For our examination of the Colorado craft beer industry, we wanted to find which craft breweries had at least one practice of corporate social responsibility. The easiest way to find this was by visiting each breweries website. We quickly realized that several breweries had easily listed their community support while others did in hard to find areas (like blogs) or not at all.
We determined that an extremely important part to CSR is being able to easily have your audience identify what your CSR activities are and doing that through a brewery's website should be one of the places this should happen. It also needs to be easily found on the website and not having to search deeply.
Thus, our criteria for a brewery is promoting their CSR activities are:
We have excluded:
If you are a brewery and feel you do promote your CSR activities and are not identified on our map as doing so, please contact us at 720.341.8365 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we can correct any errors.
What does this mean?
For most craft breweries, improvements need to be made amongst those that do CSR activities but do not promote as well as those that do promote. Many that we recognized as promoting included minimal information and did not promote their achievements or goals.
Using the key takeaways from the Craft Breweries Reporting CSR page, there are several breweries whose CSR practices can be mimicked in certain ways, but to turn it into a strategy can make it apart of the brewery brand and very competitive (like New Belgium) player in the craft brewing industry.
Breweries who we thought do a good job of social reporting are New Belgium, Left Hand Brewing, Oskar Blues, and Pagosa Springs Brewing.
What this means for the craft brewing industry in Colorado and social reporting?
It appears likely that the Colorado craft brewing industry market could be moving into a stage where late entrants are entering. At this stage of an industry, it is important for businesses to distinguish themselves. In our opinion, the Denver market is particularly growing with numbers and breweries need to develop a long-term strategy using anything to differentiate themselves.
We believe that strategically incorporating CSR for breweries is currently a very underutilized techniques for differentiation. Using it as a differentiation technique craft breweries can receive all the benefits of what CSR provides. In addition, they can access new communities not only in their geographic location. By strategically aiming for a community tied by a common cause (like veterans) it attracts a new customer base to the business. For many breweries that begin to distribute outside of their region, a positive reputation and good CSR branding may help with the product sell.
For Confluence we hope to help all craft breweries improve their CSR promotions and practices through our services. We can either help manage all or a small portion of their CSR initiatives or create a strategy to better market these activities. We can help smaller breweries realize what they can do, what competitors are doing, and how to make an impact that aligns with where the craft brewery's vision and strategy take place.
We will try to update these maps monthly as more breweries enter the market and as other breweries hopefully improve their social reporting on their websites. For the future we hope to include analysis on breweries that promote using social media, on-site, and on products.