In the thriving consumer-driven economy that is modern China high end brands are looking to the craft beer experience to win over customers.
The latest companies to venture down this route are luxury car makers Mercedes and Lamborghini.
For these high-end automobile brands setting up these stores is seen as not only a way to enrich customers’ experiences to provide a contact point for them to understand more about their potential customers.
In-store craft beer experience
Mercedes me is a new service brand launched by Mercedes Benz in 2014. Differing from their traditional ‘4S’ model (sales, service, spare parts & survey) this new generation of stores focus on the importance to life experiences.
To help with the transition to this new consumer experience brewery manufacturers YoLong Brewtech were approached to provide turnkey breweries for China’s next generation of Mercedes me outlets.
In April 2019 YoLong Brewtech commissioned their first in-store brewery in the Mercedes me Chengdu outlet. Partnering with Australian dispensing company Flying Foam they installed a fully functional 6 Hl (600 liter) brewery with stacking 600 litre fermenting and storage tanks.
The elegant copper brewhouse and storage tanks were incorporated as showpieces in the sweeping design of the outlet.
The challenge to create new experiences
Commenting on the opportunity to design a brewhouse to compliment the Mercedes Me stores, Ray Ran of YoLong Brewtech said “It was a challenge for us to design such industrial equipment to compliment the look and feel of the store, but we’re happy with the outcome. The luxurious feel of the brewhouse, complimented by its classic copper exterior are sensitive to Mercedes’ luxury lifestyle experience”.
Following in the slip-stream of the Chengdu outlet a second store was opened, complete with 6 Hl brewery, in June 2020 in Shenzhen’s Vientiane World resort.
YoLong Brewtech then received a new challenge after the successful experience of the two Mercedes me outlets. They were approached by Lamborghini to design a brewery that customers could try their hand at brewing on for their new Lamborghini Experience Store in Shenyang.
What resulted was a turnkey 10 Hectolitre (1,000 liter) brewery complete with a mini 20 liter all grain brewing system on which customers could experience brewing their own customized beer in a VIP brewing area, the “Brewlab”.
The polished copper exterior of the main brewing system was also designed to reflect the clean lines and sleek look that is so typical of Lamborghini cars.
Installation is currently underway with the 1,700 sq/m outlet due to open soon. “It was a challenging installation schedule”, said Ray, noting that YoLong technicians had to work on location in tandem with outlets main contractors.
Not only did YoLong have to install a brewery for this outlet, but bottle and keg fillers were also required.
“Our team was low-key and efficient, completing our portion of the project on time and with minimum obstruction to the main contractors. With Lamborghini’s emblem being a raging bull, we’re happy to produce a brewery for them in the Chinese year of the Ox!”
New consumers, new environments
With the rise of new consumer groups, the single sales channel is a thing of the past. Consumers not only pay attention to the quality of a product, but also to whether the brand can provide additional high-quality service experiences and service.
Both Mercedes and Lamborghini see these crossover projects as important steps to a more immersive experience for their clientele. It is hoped the in-store craft beer experience can create a richer more lifestyle orientated image for their brands with a new generation of consumers.