In Conversation with Jonny Day from Capital Brewing Co.

Natalie Dean-Weymark


February 20, 2024

This journal article is taken from Episode 6 of Compass Studio’s podcast series “In Conversation” hosted by Co-Founder and Director Natalie Dean-Weymark. Jonny Day is the Marketing Manager for Capital Brewing, a brewing brand with a big impact.

In an era where consumer demands constantly evolve, brands across all industries are constantly required to adapt. But what happens when the market requires a shift in your category, almost to a new one? How do you navigate uncharted territory, while preserving authentic community integration, in a way that remains true to the brand? 

On this week’s episode of In Conversation, we spoke to Jonny Day, Marketing Manager of Capital Brewing Co. A B-Corp certified brewery based in Canberra that follows the Good Natured Brews ethos. Capital Brewing Co. has recently made a noteworthy foray into a different category with their Alc Less campaign, venturing into the non-alcoholic beer space.This strategic side-step from their traditional offering, has opened up a conversation with a broader audience and given them the opportunity to engage with outdoor enthusiasts through grass-roots partnerships and event sponsorships like trail running. Read on, or listen here👇

Q: Tell me about your favourite campaign that you've worked on and why it's your favourite.

A: That would have to be our Alc-less campaign, “Do more with Alc-less”, promoting our new non-alcoholic beer. The non-alc beer space is still new in Australia, so it's an exciting place to play in. I've been in beer for seven years now, and by marketing a non-alc product, you're able to try some new ideas and freshen it up a bit.

Additionally, the product itself is red hot. We produce ‘Alc-less’ using a special yeast that produces minimal alcohol as part of the fermentation process. It results in a craft non-alcoholic beer that's full of flavour, meeting the taste characteristics that craft drinkers look for. The campaign has allowed us to target a broader array of consumers, opening up new spaces like events, sampling, and outdoor activities such as trail running.

The depth we've achieved with this campaign is another reason I love it. Sponsoring running events, brand collaborations, and our Good Natured Crew ambassadors program which partners with outdoor enthusiasts, has added authenticity and credibility to our marketing efforts.

Q: What do you wish you knew at the start of the campaign?

A: I call myself a bit of a method marketer, with that approach I dive deep into my brands marketing activities and I wish I had done a bit more training for some of these Trail Running races that I entered. But honestly, that world is epic, the people in that running world are legit. If I knew I was going to be doing some running during this campaign, I would have trained a bit more to save the legs but outside of that, the campaign's been a ripper.

Q: Do you think there's a secret recipe to getting it right in the purpose-led space?

A: Depth and authenticity are the two key aspects. Dive deep into your audience's world, look for opportunities to add value, and then deliver an authentic message with a product you genuinely stand behind. In our case, the ‘Alc-less’ campaign led to the creation of our Good Natured Crew ambassadors, aligning with like-minded individuals and building a community based on shared values.

Q: In terms of a big marketing budget, what do you believe moves the needle most?

A: Regardless of your budget, the key is taking an approach like the Alc-less campaign. Before considering the budget, understand your product, your consumer, and where they spend their time. Add value in their world and ensure your message is real. The budget can then be used to amplify that message to a wider audience. Until you do the due diligence and have something valuable to say with an authentic voice, 
it really doesn't matter what your budget is.

Q: For a small budget, what matters most?

A: Start with depth rather than amplification. Partner with brands or voices that align with your values, even if they are also starting with lower budgets. Look for opportunities to collaborate and reach audiences in a way that doesn't necessarily cost much but adds value.

Q: What has been your biggest external hurdle and how have you gotten around it?

A: Ensuring work-life balance has been a hurdle for me. Realizing the importance of outdoor activities, fitness, and a healthy lifestyle led me to make career choices that aligned with those values. At Capital Brewing, we prioritize giving our team the opportunity for a balanced life, especially since we're all about the outdoors which is where I find my peace. 

Q: What are you reading for inspirational development?

A: I read the “Surfer's Journal” for inspiration, and "We Are Explorers" is a great digital platform. A lot of the time, they're talking about things that I lean into and enjoy, there's a lot of shared values in the stories and brands they represent. From a marketing perspective, “Marketing Week” is my main go-to as they have short and sweet articles that are to the point. 

Q: In terms of podcasts, who are you listening to?

A: “Rich Roll Podcast” is the main podcast I listen to. He brings in people that are amazing in their field, that also have great advice to give such as how to become a great runner or how to live a balanced life. The way he executes that content is quite cool.

Q: Who are the voices you listen to in purpose-led marketing?

A: I get a lot of inspiration from John Moore, the Creative Director of Outerknown. He goes deep into the eco-textile world, taking materials such as fishing nets from the ocean or algae and turning them into fabrics that then translate into garments, which is very cool.

I also take inspiration from Mark Ritson, and various voices from Patagonia and Arc’teryx is a new brand I’ve come across in the running world. They’re brands that align with what I value especially in the activism space.

Q: How have you responded to changes in consumer content habits as a marketer?

A: Make sure you have something legit to say, engage through channels your audience leans into, and create physical brand experiences at events. Showing up physically and immersing yourself in communities is key.

Like what you read? Listen to the full episode podcast with Jonny Day here or read more from our other In Conversation guests over on the Compass journal here.

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