For some time, various beer rating websites have existed where consumers can rate the beers they drink. But, from the producer’s standpoint, what is the value of these ratings?
What’s out there in the market?
The three best-known platforms are Ratebeer, Untappd and BeerAdvocate, with the first two standing out although there are some differences between them.
- Ratebeer is the one that has the most ratings and information, as it requires users to fill in more fields and normally is used by more consumers with greater knowledge. Moreover, it operates using a series of algorithms that give greater weight to ratings by more “professional” users.
- Untappd is a native mobile app, and thus is works very well on impulse and because, simply, if you want, you only have to award 1 to 5 stars.
Both platforms have attracted the attention of investors due to their rapid growth and, particularly, for the amount of data generated, which makes it possible to analyse consumer preferences using segmented data. In the case of Ratebeer, it was ZX Ventures, which belongs to AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, that set its sights on this website. As for Untappd, at the start of this year it received an important capital injection from Providence Strategic Growth shortly after the latter acquired BeerAdvocate.
When it comes to placing a value on the ratings on these social media platforms, we have to consider who is rating the beers and who is accessing these platforms. Is it an environment aimed at the general public? Or a means of interaction among freaks? You may have to analyse the target consumer of your product and see if you find the platform interesting or not…
How are they used?
As a marketing tool, we will look at the opportunity to use the data whenever we have high scores, as we do when we receive a prize in a competition, even if it’s in a very specialised one. We will have to place value on any that benefit us and downplay any that are detrimental to us and so, in this case, referencing these platforms is often based on their ratings of our products.
One of the best examples was how Brewdog used its ratings on Ratebeer in comparison with other beers that are considered “industrial”. But what value was placed on it outside its own community?
Besides these platforms, others have emerged in which consumer ratings, at times biased, are omitted in favour of the option of offering analytical information generated by a panel of experts in analytical form without assigning a score. The compass used by Los Cervecistas that some grocery chains have started to implement on their store shelves is an example of this.