Going into our second year with Boreal, things have gotten interesting.
Along with every other industry out there, the recession has hit the snow business where it hurts. With more people looking to get more for their money, Boreal is in the perfect position.
So starting with the web, we've launched a whole new 'brand-tailing' twist on the already successful Escape to Boreal campaign. With an all new architecture designed to demonstrate to people that coming to the closest, cheapest mountain to get to in Tahoe is not only going to be a blast, but it will make financial sense as well. The new direction was quickly approved and translated into web banners and campus flyers.
It all started with a trip to Vegas. Actually on a plane headed to Vegas. My partner, the chatty-Kathy that he is, struck up a conversation with the couple flying next to him. By the time the plane had landed, The League had it's newest partner.
And let me tell you, The Heritage Group of Companies is no ordinary partner.
Let's say your family has a established substantial amount of 'wealth'. Well, Heritage believes that how your family has acquired that wealth is just as important as the hard earned estate itself. Therefore, they listen (part of the reason we wanted them to join the League) using family retreats, discovery periods and a look at how future generations could possibly benefit - and only after do they start to help you map out your way of life. And when they do, they adhere to the values and principles upon which that legacy was built. They have often told us, "Following a traditional path with inheritance often means two generations later, there is nothing left". Paris Hilton... listen up.
Obviously, a partner of this magnitude does not need advertising in the traditional sense. In talking with Heritage we all came to the conclusion that this paradigm shift in how a family manages it's 'heritage' was too much for an ad and deserved a more involved approach. The resulting brochure has proved to be a huge success for them, giving people the information and incentive they need to begin the process.
We've also just outlined more projects happening in the new year and we're all excited to see what happens.
Imagine, all this from a plane trip to Sin City. Who says what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?
- we've started working with a NEW custom men's clothing client, Caparella. Very interesting paradigm shift in the world of bespoke finery. Caparella's initial work is in production as we speak and will be up here ASAP.
- talking with an incredibly classy spirits company with a unique POV. More to come if there is more to come.
Pur-a-Lite specializes in CFL light bulbs. These things are great for the environment. The packaging needed to be the same.
So we developed packaging that was made with recycled materials and is designed to be recycled itself.
And then we started thinking, why not take this thing a bit further.
The last thing we wanted to do was clutter up the world with more ads. So we designed the packaging to work as an ad. By varying the messaging on the side of each package, we could post the benefits of using CFL bulbs that we would normally have to put in an ad and then wedge into an already teeming ad market. And we would be able to do it right there on the shelf. We get the word out in the same place you look for a brand name and circumvent and free up the 'traditional' ad space.
There's nothing like getting a product that is completely unique, a revolution starter, something no one has thought of before. And have to capture it all in a brand name.
That's where we're at with Pivot Putter. We recognized instantly that it is a remarkable product. We also realized instantly that the name was worse than crap.
So we are beginning a rebranding effort, starting with the name.
But what do you call a club this original? And how does that name work when the client expands the line? And how do you make sure the logo stands out in a golf world that is only eclipsed by NASCAR when it comes to logo clutter?
Golf world, meet Prodigy Golf. Prodigy Golf, meet the golf world. You two are going to have a lot to talk about.
If you're like most men (assuming you're a guy) you probably thought of a stuffy English guy. Then you thought of the price.
Enter J. Hilburn.
Started by two ex-Wall Streeters from Dallas, TX (neither stuffy nor English), J. Hilburn's goal was to provide luxuriously tailored men's shirts at off-the-rack prices. And they did all this with a twist. Instead of coming to a retail location and get measured J. Hilburn sends their salespeople to you. But these salespeople are more than salespeople. They're like your friend. Someone who's there to help you look good. They help decide on collar, cuff and button styles. They present fabrics. They assist you in designing YOUR shirt.
When we started with J. Hilburn they were in desperate need of a recruiting tool for their customers. We called it a recruiting tool because we knew once the customer tried on a shirt, they'd be hooked. First we had to bring them in.
In strategizing with the guys, we quickly realized that if we continued to call the salesforce 'the salesforce' they would act like one. We needed to elevate them. Give them a title worthy of the trusted position they would hold in a man's wardrobe.
Enter the Personal Style Advisor. We gave them this name knowing that they would carry themselves differently. The recruiting tool also began developing the lexicon these style advisors could use when engaging men.
With it's 'Welcome to this side of the ropes' message, our brochure attempted to introduce men into the world of bespoke finery. It also attempted to destroy the myth that custom men's shirts had to be expensive.
After growing from 1 market to over 15 markets in only a year, we'd say it worked.
That and the fact that the shirts are amazing. I'm wearing one right now as you read this.
If you're Italian, you drink wine. If you're not Italian, you want to be. So you drink wine.
At our first sit down with the Vesuvio Importing Company, we told them with a name like The Sopranos Wines, they had their work cut out for them. You see, people recognize the name (great), but in a world where SpongeBob has his own cereal and Dora has her own lip balm, they ran the risk of sounding like just another gimmicky-novelty product (not so great).
We all knew people who love the show would buy the wine. We just needed to be careful not to offend their love and dedication to the show. Wine snobs, however, are not so easily won over. So we had to come up with work that would break through the ad clutter of wine books, grab the wine snob by the collar and rough up his sensibilities a bit without leaving too many bruises.
We came up with Inkblots.
It's a natural extension of the capo in therapy plot line of the show. And, with all humility, made for some great looking posters.
Boreal Mountain Resort. What can you say about this place? One of the sickest SuperPipes in the world. A terrain park that can turn locals into pros. A beginner program that introduces hundreds and hundreds to skiing and boarding. All for a price that won't dent your beer budget.
When we started talking with Jody and Jon they understood their mountain's strengths/weaknesses well. They also understood that if they got people to start there, they would keep coming back as they progressed their skills.
Boreal happens to be in the interesting position of being the small mountain in an area known for big mountain resorts. But we all know, size does not always matter.
Boreal's two big draws for the target lie in the fact that it's both easy to get to and inexpensive once you arrive.
Being a half hour closer than other Tahoe area resorts, as well as being right off I-80, means people can make a trip to the snow without suffering the mind numbing drive they must endure to get to other resorts. Plus, with ticket and season pass prices that are much lower than their nearest competitors, people don't have to blow the weekly fun budget just to try out a new sport.
In developing strategy, we quickly realized our competition was not other mountains, but other options.
Imagine it's the middle of winter. You live close to the mountains. You (or you and the fam) need to get out and do something. What are your options? The gym. The mall. The park (ok, I know I said middle of winter, but go with it for a sec).
You need an escape. Now. An easy one. A cheap one.
Escape to Boreal.
What you get is an increase in season pass sales and year-to-year ridership increase of 3% in a down economic market.