I dropped by one of the coolest breweries in Portland, OR, they other day because they were hosting a running club promotion. At least that what I thought. Turns out, the running club was organizing a monthly running activity. They picked a place with great beer that happened to on their route on that given day. The first business who sponsored the run made out! They Increased loyal customers, increased email collection and improved a supportive community. The second business, (the brewery) didn’t get involved or interact with the runners. They made a few more sales that day.
There is a long tradition in combining drinking with running. The Hash House Harriers: A Drinking Club With A Running Problem started in 1947 but really got going in the 60’s.though there are still many H3 (as they’re commonly known) clubs, If you already own a restaurant, bar or brewery, you have a natural location for this easy drink promotion. In fact, probably every club, association or nonprofit has already asked you to host their event – gratis – of course! There is one group though that you should always say yes to, runners!
Every other small business, whether automotive, retail goods, services, health care, real estate, printing, publishing, telecommunications or media can make their venue available for this kind of community-building, and profit-making, promotion.
Just about any running group, a bunch of friends or club regularly organizes a run or meets to stimulate one another. Partly it’s to make a runner just do it, partly, to coax each other and to improve, because group mentality does motivate us. Runners will come. Hosting a run promotion is easy for small businesses, especially those in the hospitality industry.
Fleet Feet Sports in Portland, OR knows how to take a regular `ole activity, like a monthly run promotion, and make it an experience. This kind of run is a low-key promotion, usually targeted to one specific target market. Their main customer is a runner, but they are just like everyone else, in sharing good spots to run, or groups to run with by word of mouth. Fleet Feet Sports uses social media, a Google calendar post, their own webpage and Facebook to get the word out about event time and logistics. The event is easily picked up by event aggregators and news outlets. Fleet Feet Sports Portland @FleetFeetPortland
The Pint Society Pub Run members become a community. They welcome runners, do reconnaissance for a good route and makes sure everyone returns safely after a great run. That may not seem like a lot, but especially for women who feel better in a group, this means a great deal. Also, the group pushes each other to improve their times and stimulates positive support to keep it up!
Most importantly, runners take advantage of a Fleet Feet Sports store promo: “Earn Event Rewards for every event you attend with Fleet Feet Sports PDX! Register here and check in when you arrive – every 50 points earns you $5 in-store!” Giving these people some way to interact with your business is primary purpose of most promotions. Giving away points, coupons, recognition or just about anything that will allow you to retain them as a customer.
What is strange about this event is that Fleet Feet Sports operates alone. No contact with the brewery, in this case, Base Camp Brewing, is made on a regular basis. Base Camp knows that these runners show upeach 1st Monday of every month. After returning form a short run, they imbibe.. Base Camp bartenders graciously reserve a couple tables for the group of 12-20 runners. And that’s it! They get a steady clientele of monthly regulars that enjoy a beer or two once a month. But could they be doing, and getting, so much more of this promo that literally dropped in their laps? Rewarding runners with a complimentary beer, especially for those returning first, is an easy promo, for starters. Maybe reward the whole group with a good size taster of their newest brew on tap. Providing the table with snacks or a pitcher of water & frosted glasses would thank runners and show appreciation for their ongoing business. Passing out coupons for a discount on their return visit (to be used before the next pub run, of course) would also give runners incentive to share positive words about the brewery with their friends. This is a missed opportunity to build a solid customer base from people that are already here for a good reason.
It doesn’t matter what type of venue you have, invite your friendly neighborhood club, team or nonprofit organization to your business on a regular basis. Treat them to a little something special and watch your business thrive!