Crowdfunding is a marketer’s dream

By BeertownNZ Thu, 25 Feb 2016 Wellington

For more than a century now, the ad industry has been spending money to get people to like their brands. But with crowdfunding, people like you more and give you their money at the same time. Genius!

Crowdfunding is big news today, with news that 4.6 million Kiwi’s have chipped in to buy a private beach and donate it to a National Park.

Renaissance Brewing was New Zealand’s first crowdfunding success story when it sold 12.3% of the company through Snowball Effect in 2014. It raised $700,000 in short order and went back for another round last year. And it was a year ago that Yeastie Boys raised $500,000 in just 25 minutes.

Since then – not much really. Craft beer’s current boom certainly isn’t being driven by crowdfunding. Brewers are put off by the compliance costs of dealing with hundreds of small investors, and by the limits on the sums that can be raised. Serious investors don’t like the uncertainties of trading their shares, compared to other investments.

That first round of crowdfunding was more Fan Club subscription than a new way to fund the industry’s ongoing expansion.

So it’s interesting to see how two upcoming crafty crowdfunding campaigns take a different approach.

It’s important to understand that not all crowdfunding is the same. At one end there’s equity crowdfunding – a relatively cheap way to sell shares without listing on a sharemarket. This is what Renaissance and Yeastie Boys offered. At the other end it’s just collecting donations, like the Buy a Beach campaign. And there’s other options in between, like these two.

Choice Bros Brewing launches its PledgeMe campaign this Saturday at the Greater Wellington Brewday. Choice Bros is part of an ambitious project to build Husk – a brewery, coffee roastery, and café/restaurant in one site off Wellington’s Ghuznee St.

Brewer Kerry Gray says, rather than offering equity, this deal offers supporters different experiences including the right to make a batch of beer. Crowdfunding will purchase additional fermenters, and Husk is going ahead regardless of the PledgeMe campaign.

Choice Bros bros Kerry Gray and Mike Pullin will be at Brewday on Saturday to answer your questions and sign supporters on the spot. If you’re not there you can sign up here, and for background info go here.

Kereru Brewing’s PledgeMe campaign is running right now. The aim is to get money up front before making another batch of gluten-free Auro (5%). Kereru’s Chris Mills told Stuff he’s made a loss on two previous batches of Auro due to expensive ingredients, additional quality checks, and limited demand.

The campaign is running until Monday and needs $13,750 before the sorghum hits the mash tun. As of this morning 51 pledgers have promised $3750. The deal offers a dozen bottles of Auro for $50 and is available here right now.

By BeertownNZ Thu, 25 Feb 2016 Wellington