How A Co-op Pub Is Brewing Up New Business with SurveyMonkey Audience

Black Star Pub & Brewery

Self-help and self-responsibility served up with good eats and drinks. Sounds awesome but where to? Head down to the Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery located in lovely Austin, Texas where you’ll find the brewpub world’s first co-operatively owned and worker self-managed pub and brewery.

The craft brew scene has been growing rapidly and Black Star has crafted their unique business model around the concepts of sustainability, community, and social responsibility.

After opening their doors in September 2010, Black Star has since relied primarily on local events and social media sites to help market the Co-op. But they were looking for even more specific answers to their business questions. Have their marketing efforts been successful? Are Austin residents really aware of their selection of house-made beers and locally-sourced food dishes?

That’s where we come in! Black Star turned to SurveyMonkey Audience, a great tool for collecting insights from a target audience, and asked over 250 Austin locals to get their thoughts and feedback.

Here’s what they learned:

The folks at Black Star found out that 20% of respondents had indeed heard of them–great news for a relatively new business located in a large urban area. However, since four out of every five respondents had not yet heard of Black Star, it was clear that spreading the news about the Co-op should continue to be a priority.

Word of mouth continues to prove its power for newly opened local businesses with over half of the respondents saying they’d heard about Black Star through a friend or colleague. Less than 20% of respondents learned about them via the local paper and magazines or from events and only a few said that they’d heard of Black Star via social media sites. This was a particularly important insight as it let the Co-op know that marketing through sites like Facebook and Twitter might not be the easiest or fastest way to get people in the door for now. By focusing on new signage and creating “tell-a-friend” incentives, Black Star hopes to attract new patrons.

Of the survey respondents who had visited the brewpub, the majority rated the quality of food, the pricing, and staff friendliness/helpfulness as above average. In addition, 100% of respondents rated the quality of beverages as above average or excellent and 100% said they would return to Black Star based on their overall experience–clear wins for their current food and drink offerings.

For those food and drink fans who’d yet to visit, most said they’d simply hadn’t had a chance yet but would like to. Location also proved to be an important factor and a small number of respondents (28%) said that their lack of knowledge about the co-operative aspect of Black Star had kept them from visiting. Answers like these gave Black Star the knowledge they needed to clarify and better pinpoint their Co-op business model so that potential customers understand that all are welcome to stop in and partake whether they’re a member of the Co-op or not.

Finally, in order to gain more awareness about potential marketing efforts, Black Star wanted to hear from those Austin folks who hadn’t heard about the brewpub and learn about their eating out habits.

Check it out:

Austin locals either went out less than once a week (42%) or as often as 2-3 times a week (45%). This group also placed a higher priority on the quality and selection of food, rather than on the quality and selection of beverages, when trying to decide where to go.

With information like this, Black Star can continue refining and streamlining their marketing to drum up even more business and spread awareness based off their knowledge of what resonates with their community. “Finding out exactly what our current customers appreciate and what our potential patrons are looking for is invaluable to our business strategy and future continued success,” says Business Team Leader, Dana Curtis.

Live in or around Austin and love craft beer and locally-sourced food? Then be sure to stop by Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery and click here to learn how you can become a Co-op member.

Interested in getting feedback from your target demographic? Get started with SurveyMonkey Audience today!

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    Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you
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    • Kayte K

      Thanks for the support! You can also check out our Linkedin Customer Group page as well as our Facebook and Slideshare pages for additional content you might find helpful!