A brewery here on the island has recently moved into new, purpose built, fully accessible (hurrah!) premises, and added a restaurant.
However, they’ve made a decision that islanders in general are NOT HAPPY about.
Entrance to their shop is free, but to eat in their restaurant or drink in the bar, you must be a member.
When you become a member, you receive 3x 1/3rd pints of their beers, a free embossed goblet, 10% off in the shop and a few other bits and bobs, like a video, leaflet, and email newsletter.
In my view, the way they are presenting the membership offer is contributing to the level of pushback they’re getting.
When you package and present any offer, your aim is that each of your prospective customer types PERCEIVE the offer value is HIGHER than the price.
PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMER TYPES FOR THE BREWERY:
The beer-drinking islander:
Fans of the brew who live on the Isle of Wight, visiting the brewery regularly to enjoy all that is on offer.
The island attracts millions of tourists each year, who stay for a few nights or weeks.
This group will visit occasionally, enjoying what’s offered one or more times during their stay.
The non beer drinker, local or tourist:
May visit with a friend or partner who is in one of the previous two groups, or purely to enjoy the restaurant and terrace. I’m in this group.
The brewery’s offer FEELS more EXPENSIVE than the price to 2 OUT OF 3 of these customer groups.
It FEELS like you have to pay £12.50 just to use the bar and restaurant.
The brewery actually say this, right at the top of their website home page:
“Admission to the restaurant is for members only. The membership fee is £12.50 per person”.
So, of course, people are all over social media with comments like:
“I wandered around the shop and was going to go for lunch, but saw you had to pay £12.50 to go in the restaurant so I came home.”
Especially because, if you don’t drink beer, the current offer delivers ZERO value in exchange for your £12.50.
So, even though they are not my client, I couldn’t resist thinking about how I would be advising them to present the offer if I was consulting with them.
Before I do that, I want to be clear.
This is NOT me complaining about paying the £12.50 membership fee.
I have no problem with their decision at all.
It might be related to how alcohol licences are issued.
Perhaps they are obtained more easily for ‘members’ clubs‘.
But they have my support either way.
Eateries with level access and lifts are a rarity here.
They had me at ‘onsite car park’!
I’m already anticipating the beer battered fish and chip lunch, with a latte on the terrace. Lol!
Anyway, I digress…
#1: THE MENU PRICING
On a quick glance, their prices seem to be about 10%-20% lower than another new purpose-built restaurant, just up the road.
(My current fave, Harvey Browns).
I don’t know if they’ve already reduced their prices as subsidised for members, but if so, they’re not telling us that.
So, first thing I’d recommend is that they show the HIGHER prices on the menus they share publicly.
Then, say IN BIG, that members SAVE 10%-20%, whatever the saving is.
#2: THE EMBOSSED GOBLET
I’d make that free goblet something special, commemorative, and relevant to the island, and I’d introduce a NEW design every year.
That’s an additional revenue stream for the brewery, a regular reminder of the brand for buyers when they use their goblet, and it creates an emotional bond that keeps customers coming back – to the island, to the brand, and to the brewery.
#3: VIP EVENTS
Members could be invited to exclusive preview tasting events when new beers are launched.
#4: MEMBER PERKS AND REWARDS
They could get an exclusive rewards card that gives perks for every x visit or x spend.
As they are already giving 10% off in the shop, adding this option too might cut too deep into the profit, but the aim would be to incentivise repeat visits.
If some of these perks were seasonal, the brewery could increase revenues in days or months that are typically slower by adding a perk with a high perceived value in those months.
AFTER ADDING THE ABOVE, THE OFFER HAS A HIGH PERCEIVED VALUE FOR EACH CUSTOMER GROUP:
PERCEIVED VALUE TO THE BEER-DRINKING ISLANDER
For residents who drink this brand of beer, the perceived value is:
- the aggregated food savings
- plus perks,
- plus owning the exclusive goblet collection
- and the bragging rights of tasting the new island brews before their beer loving mates on the big island
PERCEIVED VALUE TO THE BEER-DRINKING HOLIDAYMAKER
For the, holidaymakers, their perceived value will be:
- the menu discount when they are visiting
- plus sampling the local beer
- plus building a collection of the commemorative branded island goblet souvenirs
- the prestige of being a member of an island beer brand.
PERCEIVED VALUE TO THE NON BEER-DRINKING HOLIDAYMAKER
And if you have no interest in beer whatsoever and just want a nice lunch occasionally, you’re still getting good value too.
- the food price savings means the membership fee will pay for itself, over and over,
- the 10% store discount when you’re buying gifts
- and anything else is a bonus.
Now, EVERYONE feels like they’re getting a great deal.
That’s why, how you package up, present, and COMMUNICATE your offer matters so much.
How they communicated one part of their offer however, gets a 10/10 from me.
You might remember, I said at the start of this article that membership is £12.50 per year.
It’s actually £12.50 lifetime, with the following caveat:
“To keep your membership active, you must visit the bar or restaurant at least once per year.”
Written like that, the statement FEELS like an order, a negative ‘taking more’, as opposed to, a positive, ‘giving more’.
Compare how you feel reading the sentence above, to this next sentence:
“Membership is £12.50 per year. Regular customers receive free annual renewals.”
I loved that wording. Feels like they’re rewarding you for visiting more, don’t you think?
For more information about the brewery, visit GODDARDS BREWERY LIMITED
UPDATE: 16th MAY 2023
Last weekend we visited the new premises and became members so we could have lunch in the restaurant.
You’re given a new members’ guide when you sign up which was an enjoyable read through the history of Goddards and the inspiring story of Anthony Goddard, the founder.
We’ll be going back for sure!
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