If your signature beer is a dark stout, why not carry the darkness theme throughout your whole company? Surly Brewery in Minneapolis has done just that and modeled their whole organization along with a brusque theme.

No light fluffiness or pumpkin spice here: their beers have names like  Overrated, Furious, Todd the Axe Man, Fiery Hell, Cynic, Sour and Dumpster Fire. Their corporate volunteerism is called “Give a Damn”. Their website is in dark colors and sassy language.

And it’s working for them. They produce over 29 million pints/year. Their city-block-sized Beer Hall and pizza gardens are overflowing. The gift store is a tourist attraction in itself.

Not all messaging or themes need to be full of unicorns and rainbows. Use Surly’s darkness as an example of how authenticity in your branding can shine the light on your products.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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