COS Brews, and COSBrews.com, is a hyper-localized, community loyalty and exploration platform built and designed exclusively for the Colorado Springs' craft beer community. COS Brews caters its member experiences into four customer options:
With Business Accounts available for:
COS Brews incorporates a variety of game types that are designed to get people up and exploring the Colorado Springs craft beer community.
Map Quests - Users must check-in (aka "redeem a promo") at various breweries around town. The larger the area covered, the more points they earn. Breweries should see a lot of new faces coming in playing these games.
Treasure Hunts - these are a little more oriented for tourists, but locals can enjoy them as well. Essentially COS Brews curates a list of "things to do around our breweries", working with local restaurants, community happenings, landmarks, and other organizations to create "treasure hunts" that users follow (scanning QR codes and answering questions along the way) to earn points and explore COS.
Earn Ranks - these are points that are earned by high frequency engagement. Very similar to "achievements" in console gaming, ranks are earned by completing various milestones and conditional objectives. For example "after 15 check-ins a user earns 500 points along with their 'Amateur Craft Goer' rank".
Trivia and Surveys - These are designed to be fun and fast for customers to earn some quick points, while providing the COS community with invaluable new data and information opportunities that informed, actionable decisions can be made from. "What's your favorite brewery event?", for example.
Quick Points - These are points that can be earned by writing reviews (that are approved), sharing various COS Brews listings on social media, referring friends to join the platform, and other conceptually "quick" ways to earn points.
Being "verified" means that your brewery has successfully claimed a local COS brewery AND you have agreed to actively participate in COS Brews games by offering "community promos and rewards" (according to associated COS Brews Brewery Rules and Guidelines).
Community promos and rewards are effectively a standardized list of promos, each with their respective discount amount and (+/-) points value. To become "verified", each brewery must select and offer an assortment of these "standard" promos according to the minimum and maximum quantity limits for each available category. Once their promo selections are approved, the promos will become added on the platform, and the brewery will be officially marked with the blue "verified badge" in the COSBrews.com platform.
COS Brews customers (i.e. craft beer lovers in Colorado Springs) earn points by looking for "verified" breweries and physically coming in to redeem promos, attend events, check in, and generally engage with verified COS Brews brewery's around Colorado Springs. With the points they earn, customer can redeem their points for "Rewards" (i.e. additional promos, free pints, basic swag items) with participating breweries.
No, your brewery can join COS Brews without becoming verified. Being "Verified" means that your brewery additionally agrees to offer and redeem Promos and Rewards as described in the Community Rules & Guidelines.
As an unverified brewery, monthly membership costs and most features remain the same. You can self-sufficiently add/manage your own beers, events, and food truck relationships. HOWEVER, your brewery will NOT show a blue ribbon, indicating to COS Brews users that your brewery does not participate in community promos and/or games.
You may become verified at any time by reaching out to support and requesting the "Community Promos Selection" form to submit your Standard Promo/Rewards selections.
To ensure "data tangibility" (similar to keeping/logging physical, printed promos) a "live cross-check" is performed between an individual brewery staff member and customer (using their respective device), at the time of purchase, in real-time.
To begin the process a COS Brews customer will find an available promo to use at your brewery, come in, order, and request a "promo redemption" from their device. They are instructed at the time of the request to notify a staff attendant. Any staff members who have been "activated" for that day by a manager, can access their device and view your brewery's "live promo feed". They can quickly search for and find the customer's promo request in the feed, it will display relevant information on the customer's name, requested promo, COS Brews membership status (free, locals' club, or tourist pass), and more.
Once the customer's promo request has been found in the "live promo feed", the staff member can either approve or deny the request. It is very important to incorporate this "human touch" to the approval/denial process so that appropriate conditions, common sense, and intuition can be afforded the promo redemption process.
IF DENIED - the promo will leave the list and the customer's promo state will reset back.
IF APPROVED - the staff member can (and should) add a corresponding "POS order number" to the promo's approval. Once approved the customer's promo status will either show "no longer available" if it was a one-time-use promo, or reset back to normal in the case of an "unlimited-use promo". The customer will additionally receive their points and unlock any relevant game objectives automatically.
