Invest in People to Sell Products

How Creature Comforts Brewing Co. turns their internal staff communications into external success with customers.

CEO Chris Herron outside of the brewery.

To be successful in the craft beer industry Creature Comforts Brewing Co. makes sure their staff is buying into brand’s mission and culture. It’s a profitable strategy because employees who feel connected to their company are more likely to have better interactions with customers, which can lead to a 20% increase in sales. Though the Athens, Georgia-based brewery uses Mailchimp to communicate externally with customers, it’s also a tool to welcome, inform and educate their employees on the brand. For What’s in Store we traveled to Creature Comfort’s tasting room to find out how using Mailchimp automations to communicate internally encourages growth across all facets of their business.

Family matters

Since 2014, Creature Comforts has amassed a following that’s quickly led to them being considered “one of the most sought-after young breweries in Georgia.” From their beers—year rounds, seasonals, limited releases, Subtle Alchemy collection—to their work in the local arts community, the brewery’s rep is growing. However, Co-Founder and CEO Chris Herron says where the company leadership needed the most improvement was in understanding the importance of creating a culture that left their staff feeling empowered.

“I underestimated just how meaningful that aspect of the business would be as I came from large corporations where that connection to all the employees was missing,” Chris says of his biggest learning.

GIF of Chris Herron holding CC beer cases.

With the help of Mailchimp, Chris was able to break the bad habits passed down from Corporate America. Instead, he says building genuine relationships with the team provides an opportunity to create a culture and business they’re proud of. That feeling of pride trickles down from their staff to the customers, who show their appreciation for the Creature Comforts brand in dollar amounts.

Since they were already using Mailchimp to connect with customers, it was easy to start incorporating a similar strategy to keep the familial bond intact.

Floating faces illustration.
1. Welcome new members to the family.

The communications and marketing team has a welcome automation set up to greet new employees. The email also introduces staff to Mailchimp as one of the primary communication tools they’re using.

“The welcome email automation communicates the idea that we truly consider our internal staff to be family and that we are excited to get to know each new member that joins us on our journey,” says Communications Specialist Emily Sabula.

Illustration of woman speaking into another woman's ear.
2. Keep them informed.

After receiving their first welcome email, the staff then gets weekly updates on all company-wide announcements, events, new product launches—all done in the quirky style, tone and voice the brand is known for. That messaging keeps the different teams all focused on the common end goal: sell the Creature Comforts story, and the rest will follow.

“Mailchimp has helped us create a fun and consumable line of communication across all of our different departments to make sure our entire staff is aware of everything the company has going on,” Emily says.

Illustration of a collection of faces.
3. Put “people over products” in your messaging.

Chris says the messaging in the internal newsletters to staff mirrors the company values in that, “each email begins with a focus on our people.” This means using date-based automations to highlight everything from birthdays and anniversaries, as well as celebrating their achievements and passions outside of work. What happens is that employees carry that genuine interest in people over to their interactions with customers.

“Put people over products,” Chris says. “When we have failed to remember to do that, things always get sideways and the organization feels the pain which translates into every part of the business. The opposite is true as well, when we have done it right it is amazing how that moves through all facets of the business and how much better things operate.”