Alaskan Brewing Company’s Coastal CODE Initiative
Alaskan Brewing Co. (AKB) takes great pride in being the most award-winning craft brewery in the history of the Great American Beer Festival. Despite the accolades, sales were somewhat stagnant and the brand remained relatively unknown south of Seattle. AKB teamed up with Westbound to launch Alaskan IPA in an effort to stimulate sales, re-invigorate the brand, and engage its internal team.
We recommended that AKB use the launch of Alaskan IPA to establish a long-term philanthropic initiative that leverages AKB’s values of corporate giving and environmental stewardship. Working with a modest budget, we created and launched an initiative called the Coastal CODE (Clean Oceans Depend on Everyone). We conducted consumer opinion research, mobilized local philanthropic groups, established an identity and mission for the CODE, created its Website, publicized efforts, managed local beach clean-up efforts, and helped select the first four grantees – all funded by AKB donating one percent of Alaskan IPA proceeds.
The Coastal CODE has been an overwhelming success. As a result of our strong media coverage, according to industry analyst Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Alaskan IPA became the number one New Craft Beer Brand, despite Alaskan IPA being sold in only 4 percent of total U.S. supermarkets, being launched mid-year, and having no other marketing support. Coastal CODE also inspired individuals to keep coastlines healthy, with AKB employees and beer fans sporting CODE T-shirts, participating in beach cleanup events, and contributing to Coastal CODE funds by enjoying Alaskan IPA.
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