American craft beer company Sam Adams is using an interactive Facebook application to allow fans to create a custom beer. It's another example of just how popular a method crowd sourcing has become for companies looking to connect in a meaningful and collaborative way with consumers, and that they see Facebook as the best way of doing so.
Titled 'The Crowd Craft Project', Sam Adams drinkers will be able to give feedback on the company's latest offering, commenting on a number of categories used to describe the drink such as colour and body.
The most popular categories as selected by Facebook fans will then be used by the company's brewers to develop the new drink which will be brewed in February. The beer will dÃ©but in March during what the company not so cryptically describe as "a well-known interactive annual festivalâ€in Austin, TX - which can only mean SXSW. It will then go on to be served in a umber of Austin bars and at the company's brewery, before experiencing a wider release.
Essentially, the crowd sourcing campaign amounts to free market research for the company, bypassing an agency and going straight to the consumer, and then giving them exactly what they say they want. The only drawback to this is there is no guarantee of the number of responses; but with over 100,000 likes and the perennial popularity of beer itself, it's likely enough that they'll get a good response.
Also, It'll be interesting to see what they'll come up with, because of the wide range of feedback categories, such as the sweetness or bitterness of the beer, so when the most popular preferences are combined it could make for a pretty unusual beer.
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