The Power of a Good Pumpclip

Magic Rock brewing pumpclip

When we went to the Craft Beer Company with a not-especially-beery mate last week, we got to see the power of branding in action.

Faced with a vast array of pumps, slightly anxious at too much choice, and aware of the queue behind him, our chum made a snap decision: he went for Magic Rock Curious. Why? Because the design stood out as professional, stylish and interesting. Because it leapt off the bartop shouting: “Buy me!”

Sadly, there was none left, and he had to settle for another beer suggested by the barmaid. As it turned out, it was every bit as nice as Curious, but we’d never have known that if left to our own devices, because its pumpclip looked like something from an A level art portfolio c.2002 – Photoshop for Dummies, posterise-everything amateur hour.

Design can’t be an afterthought, because, in the current competititve climate, it can mean the difference between a beer either selling briskly or quietly turning to vinegar in its cask. We punters — especially those of us who simply drink beer rather than obsessing over it — are fickle, superficial, shallow creatures.

10 thoughts on “The Power of a Good Pumpclip”

  1. Perhaps the bar staff should have asked him what he’s like? I frequent a bar that asks confused-looking newbies what they normally drink and signpost them on from there.

    Having said that, I could still bang my head on the bar when brewers don’t take advantage of producing an effective point-of-sale advert for their product. Something that tells newbies what it’s like (light, dark, hoppy, malty) and gives their fans instant brand recognition.

    When doing the numbers to calculate a brew’s cost, brewers need to factor in a proper percentage to cover effective sales and marketing. It’s a waste of time and money for them otherwise.

  2. If I don’t recognise any of the beers I always go for the most professional/classy pump clip. I cant stand cartoon ones.

  3. Another similar missed opportunity is when the bar in question has no pump clip available at all?

    Unless you know the beer already, the words “Scruttles Old Dirigible” scribbled on the back of a torn in two beer mat and cello-taped to a pump does not imply the product within is worth wasting three of four quid on…

  4. Although I agree with both posts, I most enjoy the fact that this is posted right after “The Problem With Tasters”…

  5. I love the design of the Magic Rock labels/pumpclips and I think the amount of effort that has gone into them is similar to the amount of effort that goes into their brilliant beers. I think any brewery that really gives a damn about it’s beer should put the same amount of effort into all aspects of their business as it will help them sell more beer and this post makes a great case study of that.

  6. Something that tells newbies what it’s like (light, dark, hoppy, malty) and gives their fans instant brand recognition.

    My pet hate is when breweries do the second part of this but not the first – Titanic and Abbeydale spring to mind.

    I buy Magic Rock despite the pump clip art, which makes me think of a bad trip (or what I imagine one would be like). But that may just be me.

  7. Cartoon pump clips are a total turn-off (and I’m not excluding Hobgoblin from that, despite my respect for Jeff Drew as a brewer), but the worst “marketing” point of sale crime is the “humourous” name. I think this has been discussed here before, but calling your beer “Old Pig-Biter” means I’m most unlikely to try it. Particularly if there’s a nudge-nudge, seaside postcard aspect…..

  8. Nothing brings the girls flocking round quicker than a young man leaning suavely against the bar ordering an “Old Speckled Hen, please”.

    The more obviously breweries clearly aim their products at old beardy men, the less likely anyone else is to try it.

  9. I agree with Scoop.

    If anyone speaks to brewers about their clips/POS/website please point them in my direction as we can help them stand out for the right reasons and it won’t cost them the earth!!

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