Based in a restored heritage firehall, Lake of the Woods Brewing Co. is Kenora’s only craft brewery. Since 2013, it has honoured the legacy of the original local brewery that operated in town from the 1890s to the 1950s.
This unique position in the local market, and that pedigree, go a long way. Still, Lake of the Woods must vigorously market itself to compete with other craft beer brands sold at The Beer Store and LCBO locations and the other craft brewers down the road in Thunder Bay.
A strong emphasis on marketing has enabled Lake of the Woods to expand across Ontario and into other provinces. This effort relies on having a current website and online ordering right into the taproom.
Co-owner and Director of Marketing Rob Dokuchie believed that the brewery could still be doing more. He turned to Digital Main Street (DMS) with its free educational resources and $2,500 Digital Transformation Grants.
The brewery is now working to improve its website and develop a more consistent program of quality social media promotion and geo-targeted advertising, on par with the bigger brands against which it competes. Rob and the team are also upgrading their Shopify e-commerce capabilities to take advantage of more features.
“Online is where people are – to find businesses and to make purchase decisions,” Rob said. “If you’re not taking advantage of that to stand out from your competitors, you are losing business every day. Whatever your level of knowledge or experience, DMS can help your business.”