Have you heard of the Brewdog brewing company? They are a micro Scottish brewery who had a tough time selling locally because people grew up with other lager. So, they connected with American and Swedish beer enthusiasts who appreciated foreign beer. They contacted the top beer bloggers in each country and sent them free samples. As a result, their beer orders took off and now exports account for 80% of their business.
Isn’t this an extraordinary success story? They reached out to bloggers and grew their business substantially. What company would shy away from these results?
Ignorant companies, that’s who, but you’re different. You are reading Prevential.com and our main goal is to show you how you can grow your business. In the remaining part of this article, I will show you what you can learn from Brewdog’s success.
Talk to Your Customers
Brewdog used video to talk to their customers. They filmed the staff arguing about the virtues of different beers and then let them vote on how it would taste. They called it “Beer Rocks” and it was a huge success since it was the world’s first democratically designed beer. Now, do you know the best part? All it cost was a few hours filming and the price of a video camera.
This promotion worked well because it added a personal touch to a distant company. As I mentioned in the Mom & Pop Advantage, customers today yearn for this personal touch and this leads me to my next big point.
Let Your Customers Decide
How many of you remember the origin of the Blue M&M? For those of you that don’t, Mars let their customers vote on either Blue, Pink, or Purple M&Ms by calling 1-800 FUN COLOR and Blue won. The people who voted for blue felt like they made a difference and probably continued eating M&Ms because they had a personal investment in the product.
Brewdog’s “Beer Rocks” campaign was similar. They let their customers vote and to no surprise, it created lots of buzz. So, if you’re looking to introduce or change your product, you should let your customers have some input. It will give your customers a personal investment in your product and it will help you avoid travesties like “New Coke.”
Make Your Customers Feel Special
If you take a look at Brewdog’s website, they say “our beers are in no way commercial or mainstream.” That means, if you’re drinking their beer, you are part of the select few who have the privilege of drinking it. While subtle, it makes their customers feel special — it makes them feel like they’re part of a small Seth Godin-like Tribe. If you want your customers to feel part of a small and elite crew, sometimes you just need to tell them they’re already in it.
What Do You Think?
Now what do you think? Did Brewdog join the conversation the right way? Why don’t more companies take a page from their book and do the same?