Brewdog founder James Watt is set to launch a new business called Social Tip, a platform that allows users to become ‘influencers’ and earn money for promoting brands.

Social Tip has secured around £600,000 in seed funding from British tech early stage investment fund Haatch along with a number of angel tech investors.

Social Tip’s algorithm determines the value of user posts based on engagement metrics like views, likes, and overall interaction, rewarding users with cash. Brands such as Puregym, Huel and Dash Water have already signed up to the platform, which launches this summer.

It will also offer consumers the chance to monetise their posts by licensing images and rights for advertising and marketing.

Watt, who recently stepped down as Brewdog chief executive, described Social Tip as a modern twist on traditional word-of-mouth marketing.

“The most powerful marketing we ever had for BrewDog had nothing to do with us. It wasn’t the stunts, and it certainly wasn’t advertising. It was everyday people sharing their love for our products,” said Watt.

“Give me a choice between paying thousands of pounds to a social media personality to fake love my brand or rewarding masses of genuine, loyal fans, and it’s no contest,” he added.

Fred Soneya, co-founder of Haatch said that social content heavily influences how consumers buy products and services.

“Our attraction to investing in Social Tip is threefold; trust in paid advertising continues to fall, rewarding verified purchasers who share on social creates significant ROI for the brand whilst continuing to build loyalty with customers, and backing the B2B Platform which is distributed by the largest brands is the scalable strategy.

“With James at the helm, we’re excited to support Social Tip to become the first and fastest growing platform rewarding true [user-generated content] backed by verified purchases,” Soneya said.

But Watt has sparked controversy in the past for Brewdog’s marketing tactics. These include multiple run-ins with the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), which banned the company’s advert claiming one of its beers could be considered one of your ‘five a day.’

In 2019 Brewdog and its former agency, Manifest, clashed over the launch of the alcohol-free beer, ‘Punk AF’, with Manifest founder Alex Myers alleging that BrewDog used the concept without credit or payment.

He has also faced criticism over Brewdog’s labour practices, including allegations of mistreatment of workers, claims he denies, and not paying the real living wage. Watt hit back at “ridiculous” levels of criticism following the saga.

Despite these issues, Watt remains as a board member and director at Brewdog, which he co-founded in 2007.


Sourced from CITY A.M.

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