BrewDog founder James Watt to launch a new influencer market venture

BrewDog founder James Watt is launching a new influencer market venture, a month after stepping down as chief executive of the craft beer giant.

Mr Watt has revealed plans for Social Tip, a new app platform which he said is designed to allow normal consumers to become influencers.

The business will allow Britons who post on social media about brands they like, which are signed up to Social Tip, to be rewarded with money based on the level of engagements.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Watt said the economics of using influencers have “massively changed” for businesses, suggesting that they could gain more value from rewarding ordinary people who use, and have paid for, their products.

James Watt at his home in London ahead of the launch of Social Tip, a new app platform designed by Watt to reward people for posting about the brands they love (Photo by Ed Hill/PA Media Assignments)James Watt at his home in London ahead of the launch of Social Tip, a new app platform designed by Watt to reward people for posting about the brands they love (Photo by Ed Hill/PA Media Assignments)
James Watt at his home in London ahead of the launch of Social Tip, a new app platform designed by Watt to reward people for posting about the brands they love (Photo by Ed Hill/PA Media Assignments)

“On a macro level, a lot of major influencers aren’t offering the return to businesses now that they were a few years ago,” he said.

“What people engage with is changing and people are looking for something more authentic.

“We don’t think there is anything more authentic than customers who actually use and cheerlead your products spreading that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Yes, they have smaller individual followings, but there is more benefit to having hundreds of those than spending the same amount on one big name.”

The entrepreneur, who has remained an adviser and non-executive director at BrewDog, told the PA news agency he spoke to his girlfriend Georgia Toffolo, a former Made in Chelsea star and influencer, during his development of the new business.

He said BrewDog largely “grew on word of mouth” and believes Social Tip will allow companies to grow their audience in a similar way.

Mr Watt added: “The businesses we are speaking to are really excited about the prospect of this.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We will be marketing ourselves from day one, so people see the opportunity to make money from their posts, but companies will also be wanting their customers to be aware of this, aware of the opportunity to share their experience while profiting from it.”

The company said it has already partnered with dozens of brands, including Huel, PureGym and Dash water.

Mr Watt will run the company alongside Thomas Matecki, former chief technology officer of fintech firm Zilch, and Georgia Lee, former managing director of food delivery firm Supper.

Social Tip will officially be launched and become available for download in the summer. Mr Watt, who stepped away from the helm of BrewDog after 17 years, has also invested in “15 to 20” start-up businesses, including leading a £500,000 funding round for soft drink firm Living Things last week.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.