Interactive mobile media coming to a liquor store near you. Local Startup Spotlight #17: BevPost

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LSS #17: BevPost

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BevPost is a Minnesota startup company focused on measured media designed specifically for the beer, wine and spirits industry. The company’s go-to-market product is a SMS/text-based promotional platform which allows the various brands of alcoholic beverages (over 6,000) to engage customers in an interactive experience via mobile phone.  Starting in Minnesota over the next 1-2 months, customers will enter their preferred liquor retailer and see BevPost in action, for example,  as a real-time text messaging promotion applied to a variety of different types of alcohol or a scratch & text label affixed to a specific product. From here, purchasers will be eligible to receive instant rebates, drink vouchers, merchandise and more. BevPost’s next level of interactivity will be software and mobile application driven, aimed at developing community around the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Bevpost is uniquely positioned amongst more traditional forms of measured media in that they only operate digitally with a focus on instantaneous interactions between buyers and brands. Forget the mail in rebates and paper coupons – of which Bevpost Founder, John Ballantine, suggests  ‘Coerce customers into buying things they don’t really want, often times a cheaper brand, resulting in a less than optimal experience.’  Conversely, from a marketing aspect, he sees these tactics as largely ineffective because there’s such low redemption rates which result in minimal return on the resources invested. Accordingly, he pegs the market size of promotions and measured media within the alcohol industry at 9 billion dollars annually.

“Our goal has always been to be the best, to revolutionize the industry, to be the most efficient…if we are the best, then we expect to get a pretty decent market share. In five years, if we’re not known as the company that radically changed marketing within the beer, wine and spirits industry, I’d be pretty disappointed in myself” – John Ballantine

Mr Ballantine, a native Bostonian who came to Minnesota 7 years ago by way of Virgina, had nothing but positive remarks based on his experiences at the Carlson School of Management and the ability to reach out to local experts/ industry executives.  Touching on Minnesota’s entrepreneurial climate at large, his pragmatic perspective is,

“When you’re in Minnesota, if you are looking at raising money, you are going to have to have a real business that is going to know how it’s going to make money and that’s going to be tested. If you can prove it in Minnesota…you’ll be 10 times better-off than getting [funding] within three days of pitching your business plan liked we often hear about.  We are meat and potatoes – no BS – and there’s no throwing money at things that haven’t been tested and proven to make money. If there were one thing we could be better, I’d like to see us go out and have some more beers together!”

Cheers John!

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