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Aggressive Marketing Can Win By Pissing People Off

December 15th, 2014 by

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I’ve been studying the marketing strategies of fellow Inc 5000 customers achieving explosive growth with sales. I stumbled on Stone Brewing, a company founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner.  Stone Brewing is now the 10th largest crafted brewery in the US, which they achieved without spending a penny on advertising.

One quick visit to the site, and you’ll see marketing strategy at its finest. “You must be drinking age to visit our site, please enter your birth date.” By harvesting birth dates and log-on times for first time visitors, and tracking visitation patterns, they learn more about how different brands connect with different customers and fans.

In an interview by Inc Magazine, they shared a few tips based on their success.  Attitude is everything with their marketing strategy, with eyebrow-raising brand names like Arrogant Bastard Ale, appealing to fans who love the beer, almost dissing those who don’t.  They also poke fun at the sheep-like consumers with playful T-Shirts and stickers that carry the tagline: “Fizzy yellow beer is for wussies.”

Rarely, if ever, do we see instructions for writing projects at WriterAccess that pick a fight with mediocrity or encourage an anti-corporate spirit. But hats off for those marketers that are seeking the competitive edge by standing out from the pack with aggressive tactics to win the hearts of the few that matter, not the masses that might follow.

Greg Koch also took a leadership position with craft brewing by founding the San Diego Brewers Guild, an organization created to promote and educate the public on the craft of brewing beer. This move back in 1997, just a year after he started the company, put Koch way ahead of his time when it came to content marketing.

Content marketing is not about mainstream growth. It’s about learning the wants and needs of our customers, and delivering it to them with quality content. It’s about campaigns that make readers think, and enjoy being part of something that gives back more than it takes.

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