In my local town, Tralee, we have a yearly festival called The Rose of Tralee Festival......sorry I should say The Rose of Tralee INTERNATIONAL Festival; they added the 'international' part in the last couple of years!
In very basic terms it's a beauty pageant, but one a bit more concerned about personality and talent, rather than simply looks. As Ireland is a relatively small country this is a pretty big national event. It lasts for a week and it receives full national television coverage. There are entries from all over the world (hence the use of 'international') who are known as 'The Rose of 'Insert Home Town Here', who are all vying to become the Rose of Tralee.
It's a great opportunity to have all this attention focused on our small town so I feel that I have to try to get some good out of it for me and Beardsmith. This is where my beginnings of connections are coming in useful. Sponsoring the festival, or a Rose, is a very prestigious, but expensive thing to do! The national (and international, don't forget!) exposure is quite awesome and would be amazing for a small business like mine.
But of course the chances of me being able to afford something like that are zero........so I've had to be clever!!
A local radio presenter Conor Halpin is a Rose Escort this year, and I have managed to convince him, through desperation I'm sure (!!) to let me sponsor him! Obviously the escorts aren't the main event and don't really get much exposure, but its a bit of a 'way in' to the festival for me and a connection to keep me there.
So i've been posting like mad and doing everything I can to get Beardsmith popping up all over the festival radar.
Presenting Conor with his official Beardsmith t-shirt)
(Been getting lots of plugs and publicity on Spin South West. Here is Conor with a fellow escort and the Beautiful Limerick Rose.)
The presenter for the main show is a guy called Daithi O Se and he used to have a great beard, so i've been running a tongue in cheek campaign to get him to start using Beardsmith and grow his beard back - no success so far! It's like he's famous and difficult to reach or something (and probably sick of people trying to use him for free publicity.....although it wouldn't really be free as he'd be scoring a gift box of the entire, and amazing, Beardsmith range....hell i'll even throw in a t-shirt if it makes a difference!)
But by far the most fun thing i've been doing is a Beardsmith/Rose of Tralee Landmarks competition. For this i've been hiding Beardsmith products at landmarks linked too the history of the Festival. then posting photo's and hints and getting people to search for the products - like a treasure hunt. It's had a brilliant reception and has really gotten people interested and involved! So far i've done 3 locations and will be doing 1 more before the end of the festival......I just have to figure out an amazing location to suitably finish it off! The 3rd location also included an in store Beardsmith event at one of my main stockists so that was really good exposure and marketing. Here's some pics of the competition so far.....
So I just need to keep myself motivated and keep the ideas coming for the culmination of the festival. Just 2 more days left - so that means 2 more days of opportunity for Beardsmith!! perhaps I should crash the festival final (live on TV!) with a big Beardsmith banner screaming MAKING BEARDS BETTER!!!! Would definitely get me noticed anyway! (If anyone from RTE is reading this then don't worry, this is NOT something I am going to do......unless I get really desperate!
Well i'm not sure how interesting this blog post from me is! But what it is showing is how i'm going about learning my trade. As I've mentioned before this is my first time making something, my first time selling something, and my first time trying to market something. So whilst using social media and sponsoring escorts might be a good idea, it is all a bit of a shot in the dark from me. I'm learning this as I go along. But each time I try something I learn a bit more.....even if it is don't try that again! And you know, things have been steadily growing for Beardsmith, and I've got the basics right so far....the products work and are awesome! With that in mind I think I can get marketing wrong as much as I like. If I can get just learn each time and get the formula right eventually, and get the Beardsmith name out there nationally (and internationally don't forget!!) then the quality of the products will sell themselves! Because after all the whole point of Beardsmith is 'Making beards Better'!!
Thanks for reading. Please comment with any opinions or suggestions on my Rose of Tralee marketing campaign! And Daithi, if your reading, call me!!