What to Do When Weather Isn't on Your Business' Side
There are some things we just can’t plan for or change. The weather is one of those things. No matter how well we try to control everything, there are always unavoidable roadblocks that we have to overcome. Jean Moore, account executive for BrandAlliance, Fayetteville, N.C., remembers one instance where the weather wasn’t on her side, but she pressed on regardless.
Promo Marketing: Could you tell us a bit about a promotion you see as one of your best?
Jean Moore: We have done a three-year series of cast-iron cookware for a local electric cooperative. All three were very successful, but the second year is the best story. At the annual meeting of the co-op, each member in attendance gets a gift. Year one, we did a 12" skillet with the co-op’s 75th anniversary logo cast in the bottom. Year two was a Dutch oven with the logo cast in the lid. Year three was a 10" skillet with [a] lid and a bacon press in really great packaging. They ordered 3,000 pieces in 2015, 3,500 pieces in 2016 and 4,000 pieces in 2017. These gifts have been key in increasing attendance at the co-op’s annual meeting.
PM: What did you like best about this promotion?
JM: First, I liked it because it worked! You can see from the increase in quantities the series was very popular. It was a great fit because the audience is largely rural and a little older. They use and respect their cast-iron cookware. Pieces are handed down through families like heirlooms.
PM: Did you run into any obstacles in the course of this promotion? If so, how did you overcome them?
JM: The sheer weight of the product has been a challenge every year. We have worked with our freight forwarder to have the container dropped at the site of the meeting. 2016 was particularly challenging. When Hanjin [Shipping] declared bankruptcy, our shipment was in danger of being stuck at sea. Somehow, our import division got the shipment diverted to travel north. [The] order landed in New York (or New Jersey) and had to be trucked to North Carolina (rather than landing in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina). As the truck started southward, Hurricane Matthew hit the coast of North Carolina and caused extensive flooding exactly at the Dutch ovens’ final destination (Google “Robeson County, N.C. after Hurricane Matthew”). We had to scramble to find a place to store the container until it could be received. Every day was a new adventure as we waited to see when they would hold their rescheduled meeting. In the end, the container was dropped on time and with no issues. The customer was so impressed that we were able to pull this off. Sometimes, being able to solve a problem is even more important than always delivering without a hitch.