How Branded Pens Added Extra Buzz Around Craft Brews

Co-branded beer brewery wide barrel Simplicolor pen with stylus

Co-branded beer brewery wide barrel Simplicolor pen with stylus

What does a craft brewery, frozen food company, and a grower of soybeans all have in common? The opportunity for co-branded marketing efforts. Like many businesses that manufacture their own products, these organizations rely on a network of distribution companies, a channel, to deliver their products into the hands of retailers and consumers. Whether it’s a beer garden or a garden show, relevant and useful promotional products like branded writing instruments provide an excellent co-branding opportunity for both parties.

Here’s an example of how a local craft brewer incorporated co-branded writing instruments into their channel marketing program, adding extra buzz for their brand and their distributor.

Food & Beverage: Would You Like a Pen with That?

Over the past few years, craft breweries have burst into the food & beverage scene, making it rarity to visit any bar without a few craft brews on tap. Thumbmark Brewery Distribution Co. was delivering more than a dozen brands of craft beer, each with their own seasonal flavors and distinct varieties. To help smaller beer brands like Lobster Hopped Beer Co. stand apart from the rest, participating brewers provided restaurants and bars with free co-branded pens with a qualifying keg order.

  • Pens were co-branded with the beer and distributor logo
  • The beer logo helped keep their brand top of mind with patrons
  • The distributor company logo helped keep their business top of mind with staff

Beer glass and brewery logo for co-branding opportunity

05_Case Study_Thumbmark_Card
Elite w/Stylus (item #CND) ballpoint pen with full color wraparound imprint.

*Distributor Tips: Choosing a pen that had a wraparound imprint offered maximum real estate to imprint a co-branded message. Choosing a pen with a stylus was extra helpful to restaurant staff, who often used mobile tablets to enter customer orders.

Examples of Vertical Markets with Distributorships

Outside of craft breweries, vertical markets that may benefit from channel marketing programs like the one mentioned above include:

  • Appliances
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Clothing & Retail
  • Food & Beverage
  • Furniture
  • Franchises

To read more about this case studies, access our online library of Marketing Tools.



*Case study based on an actual marketing event. Hopped Lobster Beer Co. and Thumbmark Brewery Distribution Co. are fictitious names.

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