Fresh from teaching the world to ditch alcohol one year at a time, Ruari Fairbairns is helping to develop technology that will enable members to connect over the common goal of changing behaviour, as Health Tech World reports.
One Year No Beer was born when Ruari Fairbairns finally plucked up the courage to give up drinking, following what he now realises was a troubled relationship with alcohol, for many years.
It was his go-to, his crux, his safety net and in the circles he moved in during his city broker years, it seemed that the more he drank, the more respected and successful he was perceived to be.
Ruari was immediately blown away with the benefits of an alcohol-free life – he got fitter, faster and healthier. He became a better husband, a better father and grew his oil broking business, reducing costs by 30%. His IBS and dry skin disappeared and there were no areas of his life that didn’t improve.
Following this revelation, he wanted to make people understand how big these benefits were, so he decided to create a challenge, and in 2016, launched One Year No Beer, a 90-day challenge – giving it away for free. It rapidly went viral and in the first year got over 20,000 signups. This is how One Year No Beer was born.
The online support, community and information hub created by these initial 20,000 members remains at the centre of everything that the online support network stands for.
So much so, that many of the founding members have gone on to start their own communities, podcasts and even yoga businesses all through the connections and community that received as part of being an OYNB member.
Ruari says: “Of course we have known since the beginning of time that we wanted to create an online community, powered by technology that could change behaviour through the power of community and there has never been a more connected community than through our social media channels, I’d go as far as to say that it’s the lifeblood of everything that we do.
“We understand that connecting, empowering and gamifying our experiences, will then enable users to connect with our brand and our missions in a much deeper sense. Not only does it support them in changing their behaviour, but it also allows us to connect virtually anywhere in the world to deliver behaviour change locally.
“Building an audience for your business is, in some ways easier and harder than it’s ever been. It’s easier because we have access to so much technology, platforms and resources to communicate with our customers and distribute our brand messaging but simultaneously, the abundance of information channels can make it so much harder to reach and resonate with our desired community or core customer demographic.
“Our attitude has always been to be completely different and positive in an industry which is traditionally stigmatised, so we have a very unique angle. Our solution is to connect the human race over peer support, and we build technology that facilitates connection through behaviour change,” Ruari adds.
One Year No Beer is a prominent force in preventative behaviour change, and the plan is now to diversify into lots of other behaviour change models, not just alcohol.
It has realised that when people change their relationship with negative behaviours like alcohol, they build self-worth.
It’s that self-worth that creates the platform for them to further change other areas of their lives, so they are now diversifying into other vertical markets such as caffeine, sugar, porn, gambling and drugs.
One Year No Beer has also recently closed its latest investment funding round, achieving 100% of funding target (£1.4M) within the first 24 hours of the campaign going live.
A total of 512 investors raised £1,756,563 which will now be reinvested back into the business to develop the technological infrastructure further, including the development of the member’s site as well as improvements to the future app functionality.
Fairbairns concludes: “Without a doubt, the main reason for people wanting to invest in us, is for the impact. People can see just how much an impact we can make on peoples’ lives.
“Also, it’s not just about the impact on the individual, it’s also about the impact on society as a whole.
“We have an opportunity to change the world. It’s not about prohibition, quite the opposite, alcohol is a symptom and our work at One Year No Beer is about helping to identify the cause. That is why we can have such a positive impact on so many.”