I used to work with a company called Sprayway. They make outdoor clothing and following a cheeky letter suggesting a mutually beneficial arrangement I proceeded to test product for them. The relationship developed when I went to see them to put a face to a name, it strengthened further when I convinced them to have their test weekends at the center where I was employed. Being known by all the managerial, marketing, sales and design team members was extremely advantageous and the “mutually beneficial arrangement” blossomed; you have to love being paid to go on the vacation you had already organized because it becomes a photoshoot, especially when the tent is exchanged for 4 star hotels and luxury meals are cooked for you.
My highpoint in the relationship came when I collaborated with the marketing team to think outside the box and brainstorm alternative ways of encouraging custom; center pages in national magazines are expensive. What we came up with was:
- Most decisions are made while talking to a sales assistant at point of sales.
Assistants promote a product based on one of three factors:
- They have been asked to by management
- A personal relationship with the product.
Based on this we decided to invest in creating relationships with sales assistants and making sure that they knew our products, brand and also our people. We started inviting 50 to 80 people at a time to the Conway Centre, we took them out to do outdoor activities wearing Sprayway products during the day and entertained and informed them in the evenings. At the end of the weekend we sent them home with a fleece and shell garment.
The bottom line is that sales went up and less was spent on the marketing budget.
How are you thinking outside the box? How are you taking a familiar situation and stamping it with your own flair?