Canada's oldest independent brewery has long been my favourite default beer to buy. In fact, here's a picture of me from about ten years ago at a cabin on Manitoulin Island when I used to hang out there and write while my Dad and cousin Rodney went deer hunting. Check out the beer in my hand.
(Don't worry, it was well after noon and I had already written two chapters in the novel I was working on that week.)
This year, my birthday card was a wallet shaped card. On the front it read:
FINDING A SURPRISE IN YOUR WALLET CAN MAKE YOUR DAY.
When you open the card, the inside reads:
Expect good times, wherever you go, with your wallet worthy Moosehead bottle opener.
Happy Birthday from your friends at Moosehead Lager.
And inside the pocket on the right was, of course, a thin metal Moosehead bottle opener that would indeed fit nicely in my wallet.
I tried it out on a bottle of Moosehead Pale Ale that night for dinner and was quite pleased. This interesting and surprising gift certainly made my day.
This isn't just a handy bottle opener provided to me by a brewer. It's evidence of an intelligent and interestingly run marketing campaign.
I'm already a loyal Moosehead consumer. And I have been for a long time. That day my beer fridge already contained three different beers from Moosehead. Moosehead Pale Ale, Moose Light Lime and Cracked Canoe. Moosehead didn't need to send me this wonderful little gift. But they did. And it made my day.
And it also reminded me of a truth about marketing that's critical to remember. It isn't all about blasting your brand or logo in front of as many people as possible. It's about making real connections with people who truly appreciate the product or service you offer. It's about recognizing those who are fans of your product and taking the time to appreciate them. Because at the end of the day, the importance isn't the flashy ads or marketing gimmicks - it's where customers hold your product or services in their hearts. It's how your customers themselves become champions of what you offer.
Moosehead gets it.
And they brew a fine product, too.
Guess what brand of beer I'll be buying next time I'm at the beer store?