There are four very important data points logged for every promo approval that occurs through the platform:
The combination of these data points for each logged transaction provides us a powerful database that we use to monitor for abuse, identify patterns and trends to share with participating breweries, as well as make custom reports available to your brewery on request. To that point, we intend to make front-end reporting available in the coming months, as well as eventually allow for POS integrations with select providers.
All that said, we have worked strenuously to ensure this process is both seamless and secure for all participating parties. For example, the Brewery Staff's redemption feed page was reworked to never require full page reloads - the incoming promo request feed can reflect live information as the greater page sits - significantly improving the on-site staff's workflow.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns regarding our promo redemption system. We are always looking to improve your experience using our platform.
Rewards are redeemed through the exact mechanism as promo redemptions. However, where promos earn points, rewards subtract them. The Live Promo Feed will reflect if a customer is requesting a promo or reward at the time of purchase.
In the case of reward requests, COS Brews, employs a "pay for your own success and promotion" concept and asks that individual breweries fulfill and cover any and all expenses related to community reward requests made to them directly. At most this would be a free T-Shirt or glass, which COS Brews will also be creating T-Shirts and merchandise that are made available for rewards, of which, if selected, expenses would be fully covered by COS Brews. Per our philosophy this is the only "fair" way to approach this situation, as we are anticipating various disparities, of which trying to compensate financially would vastly over-complicate what is ultimately just "individual success" if customers are seeking your brewery out for promos and rewards at a high frequency.
The most important community guideline to understand in this regard is that COS Brews cannot and will not guarantee any manner or capacity of a user's "brewery-specific" value be attributed to their "reward eligibility" for that brewery. This means that whether a customer is redeeming 15,000 points for a free crowler with points they redeemed solely at your brewery, or this is their first time ever in - your brewery will respect their COS Brews community reward request.
The rationale here is that requiring users to be aware of "brewery specific engagement conditions" before redemption is simply counterintuitive to the mission of making the Colorado Springs craft beer community fun, holistic, and welcoming.
More pragmatically, it is very unlikely that users would redeem their rewards at unfamiliar breweries they haven't frequented in the past. To this point, we are incredibly excited to start identifying and sharing these patterns and trends with our participating breweries, as we log and analyze this kind of traffic and behavioral data. In fact, current predictions show that before earning 15,500 points to redeem a free crowler a user will have made anywhere from 25-37 logged transactions throughout the COS Brews community. At just a $12 average per order that would be $300-444 spent and tracked throughout the greater community for that specific customer. It is currently estimated, that your brewery would have seen at least 30-45% of that revenue if the customer was actually redeeming a reward with you (largely due to familiarity and accessibility).
Which, even if that customer has never spent a dime with you, you now have a new customer's foot in your door - this is your chance to wow them with a free crowler and make a great and friendly first impression - being a COS Brews Local's Club member you know that they're an engaged COS customer and community member.
Promos - COS Brews assigns and regulates points of promos according to the average going rate (price/oz) of flights, pint, crowlers, and growlers divided by the promo’s discounted value proportionately against a non-discounted order total. So while this doesn't apply in every brewery's pricing model, generally a 200 point promo will technically be a better “deal per oz" than a 300 or 400 point promo. This simple, linear design incentivizes customers to purchase higher margin orders by positioning the value of points in direct contrast to actual saving per oz (if points are high | actual savings are low).
Rewards - Rewards on the other hand are determined on a basis of customer interest and “perceived value”. While we do take both relative and actual values of rewards and their respective discounts into account, the points calculations for rewards are much more weighted against customer behavior, demand, and interest. This is done on the basis of "gamification" concepts where the "tier" of rewards is often much more important than the value of the actual rewards themselves. This is where a "purely logical", deal-seeking customer would only ever redeem specific promos, at specific locations, for specific high-value rewards. But in actuality we simply don't see that kind of behavior. Customers on gamification platforms get very excited to "win a T-Shirt" or "save up points for the next level of rewards".
It is up to each brewery to review the standard promo list and decide what works best for them and their model.
