February 7, 2018 – Craft Brewing Business
How we interact with the brands we buy is getting more sophisticated and interesting. Even the centuries-old tradition of brewing, selling and marketing beer is beginning to showcase a tech side that even small breweries can embrace. Here’s a simple example: The ride-share experts at Lyft recently partnered with Baderbrau Brewing in Chicago on a ride discount beer (an easy drinking helles lager that featured a $5 discount code on the can). Suddenly, drinkers were connecting and identifying with Baderbrau in new, memorable ways while embracing safety and getting some cashola back.
Beer and computers are coalescing more and more. Amazon is another good example. Since last year, Amazon Prime customers have been able to use an Alexa-powered device to order beer, wine and spirits in cities from Seattle to Cincinnati. Large beer companies also use Alexa to market. Michelob Ultra launched a free, dedicated skill on Alexa called Ultra 95, delivering 12 customized fitness workouts to beer drinkers who enjoy staying active and drinking low-calorie Big Beer.
Thinfilm sees similarly innovative technology opportunities for the craft beer industry. The Norwegian company, with offices in San Francisco, offers end-to-end mobile marketing solutions that feature hardware, label/packaging integration services and a powerful cloud-based software platform. Collectively, these components deliver a serious one-to-one digital marketing platform through which brands of all sizes can connect directly with consumers via a smartphone. Wait. What does that mean exactly?
Here’s an example: Last year, Oskar Blues and Thinfilm created cool beer coasters that interacted with smartphones. Celebrating 15 years, Oskar Blues Brewery launched 16-ounce Dale’s Pale Ale Draft Cans sold exclusively through bars and restaurants enhanced by the awesome and odd artwork of avant-garde French illustrator McBess (photo below). By integrating Thinfilm technology into these beer coasters, customers were able to tap a phone to the coaster, which took users to a webpage (www.dalespaleale.com) and then told the Oskar Blues brand story, displaying the cool new McBess artwork featured on the draft cans.