For me, there’s always a slight sense of guilt when drinking European beers. I do love them, particularly great beers like Leffe, Peroni and Kronenbourg, but at the same time I know that there are so many fine beers brewed right here in New Zealand and you can never feel guilty when buying home-grown.
That’s why I love it when New Zealand breweries try promoting themselves in a different way that may not require a huge budget but results in a marketing campaign to rival those of the big boys.
Not so long ago, Boundary Road Brewery put together a largely Facebook driven campaign to search for people to taste and effectively choose their new beer. To be chosen for the tasting, you first had to answer a number of amusing questions in a test that was set up on Facebook.
As there were only a select few that were finally chosen, many, myself included, didn’t make the cut. However, instead of simply fading into the background, Boundary Road Brewery kept in touch with all of those that entered by promising to send out a beer voucher once the campaign was complete.
That voucher was a long time coming and I’d almost forgotten about it, until this beauty arrived in the mail just yesterday.
Rather than send out vouchers, Boundary Road Brewery sent out genuine $5 notes instead, with a label stuck to them that said ‘beer money’.
Obviously, Boundary Road knew that you could spend the money on anything you like, but there’s actually a good chance you really will save it for the pub and it’ll make an amusing conversation piece. “Who are these Boundary Road guys?” your mates will ask and the campaign will have worked its magic!
The letter itself is well crafted in a Kiwi style, recognising their own short-fallings and appealing to the reader’s sense of duty in ‘doing the right thing’. It reads as follows:
Please find enclosed a five dollar note. No, this is not a card from your grandmother, this is the voucher we promised you a while back.
We’re sorry about the delay and, we admit, it’s not technically a voucher.
After struggling to organise twenty-two thousand of them, we thought it would just be easier to send you all five bucks. Apparently vouchers are not the easiest things to put together. After all we are brewers not voucher-smiths.
So we’ve finally kept our end of the deal. Go and treat yourself to a discounted box of Boundary Road beer or maybe some gas to get to the store to buy some Boundary Road beer. We trust you’ll do the right thing.
Thank you for your patience.
Boundary Road Brewery
Interestingly, there’s no website address for the Boundary Road Brewery website. Instead, the only contact method that is shown is their Facebook Page address. This is a subtle and yet well thought out plan to direct all forms of contact to the Facebook Page and thus increase fans.
It appears to have worked well and the page currently has more than 10,000 fans and a flurry of people posting ‘thank you’ comments and even photos of their ‘vouchers’.
The Facebook Page has a number of extra custom tabs that include things like their Facebook community guidelines, while their website is quite an understated two page affair that’s more reminiscent of a brochure you’d find in a bar rather than a full-service website. More evidence that many businesses are placing more weight on their Facebook-orientated online presence, which can be set up for very little investment, rather than their own website, which can take up a huge amount of the marketing budget.
All of this could spell bad news for Google as people are more likely to find out about these Facebook Pages through their Facebook friends or through Facebook search. Who needs google.com?
Good on you Boundary Road.
You can follow Boundary Road over on facebook.com/brb.