Generally, yes. For example, it is completely within reason for you to inform your staff to only redeem BOGO pints for your "flagship" beers, excluding its availability for limited releases, seasonals, etc. 95% of customers would understand and respect this condition, and COS Brews would as well.
However, what would be against guidelines would be if your imposed conditions implied a blatant conflict with the "communicated nature of the promo". For example, in the scenario above you could not inform your staff that your BOGO Pint deal on COS Brews is only eligible during happy hour, or on Tuesdays. This would upset about 95% of customers coming to visit for that coupon, and COS Brews would side with them upon report/discovery of your conditional practice.
That said COS Brews can offer you custom promo opportunities if this level of conditionality is required. COS Brews will work with you to help ensure everything is then implemented and communicated correctly per your unique conditions and value proposition.
Yes! - Custom Promos can be requested in the brewery admin portal. There is an additional charge for custom, brewery-specific promos, however, new “standard” promos will be added according to the brewery community's demand and frequency.
This is a great question, and requires a multi-faceted answer.
COS Brews actively monitors and prevents abuse by customers, brewery staff, breweries, and affiliates.
Customers are actively monitored and redemption logs reviewed. If we see spikes in leaderboard activity or otherwise "out of the ordinary" behavior, we will review and handle any offending customer as we feel appropriate.
Brewery Staff are only allowed to approve/deny promos on days their brewery manager has toggled them as "on and working". Each staff member can be manually revoked through the course of the day, and will automatically be revoked at the end of each day. Additionally, their first name/last name initial (i.e. John D.) is logged in every order their account redeems, which is additionally monitored.
Breweries are regulated according to COS Brews guidelines and "fair play" policies, that actively prevent breweries with high cash flow/margins, resource availability, or other form of "unique opportunity" from overwhelming the COS Brews platform in quantity or quality against the vast majority. Additionally, COS Brews reserves the right to suspend, cancel, or otherwise reduce any brewery's placement and opportunity within the COS Brews platform that is deemed in direct infringement to these standards and guidelines and/or is brought to attention by COS Brews' customers in any facet.
This was actually a big part of our delay to rolling out COS Brews, we were going to "put food trucks in later" but we quickly realized after getting initial feedback from COS residents and beer lovers, food trucks are incredibly important to their decision making processes. So, we delayed a few months and installed some food truck features.
To get to the point, breweries and food trucks have a "cross-relationship" established in their listings. This means that a brewery can set a food truck to "active" from their account, or a food truck can select a brewery to set as "active at". Either way COS Brews will notify customers who have selected that notification option, that "food truck X is now active at brewery Y". Additionally, the food truck will show up on the "active food truck" map and be displayed to customers on either the food truck's page or your brewery's page, that there is an active food truck at my brewery.
Additionally, we are currently building out a "discovery, scheduling, and coverage" portal in the COS Brews platform that will allow real-time communication and direct requests between breweries "needing a food truck" and food trucks "needing a brewery". We are hoping to have this out in the next few months (April-June 2022).
This is handled by creating a separate "brewery owner" subscription for each location, you can use either the same business account and "own" both listings (recommended) or create the listings under a separate business account for each site/business.
The biggest and most important reason each location requires its own subscription, is because each brewery site operates as its own listing. This allows you to independently control/monitor each location's events, tap list, food truck activity, etc.
That said, We are constantly working to improve the platform and your experience. Please reach out to support if you have any questions, need assistance, and/or have a suggestion.
COS Brews is a deployed "Local Hybrid Experience" platform, created and provided by Platyform LLC, a Colorado Springs based technology and consultancy-as-a-service business on a mission to help empower local business communities to establish their own locally-designed technology solutions as opposed to poor adoption of "top down" agendas and pre-packaged solutions that assume powerful technology can be effectively implemented on a one-size-fits-all basis.
COS Brews is Platyform LLC's first deployed iteration of this mission, and one that owner, Matt Blanchette, pursued specifically because of his personal enjoyment exploring the local craft beer community when he was visiting COS annually as a tourist (2013-2019) and ongoing fascination with the local market and community upon his move to Colorado Springs in 2019. In light of this research and personal experience, COS Brews employs many concepts and strategies that emphasize a highly structured and feature-rich community experience - designed specifically and exclusively for Colorado Springs' local craft beer market and associated food truck circuit.
