Following hot on the heels Groupon’s remarkable group-buying success, sites have sprung up across the Internet promising to give you all you’ve ever dreamed at a fraction of the price. Deal sites helped you get dressed up (with fashion steals at Gilt Groupe) and get out of town (with Zozi’s travel deals), but now, one group-buying site has set its sights on making you see double: meet Poggled.com, the site for your every imaginable drinking deal.
Founded just over a year ago, Chicagoans Joe Matthews and Sean Strother claim they dreamed up the project after a night of Russian vodka tasting – an event that the Everyman is unlikely to be able to afford (or survive) on a daily basis. Built by Killswitch and backed by entrepreneurial powerhouse Lightbank (the same Lightbank responsible for such local heavy-hitters as Echo Global Logistics, MediaBank, and, yes, Groupon), Poggled works by appealing to a broad range of buyers, businesses, and sponsors to build an active, evolving social network of drinkers and encourage them to do what few other social networks do: go out.
The deal works like this: Poggled notifies potential buyers of drink deals via email, Facebook, two Twitter accounts, and of course, their website. Buyers have a limited period of time to buy a ticket and get in on the deal. Deal secured, Poggled encourages users to spread the word to their friends via the social network of their choice (or by, you know, talking to them in person), then have a group night on the town at a serious discount. As you keep on snatching up sweet deals, Poggled taps into your preferences, building an understanding of who you are and what you like, then suggesting comparable establishments and deals in your area – it’s similar to Facebook’s suggest-a-friend program, except all your friends are bars (for your sake, we’re hoping this isn’t the case in real life).
Matthews and Strother know their market, and as such much of Poggled’s appeal lies in the simplicity of its two-fisted approach: offer bars highly-targeted advertising while helping Chicagoans save money on something they’re already paying full price to do. Would you like 60% off bottle service at the Funky Buddha Lounge? Poggled can do that. How about $3 beers for your “8 Bars of Chanukah Pub Crawl”? Amazingly, Poggled can do that for you as well. Poggled does not presume you are some high-roller slipping behind the velvet rope or some snide, pseudo-lowbrow living between the pages of Vice Magazine – they cast their net wide, catering to everyone from the Monday night football crowd to Sunday morning mimosa sippers. Piano bars, street fests, and even flippy cup parties have all made their way to the Poggled homepage.
Poggled’s real potential value, however, lies in brand marketing. As a socially-based website centered around drinking, it’s quite likely they’ll have a certain level of appeal to spirit and beer marketers. Many companies already partner with clubs to offer brand-night specials on a regular basis – it’s reasonable to presume that, as opportunities avail themselves, shifting such partnerships to the Internet would be the next logical step. Should Poggled open up an option for these companies to go-in with a particular establishment on a deal, both brand and bar reap the advertising and patronage of ticket-holders.
With Lightbank behind them and plans to expand, Poggled is poised to take over smartphones and computer screens across the nation. Given their broad appeal to both patrons and establishments, it’s difficult to imagine they’ll have too much trouble.
Visit the website: http://chicago.poggled.com/, follow on Twitter: @PoggledChicago and @Poggled, or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PoggledChicago