How did Buzzafull come about?
Buzzafull came about after a small group of determined people set out on a challenge to find out what it takes to attract and sustain the loyalty of a much larger collective of members so as to be able to reach a level where they could all meet most of their needs through in-house trading of goods, services and other offerings.
What were the challenges?
This endeavor proved on many fronts to be a sky high challenge. Nonetheless they pressed forward. One major challenge was how to attract and reward members for choosing other members offerings over their preferred suppliers. A good example of this is grocery shopping. This would be a profound test of the system’s ability to impress and win people over. To out compete large supermarket chains requires the ability to; produce or manufacture equivalent or better quality products, offer the range and variety at an equivalent or cheaper price. This is where economies of scale can beat you, where considerable discounts are offered by producers to incentivize large supermarket chains to favor their products.
What was a solution?
The team decided to take this on from another angle. What if the consumer was incentivized to be loyal to the producer? Potential members were surveyed and were asked if they would be prepared to pay a little more to have a better quality product where they had a share in the profits. Nearly all were quick to answer a resolute and definite YES. So we went looking for non-supermarket suppliers, who had what we thought, were better quality products with that hand and homemade feel about them. We selected from a range of categories borrowed from shopping isle groupings that we thought would be popular with our members. We quickly built up a cluster of small business owners, many of them low volume and boutique. Some of these were breakfast cereal makers, bakers, egg farmers, juice makers, milk farmers, meat and meat alternatives producers, fruit and vegetable growers and so on. We were surprised to find a favorable response from most we talked to about the concept. Some said it reminded them of a time when most things produced came from local regions. Now they can come from the other side of the world like for example citrus fruits from America and garlic from China. These business owners were not put off by the notion of sharing a part of their profit back into the membership collective, especially when they were on the giving and receiving end!