”QR Codes are a blessing for Microbreweries like us to find niche customers who love to re-order their favorite ale from all over Europe ”
– Guðrún, Reykjavik
Guðrún Sigmundsson, looks at the clear blue horizon over his barley field with a peaceful gaze. Its early October and the weather is already chilly in this small village at the outskirts of Reykjavik town. The harvested barley is taken from here to the small hut nearby where it is dried before being carted to the nearby small factory where it is malted, mashed, boiled and fermented to create a series signature craft beer that Guðrún and his team are extremely proud of. Having tasted a few, I can see why!
The going was not very smooth though. When Guðrún left his well paying job in Frankfurt (he is a mechanical engineer by profession) to buy some land at the outskirt of the town he grew up, with some cash in his bank account and an idea for craft beer in his head, his family was initially skeptical. “Dad said there are too many of them now”, he told me, “and soon I found Dad was right!”. Indeed that is the case. One Google search shows that Iceland has over 26 microbreweries now, which is a lot for this tiny nation. Hence competition is fierce in the tiny local market and Guðrún requested us not to publicly divulge his company’s name so that his “secret sauce” is not too easily available to his competitors. “No one knows me and half the country is called Guðrún anyways”, he laughs, “so no problem in divulging my name”.
The secret sauce that Guðrún is so proud of, is his early vision to tap into the vast European market and try to sell Icelandic lager in the mainland rather than fight for a slice of pie in the tiny local market. Using his contacts in Germany, he was able to work out some deals to push Icelandic beer into the 80 Million population German market. It was a strong start and he was proud of his early success.
However soon he ran into 2 problems. The first was that the distributors tried to extract every penny out of a small micro-brewer like him as he lacked the negotiation power of SAB Miller or Diageo. But a deeper bigger problem was that he had no mechanism to capture any customer feedback. Beer is something you enjoy when you are relaxing either alone or with friends and family. At that moment almost anyone doesn’t remember to check the name of the new beer they are experimenting and give feedback. Net Guðrún had no way of knowing what they were doing right or wrong when sales went up or down either ways.
This is where Softbrik got involved. Guðrún found our start-up through a friend and we had a good discussion on how he can leverage our Briks to build a feedback and sales reorder mechanism. We let his team implement Trust Brik through which they put a QR code on every unit of beer shipped out. Once the beer is out in the market, the customer can easily scan the QR and give feedback or order for more units directly from the company.
“You know what is the crazy thing?”, Guðrún asks me with wonder. “When we started using Trust Brik a few months back we thought it will give us feedback. Well it does, but almost 30% feedback are just sales re-order.” As it turns out, people who enjoy Guðrún’s lagers at a pub are more than willing to scan and order a 6 or 12 pack home through direct delivery. “So while trying to solve my second problem, I also kinda solved my first”, he says with a broad grin. As we speak, the brewery is trying to set up a direct-to-home e-commerce model through e-bay and Amazon marketplaces for fast shipping. “Nobody wants to drink stale beer esp. a premium craft one”, he says and hence they are trying to do one or two-day shipment. It is a struggle as the number of order keeps growing double each week without investing a single penny in sales!
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“Welcome to 2020 ” Bonus!!
Sign-up on Softbrik by end of February 2020 to get File Brik COMPLETELY FREE for 12 months per user with a €10 Brik subscription.
This lets your team store and share all large files with QR for free! (otherwise €6 user/month)