Grow slow. Grow strong.
Matt | 23 Jun 2015
We have one simple aim; to get more people drinking better beer.
Since launching BeerBods in my spare time in September 2012 we’ve got off to a pretty good start. But we don’t want to stop here.
Growing a business is tough, right? Growing a sustainable business is even tougher.
By our count there have been twelve beer subscription services launched since we started out two and half years ago. Twelve. That has made growing even harder. Their approach to growth looks a bit like this (I’m sure there are loads of companies in loads of industries like this. I blame Silicon Valley)...
1. Raise some money
2. Advertise on Twitter / Facebook / Google (a lot)
3. Give away heavily discounted boxes of beer (that they make a loss on)
4. Develop a massive churn rate (and wonder why)
5, Repeat steps 1 - 4
6. Hope someone buys them out (for lots of pennies) before they run out of money again (which is why they started out in the first place)
I reckon we’re a bit different. Almost all of our growth so far has come from our wonderful subscribers spreading the word for us.
For that reason, we thought giving our marketing budget to our customers beats pissing it up the wall on advertising any day of the week. Recently we started sending our subscribers guerilla marketing packs; a bunch of goodies that make spreading the word even easier. In the last few days we’ve seen people handing out flyers at beer festivals and framing posters to put up in their local pub. For every newbie they sign up, we give them both a free beer. It’s not a lot but it’s just our way of saying thank you.
These packs have taken weeks to put together. They’re not cheap either. Of course its success relies on our customers caring about us. Really caring. It relies on them believing in what we’re trying to do and, more importantly, why we’re doing it. There are no shortcuts with that type of thing.
Frank Chimero calls it the “long, hard, stupid way”. That way seems to work for us.
Grow slow. Grow strong… with a bit of help from your friends.
* Oh, and last week one of our subscribers tipped off someone at the Independent who did a feature naming us as the best last minute Father’s Day gift. If you Googled “last minute father’s day gift” (and a lot of people did) 4-5 days before Father’s Day that news story appeared top of the search results. Who needs PR companies, eh? You couldn’t make it up.