Tag Archives: Koozie

Big Dutchman or Big German?

Big Dutchman is a leading manufacturer of feeding systems and housing equipment for pig and poultry management.  You can probably find their equipment at any large mass production pig or chicken farm worldwide.  Additionally they also offer indoor fish farming equipment and biogas systems (having agricultural & livestock waste converted into gases which would then be converted into electrical energy – don’t you remember this from my ZFS story?)  They also are involved in micro-brewery industry, where some of their automatic feeding equipment has been re-purposed to help in the brewing process, delivering specified amounts of brewing ingredients at scheduled times.

Big Dutchman has its US headquarters right here in Holland.  It was started by two brothers of Dutch descent in Holland, MI in 1938 who created the first automatic feeding system for poultry.  So the Big Dutchman brand name makes sense.  Now here is where it gets tricky, in the 1980s Big Dutchman was purchased by its German distributor, therefore officially becoming a German company.  In a shrewd marketing move (in my opinion) the new ownership team declined to rename the company Big German.  Something tells me that would not have gone over too well, plus it sounds a little intimidating.  But I could easily imagine the Happy Dutchman in the logo to ditch the Dutch garb and have some lederhosen with knee high socks, with cap and feather.

So being based in Holland, Big Dutchman is still a part of the local community despite the foreign ownership.  In summer of 2009, Big Dutchman donated Hen House equipment, including a feeding trough, watering system and egg-collecting conveyor belt all within a climate-controlled environment, to the Critter Barn.  Critter Barn is a “educational farm that teaches about today’s agriculture, houses farm animals and birds, an idea garden and orchard on three beautiful acres in Zeeland township.”  Here is a nice writeup on Critter Barn by Corp Magazine.

And in order to further cross link this blog post with some of my other entries, guess who else donated goods to Critter Barn?  That is right Zeeland Farm Services.  They donated their expertise to help establish a soybean program at Critter Barn.

I love seeing local business supporting local causes, and with Ottawa County’s large agricultural footprint it is great to see all these companies involved with educating the locals about what is happening in their region.  So all you other agricultural manufacturers in the area, you better step up your game… I am looking at you Mechanical Transplanter & Holland Transplanter.

And since I am a big fan of Beer Koozies please enjoy this image of the stylish orange Big Dutchman beer koozie.  Please note the color coordination between beer label and koozie.

Holland Hospital – Thanks for the Beer Koozie

My daughter’s preschool visited Holland Hospital yesterday for a field trip.  When I began talking to my daughter about her visit, she interrupts me and shows me the following item, that she received from Holland Hospital after her visit.

Baffled, I examined the product and it was a spongy type mousepad feeling thing with two parallel metal snap bracelets embedded inside. I asked her what is it, and she responds “The man at the hospital says that this is our superhero bracelet.”  Really, wrist-band was the last thing I thought of, but the first thing I thought of was automatic Beer Koozie with snap action.

Looks much better on a can than on a wrist, doesn’t it?

Promotional items are so hit or miss, as a company you want to make sure your promotional items will be used (and not by the recipient’s children) or remain on someone’s desk, and not in a garbage can.  It is important to know your customers, and have a good sense of what they would use what they would not use.  Take some time, and think of things you would use and not throw away if given a promotion item, and also think of items that would support your brand, industry, or product.

So I am not quite sure what Holland Hospital was trying to do with their Mousepad/Snap Bracelet/Beer Koozie.  Any thoughts? did I miss any more possible applications for this product?