Marketing, Branding

A Swig of Innovation

Author
Marc Davison
No.
58
Date
08/28/07

Bostonlagerpintglass_2Few can muster up the unbridled passion Jim Koch does for his product. When he talks about his beer, his company or his customers, his eyes sparkle. His passion is so real, I get a contact high just listening to him.

In Jim’s world, everyday is the day he started his company. Every new customer is the first one that decided to give his beer a shot. Every media appearance is like his first big splash. And every batch of Sam Adams is, for Jim, that first virgin brew.

Recently Jim introduced a new beer glass designed to enhance the entire Samuel Adams experience. 

"It’s a personal passion of mine to develop a beer glass that elevates the craft-beer drinking experience," Jim Koch, company chairman and founder of the Samuel Adams beer brand, said in a statement. "We wanted to create a glass that offers beer lovers a full sensory experience by fully showcasing Samuel Adams Boston Lager’s complex balance of malt and hop flavors."

Is it possible that the shape of a glass can enhance the taste of beer? I ordered a case of ’em just to find out. If Jim says it will, I believe him. Because when I pop open a Sam Adams I want to enjoy it as deeply as Jim does.

I buy into his passion.
I trust his sincerity.
I’m a believer.

The origins of beer can be traced back before 6,000 B.C in Sumeria – a recipe discovered preserved on cuneiform tablets. I can only imagine the type of vessel people drank it from. Some rudimentary clay precursor to the glass.

Here we are 8,000 years later. We could safely say that there has been very little in the way of innovation from the beer world. Truth is, we could go another 8,000 status quo years and little would change in how people relate to beer.

A sentiment many in real estate share.

But that way of thinking doesn’t fly in Jim Koch’s world. He believes that people are attracted to innovation. To creativity. And companies that present a passion for their customers. Being one of many beers does not fit into Jim’s passion to be the best. Doing things like they’ve been done for a millenia isn’t part of his acumen. 

In the short time since it hit the market, this glass, which has more curves than Pam Anderson, was designed to increase the "mouth tingle" with each gulp of a Sam Adams. It won’t for just any beer. This glass was designed to increase the flavor of his beer.

The glass now the #1 selling item in the Sam Adam gift shop. It’s been distributed to over a 1,000 bars from coast and could pump new blood into the slightly sinking sales recorded in the first half of 07.

I love Jim’s view of the world. One simple little innovation, built with passion, tied to a compelling story is precisely how his company, any company, any product, or any individual can separate from the masses.

As we all struggle to find our place inside our respective industries and seek to stand out from our competitors, all we really need is to take is page Jim Koch’s book, and a swig of his visionary brew. Wake up today and innovate. Create something special that you believe will enhance the consumers experience. Get passionate about it. Tell the story and then live it as if nothing else matters.

– Davison