What makes a great tap handle?

What makes a great tap handle?

Posted by Richard Gendron on 2022 Mar 29th

     Tap handles are advertising plain and simple. Some companies have lost touch with that and think that the gargoyle or unicorn is going to attract more attention than a Bud Light handle.

     Art is not advertising. When a museum advertising an art exhibit do they just throw up a big painting on the outside of the building and expect people to come. NO, they use engaging text, color and composition. The art is in the background if there at all.

     When we design handles we have advertising in mind first.

     Where is this handle going. Usually in a poorly lite pub. Great! we need it to be bright and have contrast.

     Who is your customer? usually a guy or girl who has had a few already and is looking for something new but doesn’t want to waste money on a $6 pint that they are going to hate. Great! make the handle easy to read and that has all the information to make that decision. What company, what type of beer and where is it made.

     Does it follow your existing branding? This one drives me nuts. Example: I went to the store and grabbed a 6 pack of Jim’s Lager. Want to try something new on a Friday night. Loved them, polish those off and now we are off to the local pub. Now can I make that connection between the packaging, the cans and now the tap handle? More times than not I can’t because Jim’s Lager decided to use a unicorn rather than make a design that directly related to his branding.

     A tap handle is no different than any other part of your branding. It has to be consistent. We want to generate impressions and good ones. Otherwise what is the point.

     Budweiser (InBev) is one of our customers. They spend millions on branding and research. Have you looked at an Inbev handle? They are simple, to the point no nonsense advertisements. Theres no gargoyles and unicorns. They stand out. Rich colors, bold text, clean lines. What does that equate to? they sell a lot more beer. Now I agree, their beer is not the best, but for that guy who is trying to make a decision on what to spend his $6 on (now we are not talking the hipster millennial who takes an hour to drink one pint because he has to analyze each drop, we’re talking the guy who drinks 6 pints on a Friday night, you know, the guy who makes you money) he is going to go with what he’s familiar with. Something he’s seen or tasted before, something that’s memorable. The goal of advertising is to get as many impressions on your customer as possible. The more you get the more likely you and your company are to switch him from your competition. The more likely he is to take that first sip. He needs to feel comfortable giving you that hard earned $6. And the only way to do that is through consistent, insightful repetition. Once you achieve that you will have a customer for life.

     Be bold, stay consistent and hustle.