Get Inspired Jerry Lieveld 1 Jun 2017
Beer is all about water, barley and hops, right? Nope. It’s data that’s crucial. Even for beer. Discover how an app brings beer and data together and why the the Beer in a Box app is an exclusive gift for clients.
Beer in a Box is a Netherlands based company that delivers craft beer such as Porter, Stout and IPA to the clients home. Just a one-time box by itself or every two month as a Beer in a Box subscription with 6 or 12 new bottles. The beer box comes with information about the beer, its brewers and recipes using beer as an ingredient.
Following your personal beer flavor profile, the Beer in a Box subscription surprises your every two months with new beers that fit your flavor and challenge you to go beyond the beaten track of your own taste. This ensures the Beer in a Box clients are always anxiously looking forward to the next box.
“Data of flavor profiles are crucial to our business,” says Victor Küppers of Beer in a Box. “Someone that likes a light, fruity white beer will be unpleasantly surprised to taste a dark, bitter Porter. That’s a wise lesson we’ve learned. Too many unwanted beers means the beer stays in the fridge and the client stops ordering. So we have quickly adapted the flavor profiles.”
To define the clients flavor profile, Beer in a Box starts with asking some initial questions. “Do you like citrus, coffee or chocolate? That’s a good starting point,” says Victor. “From there on the flavor profile is kept up to date with the clients’ reviews of the beers in the box. And we use an app to receive those reviews.”
Initially the Beer in a Box clients used a printed tasting form to review the beers. “The beautifully printed forms came with the box,” Victor explains. “That looked rather distinguished, but turned out to be highly impractical, ” says CTO Tim Remmerswaal. “We had to find a way to collect, analyze and use and reuse that data, preferably with automated processing.”
As the men of Beer in a Box claim to be “obsessed by customer experience, creativity, data, beer, tech and innovation,” they had no other choice than to make their own smartphone app.
“An app is by far the best choice for us and our clients,” Tim explains. “It brings all information about beer, brewers and recipes to the clients’ smartphone which comes in handy for the client and saves us a lot of printing. But truly, the good thing is that we now easily collect data to define the client´s flavor profile. Users log in and their beer reviews automatically update their flavor profile. A big advantage of an app is that we can use web services to manage all data in one place.”
“I absolutely adore the web services feature”
Developing the app has been a snap for CTO Tim. “We needed a platform were we could make an app without programming knowledge. We’re good in internet and online marketing, but not in all kinds of programming languages. AppMachine has proven to be the best choice since it’s so easy to use and I absolutely adore the web services feature!”
Where most apps strive to get a maximum amount of downloads, the Beer in a Box app at this stage stays the preserve of its subscribing clients. “We see the app as an exclusive gift to our clients,” Victor explains. “Beer in a Box recently stopped delivering printed information, recipes or tasting forms. You now get a QR code with the beer box that leads to the app download page. You have to register in the app with the email address that goes with your Beer in a Box account. Only then the app opens all its features. And for us the app with registered users enables us to update flavor profiles automatically. So the app is valuable for the clients as for our company as well.”
Beer in a Box is already delivering thousands of boxes in The Netherlands and is growing at rapid pace with expected international expansion in Belgium, Spain and Finland. It’s exploring the possibilities to link the Beer in a Box app with Untappd, the world’s leading beer review app, a crowdfunding campaign has been launched and the men have pitched their business case at the SXSW festival. “We´re so packed with ideas, we hardly have time to taste our beers.”