Founded in 1997 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Founders Brewing Company has grown to become one of the most recognizable names in craft beer. Now operating out of two locations, Grand Rapids and Detroit, Founders has approximately 600 employees and product distribution across all 50 states and 20 countries internationally.
Founders’ brewery tour program started in 2012 with little more than a sign in sheet and tour groups of 12 people. Over the years, the Founders team took their tour management program online, but maintaining the system proved painfully manual. Any time the team wanted to test a new tour concept, the team had to enlist design and development resources for the website, resulting in delays and a frustrating staff and customer experience. Coupled with the fact that the management of visitor data and feedback was intensely manual and relied on Excel spreadsheets, business leaders had no way of knowing how the tour program was performing or how to adjust their program to convert visitors into brand ambassadors.
After partnering with AnyRoad in 2018, however, Founders began to reimagine and streamline their brewery experience program, uncovering key insights around new and repeat visitors, net promoter score (NPS), and ultimately the impact on revenue.
Just as Founders’ brewers seek to develop new beers that build connections with customers and continue to grow the Founders family, the marketing and operations teams knew they needed a tour program that could do the same. Moreover, business leaders knew that investing in brewery tours could help increase revenue. By gaining more actionable insights into their existing tour program, opportunities to add more diverse types of tours and experiences could be made possible. By investing in a platform with scalable and intuitive infrastructure, the Founders team gained more control over the types of tours offered, quickly ideating and bringing programs to life.
“Planning has become a lot easier since using AnyRoad. Just seeing what our bookings pipeline is allows us to assign team members and add or remove slots where needed.” Marklyn Behling, Founders Brewing
Experiences (The Solution)
Founders began using AnyRoad’s Experience Relationship Management (ERM) platform, finding that it was easy to use, provided granular visitor data, and allowed for more informed marketing and experience investment. Using AnyRoad Atlas and AnyRoad Experience Manager, Founders leveraged functionality, including:
- Direct visitor feedback, including NPS score and text sentiment analysis.
- Streamlined management of experiences and events – The ability to add, remove, or update tour and experience types quickly and easily.
- Established data capture of visitor emails and demographic data for remarketing.
- Centralized data and insights enabling consistent measurement and benchmarking across both locations.
- Specialized features for private events and experiences.
“Our private event space caters to smaller groups of 18-20 people,” says Marklyn Behling, of Founders. “We work with the staff that manages that space via AnyRoad, so we can tailor our pricing, streamline invoicing, and seamlessly provide a higher touch, premium experience.”
Now operating on the AnyRoad platform, the Founders team has enjoyed many benefits of a more streamlined and focused event and experience management program, including:
- A best-in-class visitor Net Promoter Score (NPS) score of 95.
- A streamlined booking experience that resulted in a 28% increase in average monthly guests.
- Improved administrator tools that reduced time-to-launch for new experiences on foundersbrewing.com by 90%.
- Cost and efficiency improvements gained through data-driven planning for staffing and catering.
- Improved cross-departmental planning and collaboration with Sales, Marketing, Social Media, and Production.
- A growing first-party data set of brand champions and repeat visitors complete with email and demographic data.
“In our industry, first impressions are everything. Before AnyRoad, we had a manual system that wasn’t easy for staff or visitors to use. We had no feedback apart from an occasional email. Now with AnyRoad, our processes are seamless and we’ve been able to use feedback to tailor the visitor experience, train our team and justify greater investment in our tours and experiences.”JOHN GAUTRAUD, FOUNDERS BREWING COMPANY