When the City of Madras asked Every Idea if we could help them recruit a brewery to town, we said “Bottoms up,” and got to work! Madras is the last best place in Oregon without a brewery or brew pub and city officials want to change that. Madras, a gateway to travel destination Central Oregon, sits in the shadow of popular Bend, a town with 26+ breweries and no stranger to beer enthusiasts seeking to please their taste buds with the brew bounty of the region.
There are at least 776 breweries in Oregon, and the City of Madras knows there’s room for at least one more. In fact, The City conducted a community survey as part of its urban renewal plan in 2015, and recruiting a brewery was named one of the community’s highest priority projects. Through the Madras Redevelopment Commission (MRC), the City is offering a package of incentives and assistance to help Madras’ first craft brewer to start a brewery or brew pub, and become a vital member of a community.
What’s even more exciting is that Madras is a brewer’s dream when it comes to the environment and natural resources available. From ultra-pure water from nearby Opal Springs, to unique farm-to-tap and farm-to-table opportunities with locally grown and malted grain, to regionally sourced hops, and locally grown and raised food. And, possibly the best part of the story is the opportunity to be Madras’ first brewery!
Every Idea started by defining and segmenting the target audience, and then personifying each segment to tap into the hearts and minds of each. Groups included the established brewer looking to expand, a business guru looking for the next investment, and the passion-project type who’s driven by the love of great beer, good food, and community. The City of Madras made it clear, whoever fell into one of (or more) of these groups, they wanted to talk!
Every Idea developed three key elements to the recruitment program: 1) digital brochure that laid out every facet of the opportunity that could be printed on demand or easily emailed to key prospects to help then understand the uniqueness of what the City is offering; 2) Website at www.brewitmadras.com so that city officials could easily spread the word about the website and link it from their official city pages; and 3) Press release announcing the City’s incentive package and marketing pieces that outlined the opportunity.
At the time of publishing this case study, the City received so many inquiries that it is holding an RFP process to vet interested parties. The press release was picked up by over a dozen news organizations and stories ran locally, regionally, and nationally, as well as in industry publications. The landing page attracted almost 2,000 visitors in the first week, mostly form the Pacific Northwest, but as far away as Australia as well. And the City is busy meeting recruits daily with the encouragement that Madras won’t be the last best place in Oregon without a brewery for long!