Crackem, a mobile app designed to encourage discovery and customer retention in the craft beer industry, launched the beta version of its Hot Hopz program. This is new functionality within Crackem that enables coalitions of partnering breweries to reward customers for visiting.
“It’s essentially the gamification of brewery visitation,” explained Aubrey Perry, founder and CEO of Crackem. “We’ve been consistently focused on creating a platform to support discovery and customer retention, and the next logical way to continue evolving the app is to incentivize consumers for that discovery.”
The Hot Hopz Beta launch is focused on the Orlando market, with a digital ale trail consisting of twelve participating breweries. Customers can download the Crackem app to track their progress in visiting the twelve craft breweries and using Hot Hopz, earn rewards as they complete their task of visiting all the locations within a 90 day period.
“There’s a lot of production innovation in craft beer, but as an industry, we tend to be late adopters to innovation offered through technology, especially in areas like sales and marketing,” Perry continued.” Crackem is a way to modernize that function and meet the challenge.”
Following the availability of Hot Hopz in Orlando, the digital ale trail-inspired program will become available in other cities throughout Florida, before expanding to other regions of the country.
“Ale trails were a great idea conceptually, but they failed to evolve as the habits of craft consumers, and consumers in general, shifted,” commented Perry. “We’re using a lot of learnings from physical ale trails that used to be popular and applying technology to them to revive them for the digital age we now live in.”
Prior to forming Crackem, Perry worked in a number of roles including development, database management, technology customer support, and marketing for a range of business from small firms to Fortune 500 companies, including over a decade of software experience in product and analyst roles at Compaq.
“I’m a craft beer superfan,” chuckled Perry. “But you could argue that technology is still my first true love.”
Twelve Orlando-based breweries are participating in Hot Hopz, including Crooked Can Brewing, RockPit Brewing, and Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company. Using the Crackem app, these breweries will be able to offer special rewards to users that visit them at any point during the 90-day period of Hot Hopz, and offer future incentives to encourage return visits and build customer loyalty.
“As a brewery owner, I’m excited to participate in Hot Hopz,” said Chris Rock, owner at RockPit Brewing, Orlando. “We have a robust beer scene in Orlando but in the last few years that statement feels like it’s become a bit of the norm. There are a lot of breweries for people to choose from, and most of us make really good beer. With so many options out there, we have to think of creative ways to provide standout experiences and reward customers that continue to come back – similar to a mug club, but with a less exclusive reach.”
Hot Hopz will run in Orlando from June 1-August 31, 2023