Vision is the art of seeing things invisible to others.
- Jonathan Swift
Sam Adams, the American beer company, used an interactive Facebook application to engage fans for inputs which permitted them to create a custom beer. Another example of how businesses are using social media market research to engage and solicit feedback from customers and extend this engagement to crowdsourcing product and services. They have demonstrated some very creative crowdsourcing ideas with this campaign.
Titled ‘The Crowd Craft Project’, Sam Adams’ consumers were able to give feedback on the company’s latest offering, commenting on a number of categories used to describe the drink such as color and body.
The most popular categories as selected by Facebook fans were then used by the company’s brewers to develop the new drink which was brewed in February. The beer débuted in March during what Sam Adams describe as “a well-known interactive annual festival in Austin, TX” – which meant SXSW. It was then served in a number of Austin bars and at the company’s brewery, before experiencing a wider release.
Essentially, the crowd sourcing engagement campaign amounts to free market research for the company, bypassing an agency and going straight to the consumer, and then giving them exactly what they say they want.
The drawback? In my opinion, there are two: first, it is difficult to collect inputs on a taste product from simply on-line feedback, and second, there is no guarantee of the number of responses. However, with over 100,000 likes and the perennial popularity of beer itself, it’s likely enough that they’ll get a good response.
Hats off to Sam Adams for this type of social media market research, customer engagement and product development crowdsourcing experimentation!
As one of their good customers, I can only hope a great product is the result.
What do you think?
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