For Steve Beauchesne, co-owner of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co., being part of his local community wasn’t part of the business plan, it was the business plan.
Since starting up the craft brewery with his father Tim Beauchesne just over seven years ago, Beau’s priority has been to forge genuine relationships with customers in Vankleek Hill community and the surrounding Ottawa area.
Now with multiple awards, their beer available at LCBO stores across most of the province, and growing sales numbers, Beau’s has clearly captured and fostered this “community spirit” en route to becoming one of Canada’s most successful craft breweries.
“With a craft brewery, half the excitement is generated just by being local to your fan base,” says Beauchesne. “It’s like rooting for your home team— people want to get behind you. They want a real relationship with the brewery they’re buying from, and you can’t fake that.”
Creating super fans
To turn its local customers into fans and its fans into super fans, Beau’s employed a marketing strategy that was much simpler than many would imagine.
“We pick up phones, reply to emails, respond to tweets, and use Facebook not as an advertising tool, but as a communication tool,” says Beau’s creative director Jordan Bamforth. “It might be hard to believe, but we don’t even have a customer database. We know our customers by name and we remember when they last tweeted or emailed us.”
In growing Beau’s from the ground up, Bamforth also explained how vital it was to tie all the brewery’s marketing efforts back to their small business website beaus.ca.
“Our website is our anchor. Whether it’s traditional or online marketing, our call to action is always to visit beaus.ca,” says Bamforth. “Sometimes our marketing and customer engagement programs are fairly complex, so we need the website to back up our promotions and explain things more fully.”
Building a strong online presence was so important to the company, in fact, that Beauchesne says he secured a website long before Beau’s ever brewed their first beer.
“Without a website, you have a credibility issue,” says Beauchesne. “Potential customers will be naturally skeptical about the products and services you provide.”
.CA is good for business
Beauchesne and Bamforth stress the importance of securing a .CA domain if you’re a local business here in Canada.
"A .CA domain identifies us with being proudly Canadian without us even having to say it,” says Bamforth. “.CA has kind of an iconic quality to it. It’s kind of like throwing the maple leaf on your backpack. Within seven characters, you have Beau’s plus Canada. It says it all right there."
“A .com doesn’t do that for you,” adds Beauchesne. “For us, it’s Beau’s Canada, not Beau’s commerce.”
In addition to securing a .CA domain name, Beau’s encourages all small business owners to follow their heart and stay true to what they believe in when building their business.
“We don’t let others dissuade us when they tell us something won’t work. We like to prove that it can,” says Beauchesne.
“We always say that growth isn’t a goal, it’s a symptom. We want to do things right and that doesn’t only mean making the best beer possible, it means doing what’s best for the environment and doing right by our community.”
Great Canadian businesses, projects and ideas start with a .CA domain name – if you’re looking to get online, reserve your domain name today: