I'm still working on the marketing plan portion of the business plan. Specifically, I've been focused on the competitive analysis. One of the key parts of a marketing plan (which is one of the key parts of a business plan) is the competitive analysis. For me, that means letting potential lenders know that I've done my research and I know how I will compete in an increasingly crowded market. What's in my competitive analysis? Well, I've tried to answer these questions:
Panic Alarmist compete with? Local, regional, and national craft breweries. I've listed all the Chicago production craft breweries with a few sentences on who they are, what beers they produce, and a bit of their history including their growth if I know it.
Panic Alarmist compete against AB-InBev, MillerCoors, and "premium" imports? Shock Top/Blue Moon are simply gateway beers to bring those who drink shit beer into the loving fold of real craft breweries. Their main products such as Bud Light are bleeding market share to craft beer (and wine, spirits, and nasty flavored alcoholic drinks), so not a real concern. Overpriced imports like Corona or Heineken provide excellent opportunities for craft beer. People who are already paying a premium for flavorless beers (except for their lightstruck skunkiness) are already willing to pay for a better product, they just need to be led to an actual better product.
Panic Alarmist compete with all of these and all the new breweries coming? Flavor, localness, freshness, authenticity, and unique beers (at least in this market, hopefully). A future retail store creates an amazing marketing opportunity. Packaging and tap handle design will be very distinct which will be important, but not nearly as important as the beer. A nice blurb on how local craft breweries help each other out despite being competitors.
What will be unique about Panic's (now named Alarmist) marketing? Porn. I'll provide complimentary access to the secret porn section of my website with every 1/2 bbl of
Panic Alarmist beer you buy. Pretty innovative, eh?! Hold on, my wife is calling me. Be right back......Ok, apparently there will be no porn offerings. Well, now I'm completely screwed, so to speak. Ok, well I'll focus a bit on my web and social media background but more importantly I'll go into some ideas I have that I feel will be pretty unique. Those are a secret for now ;-).
So that's an overview of how I'm addressing this important component of the business plan. It's so important that I actually moved it out of the marketing plan section and created its own section. I really want lenders to understand that I understand what the market is like and that I'm well aware of the challenges ahead.