October 06, 2002
Brand loyalty

A nice article in today's Chron about local brewery and success story St. Arnold's. If you're a local and you haven't done one of the Saturday afternoon brewery tours, you're missing out on a fun experience as well as some free samples of their tasty beer. You might even get to see St. Arnold himself if you're lucky:

People appreciate beer in general because it has a socializing influence, said Bev Blackwood, a member of St. Arnold's Army, the nickname for the brewery's legion of supporters.

On special occasions, Blackwood wears a robe his wife made and a bishop's hat to assume the role of St. Arnold, the patron saint of brewers.

Blackwood, a computer trainer at San Jacinto College, explained his devotion. St. Arnold is a quality beer that must compete in a corporate environment driven by "bland and undifferentiated products," he maintained.

"If we don't support the St. Arnold brewery we may not have St. Arnold beer to drink."

Someone once said of Harley-Davidson that if your customers are in the habit of tattooing themselves with your corporate logo, they're unlikely to try a competitor's product. I think the same is true of customers who voluntarily dress up as your corporate icon in their spare time.

One last reason to like St. Arnold's: You can redeem six-pack and twelve-pack carriers for cool stuff.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 06, 2002 to Elsewhere in Houston