In a time of evermore brands and beers on the shelves, it has become vital to stand out. Whether that be visually, or through a great brand story, or even both. Mark Fairbanks of Translator was kind enough to share the story of how his team re-branded Milwaukee Brewing Company from the Louie’s Demise of old to the Louie’s Demise (and Resurrection) of today. The team at Translator and at Milwaukee Brewing Company spent many hours refining the brand and the story, conducing focus groups and performing market research to establish where MKE Brewing would fit into the brewing landscape here in Milwaukee, but also regionally and nationally. Mark has some wonderful stories about this project and if you ever have a chance to hear him speak, take it. You won’t be sorry.
However, an awesome brand or a beer name isn’t worth a heck of a lot if you’re not allowed to use it. For that reason, Chris King and Maureen Easton of Foley came in and shared their perspective on protecting your beers good name in the market place. Chris is a trademark / IP attorney at Foley and Maureen is a business attorney who will lead up the firm’s craft food and beverage arm in the coming years. Maureen was joined by her husband Trevor; together they own ALT Brew in Madison, a young brewery focused on the creation of high quality gluten free beer. The four presenters talked through some recent trademarking and legal issues in the brewing industry and shared some insight as to how our participants can protect themselves from the dreaded Cease and Desist!
At the end of the day, not every young brewery can afford to spend the money for an exhaustive branding exercise and trademark planning process. However, the lessons learned will pay off dividends as our aspiring brewmasters forge ahead into the crowded market!