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Design an Interesting Beer Can

It can be a difficult thing for a brewer to admit, but more often than not the label on the can or bottle is going to do more to sell the beer than the actual beer itself will.

How many times have you ordered a beer because it had an interesting or funny name? Or grabbed a six-pack off the shelf simply because of the artwork on the box?

Positioning your product in a way that makes people need to try it, not just want it, is how you find success in a crowded marketplace. Give your audience a reason to pick your beer over the dozens of others it’s placed around. Make a connection with the customer and deliver on your promise.

What makes cans special?

For a long time, cans have had a reputation for being lesser than bottles. Many people claim that cans cause a metallic taste to get into whatever they are drinking or they just consider cans lower class than anything in a bottle. While you can’t really combat someone’s view of “class,” most aluminum cans used today now use a special coating to eliminate the metallic taste that used to be present before the 2000s. Unlike bottles, cans keep out beer’s #1 enemy, light, so the beer inside stays fresher longer.

Since a lot of the old myths about beer cans are starting to get debunked, they have started making a comeback in the craft beer scene.

So that leads us to the ultimate question, how can we design a beer can that is interesting and will get people to pick it up off the shelf?

What makes a beer can “interesting?”

So what makes a beer can interesting in the first place?

Cans have a unique advantage over bottles in that almost the entire surface area of the can is a usable space to be designed. This leads to a lot of interesting opportunities to design something totally unique.

A beer can needs to be distinctive. In order to build brand loyalty a customer needs to be able to recognize your beer from the crowd. While no two beer labels are the same, a lot of them together on a shelf can begin to blend. Stand out from the crowd and make a statement.

A beer can needs to be fun. The main advantage of cans over bottles is their portability. It’s easier to bring cans to a cookout, camping, tailgating, or other fun outdoor activities. People are having fun while they’re drinking your beer, don’t let your can be boring! People will begin associating the fun they had with your beer. Make that connection as strong as you can with a good design.

Know Your Audience

No design is going to be appealing to everyone so you need to know your audience and chase them.

All beer brands are in some way based around fun and having a good time, so you need to differentiate your brand even further. Uinta Brewing tries to appeal to fans of the outdoors. 21st Amendment Brewing tries to appeal to fans of American history. Ballast Point tries to appeal to fishing enthusiasts.

Having a niche audience and appealing to them doesn’t mean you are ignoring other potential customers, it means that you are free to focus on this single strategy and pour all of your efforts into getting this one aspect of your marketing right. It makes your branding stick out in people’s minds in a particular way that they’ll remember, even if they aren’t the target.

The moral of the story is…

Make sure that the message you want to convey is coming through when designing your beer can. Make your beer can distinctive, make it fun, appeal to your target audience, and deliver on the promises you make.

When you connect with your customers in a meaningful way they’ll keep coming back for more.

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