content creating, engaging, IPA|ED:one, social networking, user-generating

I Loved it So Much I Bought (Into) The Company: the rise of the crowdmanaged brand

so those observant people at Springwise have spotted the latest brand to cede control to its potential consumers.  hot on the heels of crowdmanaged eco clothing company nvohk and MyFootballClub's purchase of Ebbsfleet United comes

for just $50 you get to join an online community for beer lovers where you can not only share your passion for beer but at the same time help create a brewing company.  as Springwise reports, the site:

"…is currently recruiting a minimum of 50,000 members, each of whom
will contribute USD 50 in exchange for voting rights on ideas such as
the company name, logo, product design, product mix, marketing plan,
advertising and sponsorship … Assuming the concept goes well, profits
will be divided three ways: one part to members in the form of reward
points redeemable for products from the Beer Bankroll store; one part
back to the company; and one part to charity"

this potentially potent project is feasible because of tho things: (1) access to information and (2) the ability to share and manipulate that information within the context of a networked community.  and it of course relies on Surowiecki's three requirements for Wisdom in a Crowd: diversity of opinion, decentralisation and independence.

I used to work with a small brewery brand and I acutely recall conversations about how they could, and should, more effectively and transparantely engage with those consumers who (we knew) loved their brand.  but the old habits of deployment of planned branded communications won out (and still does – I observe – to this day).

that brewery and many other brands should be paying close attention to this space.  how long before we all have a couple of side-interests in brands…?  brands that will not only occupy a small – very engaged – part of our mind, but a considerable share of our wallet too.  after all, if the brand was so good that you bought and continue to buy into it, why – when you get to the shelf – would you buy anything else?!


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