COS Brews' functionality and notifications technology suite has been actively crafted with feedback from the Colorado Springs' brewery community and desire to "incentivize exploration" in a new and highly engaging way. COS Brews' position is to operate this platform on a daily and ongoing basis in a way that actively enhances, regulates, and protects each engaging parties' interest (customers, staff, breweries, etc.) under its rules, guidelines, and operating principles while continuously improving the local technology opportunity it provides the Colorado Springs brewery community and its customers.
COS Brews is a registered DBA of Platyform LLC, a Colorado Springs based technology and consulting-as-a-service company owned by Matt Blanchette, also local operator of COS Brews.
COS Brews represents a deployed and functioning "Local Hybrid Experience" platform as provided and maintained by Platyform's library of trainings, technology, and processes. Platyform operates on the philosophy that "top-down" strategies of giant technology firms and big business agendas will never truly cater to the local beauty, character, and charisma of the communities and locales that they service. Platyform (starting with COS Brews) is seeking to prove that local communities and leaders can effectively lead "bottom-up" strategies and initiatives that cater to their local, personal communities with not just access to powerful functionality, but the community's collective creative thinking in unison with guided execution.
Charging for customer memberships is an important differentiator compared to other competing platforms who try to grow audiences quickly with "Free For All" pricing models (not free for businesses but we'll get there). While at first glance charging for memberships might seem counterintuitive to growing an audience, COS Brews actually implements this pricing per our "community-first" philosophy.
While it should be noted that COS Brews does provide a free membership option, it is very limited. COS Brews is intentionally not a "Free For All" platform, and encourages paid subscriptions on the basis that
1) COS Brews will never intrude its provided platform experience with third-party, non-craft beer related ads (even for free members - constant annoyance is not a fair incentive to upgrade, and it cheapens the perception of our platform).
2) It is not fair or sustainable (in our opinion) to build a platform's model to procure all of its operational costs from the direct and immediate "business class". While we could debate the greater concepts of this, this simply doesn't work for COS Brews' small market footprint where each participating business's operational costs would be exorbitant to pay for the level of support and technology services provided the hyper-localized community.
3) A platform model with discrepant pricing opens the door for unfair business practices, where the platform is encouraged to cater to its "highest value" customers, which are simply the businesses who can afford to pay the most OR on the flip side, the platform fades into obscurity because it has not effectively incentivized itself to improve with its actual users on all fronts. In other words all it can focus to do is acquire more paying businesses (vertically), because improving its user experience and/or offering is no longer in direct alignment with its revenue opportunity (this is the basis of "top down" don't get me started).
To resolve all of the issues above COS Brews simply asks that customers pay a small monthly fee to join the Local's Club or purchase a Tourist Pass, in order to support COS Brews as a local initiative, and offset the costs that would otherwise be pushed on the participating businesses - stifling overall effectiveness and desire to use the platform. The bottom line is that COS Brews is not just built on the community, but actively dependent on its ongoing support and engagement to build and maintain its userbase fairly, for the local Colorado Springs community, and without ads or conflict of interests.
To accomplish a high-value and mission-forward relationship with each participating brewery, COS Brews provides and maintains a local support representative, available on a daily basis, who can provide on-site, face-to-face support opportunities on request (currently Matt Blanchette for Colorado Springs area) to breweries and food trucks. Your COS Brews support representative also fields support topics raised by customers and serving as a mediator between brewery interests and customer requests in Colorado Springs through the COS Brews platform.
All that said, COS Brews intends to engage with your brewery at the level you would like to engage. While we will definitely reach out on a semi-frequent basis to check in if we haven't heard from you, COS Brews offers various marketing and content opportunities that we will actively communicate to our participating breweries. We fully expect to engage at an individual level with each participating brewery at least a few times throughout the year in regards to these mutual initiatives and opportunities. Otherwise, support will be available via phone, email, support portal (coming soon), or in-person on request.
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