BrewDog Airlines offers group travel experience for craft brewer's fans
- Scottish brewer BrewDog announced the debut of BrewDog Airlines, which will take flight next year, according to a Go-Wine report. However, the brand is using the term "airline" loosely, as the stunt is actually a single round-trip flight on a "bespoke BrewDog Boeing 767" from London to Columbus, Ohio, leaving on Feb. 21 and returning on Feb. 25.
- The trip is open to "Equity Punks," which is how the company refers to the people who invested in BrewDog's crowd-funding, capital-raising efforts. The trip, which costs about $1,600 for an individual or $2,880 for a couple, includes airfare, four nights accommodation at a hotel in downtown Columbus and excursions, including a visit to BrewDog's new Columbus brewery and breweries in Cincinnati. Even though BrewDog recently opened a boutique hotel near the Columbus brewery, guests have to pay extra to stay there.
- During the flight, the brewer is promising "the highest ever beer tasting onboard" and a new beer that the company says is designed to taste better at higher altitudes. The flight will also feature BrewDog-inspired dining, Cicerone-trained cabin staff, different beer options and canned cocktails from the brewery's spirits arm LoneWolf. BrewDog is also giving a way a trip to five winners on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
BrewDog's new airline, which the brand says is actually more akin to a group travel experience, is an effort by the company to provide a memorable experience for presumably some of its biggest fans — crowdfund investors. As finding and acquiring new customers becomes more resource-intensive, a number of brands are focusing on ways to engage and excite their most loyal customers, including Ford's new "Built Ford Proud" campaign and the automaker's plans for a new rewards program as well as Popeye's 12-hour drive-thru.
The flight is also an attempt to drum up excitement about the brand among millennials, who enjoy spending on experiences over products. Experiences were projected to drive the biggest purchases for 54% of millennial women in the next year, according to Merkle and Levo research.
Stunts like BrewDog Airlines are a go-to marketing strategy for the beer brand. To announce its new subscription video-on-demand network in August, BrewDog launched Beer.Porn, a parody porn site with trailers for the network’s original series and “beer porn clips.” The BrewDog Network will feature beer, food, travel and entertainment shows with new content added weekly and new series quarterly. To raise awareness about its second round of capital-raising, the brand dropped stuffed "fat cats" with brochures about its share offering in New York City. The cats were dressed to mock the "Wall Street fat cat banker," with pinstripe suits and bloated bellies.
Getting people excited about beer and building brand loyalty is something many beer brands are wrangling with, as younger drinkers are preferring wine and spirits. Beer volume sales dropped 1% in 2017, according to the Brewers Association. But, craft beer is faring better, with sales growing 5% by volume, accounting for 12.7% of the U.S. beer market by volume.