Crowdsourcing with MobCraft Beer
I have been fascinated by the concept of crowdsourcing and its application to marketing and public relations since discovering it several years ago. The term “crowdsourcing” was coined by Harvard grad Jeff Howe in 2006. Crowdsourcing involves solicitation of ideas from key target audiences, typically in a cost-effective, participatory manner. The concept has actually been around for years, but the Internet and social media offer unique ways to leverage these virtual brain-storming sessions.
MobCraft Beer leverages crowdsourcing by having customers submit beer ideas, the owners craft the recipes, and the “Mob of users” vote on the recipes they want to see brewed. The company is based in Wisconsin, where founders Henry, Giotto and Andrew’s entrepreneurial spirits embrace the power of the crowd. The owners produce small batches of custom craft beers based on user submitted recipes. As each beer grows in popularity, the four most popular beers are put up for a monthly vote.
Recent recipes include Beersgiving Cranberry Trippel, a Belgian triple brew with cranberry juice, and Bock to the Future, a combination of victory and dark crystal malts that “make a prominent appearance,” but Vienna, Melanoidin and Munich malts to “keep it tied to tradition.”
But how does beer relate to PR and business strategy? It’s the crowdsourcing piece…the use of “people power” through interested and engaged target audiences. Loyal customers can easily tell an organization how to improve its products, processes or systems. The tactic naturally falls under integrated marketing communications program, and social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube make it even easier and cheaper to execute.
Progressive companies, nonprofits and innovators can easily leverage these tools and collect a diverse pool of ideas. And that’s where MobCraft Beer found its niche, in the power of the people. Still not sure crowdsourcing is for your company? Crack open a bottle of MobCraft and think about it. Only a couple years old and run by millennials, the company now ships to 36 states.