Case Study

RISE Brewing Co: Deploying QR Codes to Bridge Retail and DTC

Jarret McGovern is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of RISE Brewing Co., an all-organic beverage company that produces nitro cold brew coffee, lattes, teas, and organic oat milk. 

RISE began with a handful of retail clients and found themselves as first-movers in the canned organic nitro cold brew space, quickly building a loyal following. We sat down with Jarret to uncover how Batch helps tell their story at scale, including:

  • Engaging customers directly from packaging

  • The value in brand storytelling and forecasting demand

  • How Batch helps RISE simplify the journey to customer loyalty

RISE launched with humble beginnings. Now, we’re in over 20,000 retail locations across the country. Growth calls for new tools, and Batch is at the top of our list.
Jarrett McGovern

The Rapid Pivot from IRL to DTC during the Pandemic

RISE initially launched in cafés, offices, and marketplaces, with an acquisition strategy focused on retail.

  • Pre-Covid, the team opened 3 cafes and partnered with WeWork, Amazon, and Walmart

  • RISE sat on shelves at around 25,000 locations, from bodegas to supermarket chains

  • They also had deals with offices at Google, Facebook, ESPN, and Warner Brothers

All of this changed in March 2020, when offices and retail outlets quickly shut their doors and demand for in-person coffee hit a steep decline. With over a thousand offices in the US no longer ordering RISE coffee kegs, a drastic strategy pivot towards DTC was required. 

Our online channels quickly became a massive part of our business. So we had to focus on scaling up our DTC operations to keep up with the growing demand.
Jarret McGovern

The Early Days: Disjointed Customer Journeys

Before onboarding with Batch, the typical RISE customer journey to re-order via online channels required at least five separate user touchpoints. This journey involved:

  1. See the product on a shelf

  2. Buy it for the first time in retail

  3. Remember the product later

  4. Search for RISE’s online site

  5. Repurchase DTC

Relying on multiple interaction points before a prospective customer first purchases or repurchases RISE leaves room for customers to forget about the product. 

With QR codes, this all becomes much simpler – a big reason why RISE decided to put QR codes on their product and now uses Batch. Now, RISE customers have a channel for reordering right at their fingertips.

Before Batch, customers had to manually remind themselves to repurchase. Now, that process is streamlined and we focus our resources elsewhere.
Jarrett McGovern

Why RISE Decided to Jump Onboard 

There’s no shortage of QR code generators online, but Jarret chose to work with Batch for three primary reasons:

  • A unique approach to mobile commerce, with a “less is more” ethos

  • Hands-on and responsive customer support

  • The opportunity to draw actionable insights from analytics

It matters to RISE how their customers feel when they scan a QR code on a product. But the output of those scans is valuable too, in that it helps them learn about their most engaged customers and what they care about. 

For example, if a given neighborhood drives a lot of engagement around a particular product line, that data can help RISE optimize its marketing spend. RISE is investing heavily in QR codes to help them understand demographics and retail patterns, empowering them to be smarter about their growth strategy.

Batch’s approach to mobile checkout is clean, innovative, and intuitive.
Jarrett McGovern

The Batch Effect: Forecasting & Storytelling 

RISE partnered with Batch with a mutual understanding that successful brands build products their customers love. The best brands go above and beyond by driving genuine brand advocacy over the long term.

Moving customers online through the pandemic was a challenge for RISE, so the team decided that customers needed a call to action when they came across a RISE product.

QR codes unlock a previously untapped touchpoint for these customers, allowing them to better understand the story behind their favorite coffee brand, and deepening their connection with RISE. Diving deeper, Jarret points out that Batch has been effective for two key reasons.

  1. Storytelling as a Conversion Tool: The most crucial moment in the customer journey is the first 10-second look at a product, deciding whether to learn more, try it, or move on. Batch allows RISE to tell its story through QR codes prominently featured on packaging, trying out new mobile checkout experiences, dynamically.

  2. Upgrading Demand Forecasting: One of the primary challenges for Jarret and his team is to get early insight on which retail channels are driving sell-through. What was once a brand’s dream to get more data on real-time customer experience is now a reality with QR codes. Batch gives insight to RISE on where and when customers are engaging with their products the most.

There’s no more critical moment to tell our story to customers than when they have our product in-hand. Batch provides the tools to engage them contextually, and helps us unlock conversion and forecasting data in the process.
Jarrett McGovern

Expanding the QR Code Use Case

As creatures of habit, we build daily routines that enable us to operate as efficiently as possible. Jarret and the RISE team never want customers to run out of their morning coffee. 

In today’s world, consumers expect to get their products within 2 days, if not within 2 hours. 

In addition to providing innovative fulfillment options, Jarret and his team know that a strong QR code strategy is important to optimizing their reorder flow, enabling customers to easily restock their fridges and go about their day. 

With QR codes quickly becoming a fixture on CPG products, Jarret told us that he sees a natural expansion in QR code use cases beyond just canned products.

RISE plans to expand their use of QR codes beyond just an easy point of replenishment, to also encompass other ways that customers can connect with their brand. This, in turn, will unlock untapped revenue channels across new media properties, events, and more.

Above all, RISE will continue to invest in direct channels of communication that help customers feel special when interacting with the brand.

The way the Batch team onboarded us to their platform and listened to our feedback convinced me that they’ll be a critical, long-term partner for our continued growth.
Jarrett McGovern