Living in Holland, Michigan or for that matter any town in West Michigan, and chances are pretty good that your city has parades, not just one parade but multiple parades a year, all through the historic downtown area. As an adult (in my humble opinion) you see one parade you’ve see them all. But I have children, children who enjoy parades, and of course they smile and laugh a lot at parades, and I love it when my kids smile and laugh, so we go to parades, lots of parades. So as part of my parade activities, besides eating the candy my kids don’t want, is to pay special attention to the local businesses that are in the parade. So at the 2010 Zeeland Pumpkin Fest Parade, I came across the following companies that caught my attention.
Lakeshore Candle Company (facebook link) – They wisely were handing out candles at the parade to almost all of the women in attendance. But they were not just any candles they were Pumpkin Spice (extra points for relevance) votive candles in a glass container to boot. Perhaps even more significant is the 3″ x 3″ card affixed to the packaging. The card had company info, a list of all area stores in Holland and Zeeland that sell their candles and a 10% off coupon for Lakeshore Candle products at those local retailers. The card also had an invitation for their 1st annual open house, at their headquarters at 9434 Pentatech Drive in Zeeland. The open house is from October 5th through the 7th with tours available at 10am, 1pm and 3pm daily. Perfect. Lakeshore Candle Company used the parade and hit a home run with their marketing, by immediately capitalizing on this event, and getting everything out of it that they could.
They know their market – women (I think it is fair to same that a vast majority of women enjoy scented candles), and they controlled their free sample giveaway to exactly the market they wanted to hit, they walked the parade route and handled candles to the women in attendance. Secondly, they took this opportunity a step further with their 3″ x 3″ card that was included. To build upon this initial sample giveaway, they allowed the samplers two different opportunities to “take the next step” with the company, by A) either buying another Lakeshore Candle Company product at an area store with their 10% off coupon or B) Become more intimate with the company by visiting their facility for an open house and tour the week following the parade. By visiting the facility, a consumer might feel even more of a connection with the company because they were there, they were welcomed, and they got a free candle at a parade. So chances are next time they are shopping for candles they should be more inclined to choose the candle company that treated them well. Face it when was the last time Yankee Candle Company gave you a free candle and glass, plus a tour of the headquarters and a 10% off coupon? Oh and they also had candy for the kids.
My Trail Buddy (facebook link) – was the second Zeeland company that caught my eye. They had about 6 guys on these off-road (trail) motorcycles. More like smaller motorcycles. I liken it to a pony where as the motorcycle would be the horse (I am sure those guys at My Trail Buddy appreciate that comparison). Could be a new slogan “My Trail Buddy the pony of motorcycles.” Anyways those things looked like fun, and I had to look them up online. My Trail Buddy builds classic reproduction trail 70 bikes, and creates and sells parts for these bikes as well. You can buy kits for their trail bikes as well. From what I could gather you take these bikes out on the trails just like an ATV, and if you have no idea where trails are they do have a link to some trails. I wish they were giving our free samples.
Thank you Lakeshore Candle Company and My Trail Buddy for catching my attention at the Pumpkin Fest, nice job!
Who is going to the open house?