The phenomena that is crowd funding has not only created great opportunities for individual, bespoke small business that may never have otherwise had the chance, but it has also encouraged the consumer to take more of a deciding role in providing finance to fledgling businesses.
With consumers in charge they have the ability to put their money where their mouth is and invest in products and businesses services that they think are important or exciting.
The drinks industry is no stranger to crowdfunding start ups and expansions (just look at the Chapel Down wines and BrewDog with Equity for Punks), but we’re now starting to see craft distillers seeking crowdfunding too.
This week saw gin crowdfunder The Worshipful Company of Sipsmith Sipping Service – a London based distillery who want to share their latest inventive tipples with gin lovers.
With an original target of £15,000 this crowdfunding campaign has reached over £30,460 inside three days, showing that the consumer is behind this idea (funded at a 203% level).
So why are they crowdfunding and why has it been so successful?
In its 6 years Sipsmith Independent Spirits have given the distillery industry of London something to talk about – Having built the first distillery in London for 200 years and kick-starting a mission to bring back traditional quality and reputation of London gin with the twist of modern flavour is not bad for a small business really?
However, being able to create new and exciting gin flavours and receiving great reviews from those who try them is bitter sweet when there is an overall lack of funds to produce and spread the word to the mass.
So the aim of this crowdfunding campaign is to raise money that will allow this young business to spread the taste of Sipsmith amongst gin lovers across the country.
With money donated Sipsmith have created their own Worshipful Company of Sipsmiths Sipping Service – much like some of the old livery or guilds that used to be in existence (and some which still exist to this day). This Sipping service celebrate all those who are involved in the creation of crafting Sipsmith gin and are giving those who donate the opportunity to become a member of The Worshipful Company of Sipsmiths Sipping Service – however, there is a price cost involved.
Membership packages ranging form £60, £150 to £250, each provide tasters (4x 90ml) of the selected specialty flavoured gins, with more expensive packages including signature editions of Sipsmith gin, tastings and further sipping services.
So the idea is pretty simple. For a certain investment amount Sipsmith deliver small samples of their new concoctions which we are almost certain will be taste explosions. In the past there has been mince pie gin, smoked venison gin and last year distilled Christmas tree, so the new flavours are sure to be anything but boring!
And here’s why we think this crowdfunding has works so well:
The product is unique – this product offers new flavours and taste opportunities for drinkers who may not be experts but have the opportunity to get involved – they’ve used a Christmas tree, how on earth could you guess what is coming next?
The approach taken – using crowd funding gives consumers the feeling of being in charge. When we like something we will support it, therefore being given the option to support and be part of something we feel is great will win us over.
The detail – communicating correctly and with the correct information goes down well with consumers (especially if you are asking them for money). Having correct key detail on why/how much money is needed and exactly where it will be going is the kind of straight talking we appreciate.
Modesty – by appreciating that this start up may not work and that there is a plan in place to protect those who have donated if it all falls through lets consumers know that the brand is also looking for their best interests too.
The Sipsmith founders – these guys give the brand a distinctively unique feel and well you can’t resist their quirky cool London scientist look. Having a good personality can sell an idea and we think these guys have done the trick in using themselves to bolster their brand identity.
**Image used © Sipsmith Independent Distillers **