficulty of separating a product from the hundreds of others vying for your attention. The onslaught of ads that we are exposed to and ignore each day. New Belgium's packaging for Dominga sour ale is captivating in its simplicity. Uncluttered and uncomplicated. The lack of messaging makes what little message there is stand out.
A shout-out to the branding and package marketing folks at New Belgium. I guess the local grocery store is like the candy aisle for adults, and just like my kids, I was helpless to resist Dominga's temptation. It took less than a minute from when I first saw Dominga to me walking out the door six-pack in hand. It's pretty tasty too. I'll likely be a repeat customer come spring.
Well done New Belgium! Well done.
Freelance Marketing Company, Fort Collins, CO