Has anyone heard of Untappd? Their tagline is “Drink Socially” and they boast about being an app to “discover and share your favorite beer”. I like beer. (More than likely, I won’t download the app but I understand how beer enthusiasts could appreciate the platform.)
Before I go further, I’d like to wonder – if myself nor any of my constituents are aware of a brand, does it exist? Perhaps it exists in the same manner as sound produced by a tree falling in the woods with no one to witness it. Audiophiles, like myself, know the answer is “no”. The sound does not exist. We concede that that something happens (waves) and that vibrations are felt but…ok, let me reel it in.
Untappd is niche! Appealing to a specific demographic of people is increasingly popular and has proven to not be a death sentence for emerging brands. But will it have staying power? My opinion, probably not. This brand isn’t visible enough. I could see this platform scale to a larger national and international audience but based on the numbers, it has a ways to go.
On social, the metrics are only fine. 130K on Twitter, about 98K on Facebook and about 87K on Instagram…over 9 years. (Kanye shrug) There is, however, something to be said about the Untappd Beer Festival, merchandise and acquisition by NextGlass, an app that “uses science to predict how much you will enjoy any bottle of beer or wine in real time.” Very smart move. Data is the wave.
From what I gather, however, NextGlass and Untappd are fairly dormant. A quick twitter search unveils a mention from 2016. No bueno.
If I may, I’d like to make a couple of suggestions to both Untappd and NextGlass. 1. Diversify the content. In other words, consider a multimedia approach. I was shocked to see static photos on Instagram. Where are the videos, Boomerangs, polls, live sessions, etc.? A brand should understand that content doesn’t always transfer from one platform to the next. Also, consumers don’t want to see the exact same content across multiple platforms. 2. Tell a story. Stories are the best way to communicate a message. As old as stories are – they’re the new thing. Brands have to send a message that the masses can relate to. An info-graph doesn’t connect the same way a video testimonial might. Did a guy meet his current boyfriend at the beer festival? Did two best friends enjoy girls night out by checking off venues suggested by the app? Stories resonate.
Regardless, if Untappd can keep its head above water, I predict that when NextGlass finally finds a successful format to expand, collect data, perfect computer learning and make a profit – they will merge or be acquired by a larger corporation.