Grandstanding: How to Make Money on a Keep-the-Glass Promotion

Effective promotions build solid culture, but they also boost bottom lines. A keep-the-glass promo is a classic example. Customers get a one-of-a-kind keepsake with your brand on it that they take home, they get to experience a few of your products, and they have an incentive to come back when you announce a new glass and/or beverage. You get increased traffic, and since you are up-charging for the glass, your promotional costs are covered with each glass sold. It’s a win-win for everyone. Here we discuss how to host an effective keep-the-glass promotion that will have you and your customers buzzing.

Why start a keep-the-glass promo?

Keep-the-glass promotionals a great for: 

  • Boosting sales on slow days.
  • Announcing new items, lines, partnerships, and more.
  • Building word-of-mount and social media buzz. 

Our Mutual Friend Brewing in Denver, Colorado, has been running one of these promotions for years and has made it a nearly weekly event. The idea began as a way to increase foot traffic and has just kept on going.

Our Mutual Friend customized glasswareOur Mutual Friend customized glassware
Luki Brewery branded glasswareLuki Brewery branded glassware
Luki Brewery decorated glasswareLuki Brewery decorated glassware
Luki Brewery custom beer glassLuki Brewery custom beer glass

How to run a keep-the-glass promo

To get started, don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to plan a series that goes on forever. Got a new beverage, partnership, or event you want to highlight? Focus on that. Pick a glass, work with our team to whip up a design (or use your own!), select your desired number of glasses, and we’ll have your custom glassware to you in no time.

The best keep-the-glass promos

Promotions are about buzz, and limited availability is a good way to get people excited and talking. Consider that and the other points below as you plan your event.

Limit the number of glasses available. 

Maybe the first 100 customers get the glass? Maybe the first 500? If you’re just trying to increase traffic on a slow weekday, maybe you start with 25 or 50 glasses. If you’re planning to do a keep-the-glass promo as part of a large, annual event, maybe 250 or 500 glasses is the right number. Your Grandstand rep can help you plan.

Make it about more than just the brand.

Celebrate the season, your participation in an event, a partnership with a charity or other friendly business… Think big!

  • Nobody likes Tuesday (or other slow day) – make it funny!
  • You’re launching a new IPA to celebrate summer.
  • Your winery has a booth at a farmers market.
  • Your distillery is partnering with a nonprofit and a portion of sales will support it.

Turn a profit because the glass is amazing.

Your logo on a pint does not make a custom pint glass. The best keep-the-glass projects feature much more than a one-color logo. They combine decoration styles for a real wow effect. Since you’ll be upcharging for the glass, lean into design. Yes, your customers will be intrigued by branded glassware, but they’ll really show up for something unique.

Remember: If you design a really great glass, it will be a draw by itself. And, customers that show up for the glass will see it every time they open their cabinet. If you want them to keep it and come back, make it truly special.

For a premium experience that is sure to impress, raise your design off the surface of a glass with digital embossing. Digital embossing can be clear or colored and creates a tactile experience that will result in a conversation-starting glass.

You might also consider: 

  • Use digital printing to fully cover a glass
  • Use screen printing for large blocks of big bold colors
  • Putting a band on the glass or a halo around the top
  • Nucleating the bottom for more bubbles

And, don’t forget the glass itself. We offer pints and stemmed wine glasses, sure, but that’s just the jumping-off point:

  • Beer can glasses
  • Belgian beer glasses
  • Stemless wine glasses
  • Mason jars
  • Goblets and tumblers

Your friends here at Grandstand really can handle just about anything you can dream up.

Custom glassware with digital embossed and digital print decorationsCustom glassware with digital embossed and digital print decorations

How to keep it going: Build on buzz by making the event a series

So, you had a solid first keep-the-glass event. You targeted a slow business day, designed some killer custom beer glasses, and gave yourself time to spread the news via social and word of mouth. And, people showed up!

Now, as the dust settles, monitor the buzz. Talk to your staff and regulars, and … you’ll probably discover that your fans love this unique way to celebrate your offerings!

How to advertise a keep-the-glass promotion

Word of mouth and social media are great ways to advertise … and they’re nearly free. But, sometimes you need to spend money to make money.

The Grandstand partners who are most successful with keep-the-glass promotions consider the following advertising channels:

  • Flyering the neighborhood – this can be a staff job. Be sure to check local regulations!
  • Boosted posts on social media.
  • Display advertising in the publications your customers read.
  • A short spot on customer-favorite local radio stations. 

As you do more of these promotions, you should be able to turn to organic, lower-cost advertising to keep excitement up. The following ideas are great ways to hold advertising costs down:

  • Charitable partnerships
  • Design-a-glass competitions with submissions open to local artists, students, etc.
  • Encouraging customers post on social media with their cups
  • Go to your email lists and send out a blast or start a newsletter 
Custom pint glass with custom packagingCustom pint glass with custom packaging
3 Daughters Brewing custom can glass3 Daughters Brewing custom can glass

Next steps: Planning future events

Next, plan one, maybe two more events. Give yourself a month or two ahead of each to design a new glass and settle on a number to order. If you purchased 25 the first time, try 50 the next.

As you keep running these events, focus on your products at first. As excitement builds, branch out to larger events that allow vendors, maybe. Beyond those, as momentum builds, explore partnerships. 

The best brands are about connection, and keep-the-glass nights are all about that. Focus on making one glass truly awesome, and you are bound to see results! 

As ever, reach out to us at Grandstand if you need help or guidance – we’ve helped thousands of brands connect with their customer for over 35 years.