Client: Queens Meat
Location: 23-62 Steinway Street, Astoria, NY 11105
Assignment: Increase Retail Business (wholesale business is fine)
Research: Checked prices and business offerings @ 8 other butchers in Astoria.
Planning: Identified clear (but challenging) differentiating factor to Queens Meat.
Creation: Create Word-of-Mouth campaign for Father’s Day & 4th of July.
Application: Keep Creative to the lowest cost possible ($149.).
Measure: Return to the client to see how the campaign did. We created a 13% increase ($87,800), over their normal 15% annual growth, for the short time we worked with them.
The numbers don’t lie.
The conversation we had:
QM: “It’s easy to measure our wholesale business
because 100 new restaurants are 100 new restaurants.”
Me: So I asked: “Do you have a cash register?”
Me: “Is it electric?” I asked, having every right to ask this question. He’s an old fashioned butcher in Queens with three full lamb carcasses strung up by their hind legs in the window.
QM: “Yes, of course.” He answered.
Me: “Do you keep the data and have accounting records?”
Me: “Is the business growing every year?”
QM: “Yes, especially over the last four years.”
Me: “Excellent, then we’ll
1) take a look at the numbers for March, April, & May for 2015/2016 and compare them to 2017. Then
2) we’ll project your income adding in the percentage of growth already anticipated.
3) Any INCREASE above the 2015/2016 gross income plus the projected growth expected is what WE DID TO GROW THE BUSINESS.
4) This usually happens a month AFTER we launch a campaign. So anything above the normal income growth would be attributed to the craft and work of the campaign.”
His eyes lit up. HE SMILED. He got it. Apparently, no marketer, ad person, or sales agent he had worked with proposed a way to measure a marketing (ad or brand) effort in this way.
How We Did It
Our research showed that Queens Meat is perceived as one of the most unappealing butchers in Queens. While they are clean, overtly functional, and offer a great product and an inexpensive price, their store is like a mini-industrial factory (not inviting to the public). They are also located on a very industrial/commercial block, at a bus stop, just off Astoria Blvd. (287 highway), Steinway Street with little opportunity for customer parking without getting a parking ticket. They are also located right next door to a bread manufacturer.
In other words, this strip is not inviting to walk-in traffic and the newer (hipster) residents moving in.
The research took a week. We walked into 8 competing local butchers, checked all the competition’s online reviews and what people are saying about the other butchers on their Social Media. We did a brief competitive analysis of their Top 4 competitors in a review:
The plan was very simple: “make more money in retail and don’t hurt the wholesale business we already have.”
Their prices are a little bit lower than the competitive butchers in and around Astoria. We’re only talking nickels and dimes but when you add that up to larger, bulk orders, this starts adding up to dollars. We identified a disturbing differentiating feature to Queens Meat—their place: It’s UGLY.
In fact, it is the Ugliest Butcher.
And I told them this honestly and directly.
The owners are a pair of businessmen, one Greek and the other Albanian. They could handle the truth: that their store looks more like a factory than a nice retail shop. Fancy is completely out of the question.
The staff can be rude at times depending on how busy they are. They’ve been there for 30 years. Everyone gets a little tired of any job after 30 years.
They wanted more business and heard about us from a neighbor. We were hired to create a Word-of-Mouth campaign for Father’s Day & the 4th of July.
This would have to be a very creative execution requiring radical moves and something far outside of the norm. We took THE UGLY industrial look the store had and used it as an asset to benefit our client.
We arose to the challenge. 😁
They listened to the opinions, honestly and openly, without being too offended. We preferred to tell them the HONEST and BRUTAL truth rather than lie and sugarcoat the problems we found with their business’s aesthetic.
Aesthetics are a problem that CAN BE fixed. One of my mentors used to say:
“Ugly you can fix, stupid is forever.”
Full-On renovations would have costed them upwards of $40,000 but they weren’t interested in that. Too much money out, not enough of a guarantee of what would come back. Fair enough.
The other solution was to have them open on a more business-friendly street. That too might have been a $40,000 price tag or even more…
This was their previous sandwich board
This is how they displayed the meat’s condiments on the counter is brash and has a no-nonsense, take it or leave it, approach:
To apply AntiMarketing techniques to a Word-of-Mouth campaign for Father’s Day & 4th of July. The application of the creative called for a brash, bold move. We took THE UGLY and used it as the main differentiating factor from the other butchers.
The campaign was divided into three parts:
- 1,000 Business Cards
- A new sandwich board outside
- Three new all-American flags.
Business Cards (front):
On the back, we used these humorous headlines, A different one on each card.
Here are all of them:
We printed 1,000 business cards on an 11″ x 17″ (Tabloid) sheet adding these different headlines on the back. We then printed and cut them and placed them in doorways and left them on the windshields of local cars—1,000 of them.
Apparently and expectedly we got the attention and walk-ins we wanted on Father’s Day. The place filled up with people. In just six weeks, we generated an $87,800 increase in business.
The 4th of July was an even
a better business day for them
and it was the first time in
30 years of business that
they were sold out of 25lb.
boxes of bacon, chopped
meat, and souvlaki.
^ These are normally their best sellers.
The NEW sandwich board outside reading:
The all-American flags were hung on the awning and looked like this:
This campaign launched mid-June a week before Father’s Day. For the 4th of July, there was a line outside the store and some of the normal offerings were sold out by the early afternoon (as mentioned above).
By mid-July, we went back for a follow-up meeting. The campaign had generated 13% over their normal 15% annual growth, equaling $87,880. to be precise. This total percentage increase for the month of June was 28% when we compared their performance for the previous three years. This was according to their handwritten accounting ledger which they brought up from their office in the basement.
They were happy and amazed that it actually worked and perplexed at the same time.
The fee we charged was only $1,500. It was a little test and not meant to be a big money-making endeavor for us. The material expenses we needed was for a sandwich board, purchased second-hand from another client of ours for $20. We also bought a white magic marker for the lettering on the board: $8. The three flags were under $10 each, ordered from Amazon. and the most expensive material cost was for 1,000 business cards which were $90.
Total Expenses: $149.
HOW we do it:
ANTIMARKETING is DISRUPTION. Disruption is how businesses stand out, proudly and boldly among the competition. The methods we use are this radical approach showing measurable increases to any business when the right techniques are applied to the right business.
There are no fooling customers. They know the truth. In fact, we all do.
Usually, the client’s spirit, aesthetic and persona can and should be used to their advantage without changing the internal business operations. In this case, it worked out really well.
We congratulated the men of Queens Meat 🥩 for having the audacity to run with the campaign we proposed. It was an approach that is outside the norm and certainly outside of many people’s comfort zones.
It’s not all that often we get smart, daring clients but when we do, they win. Then, we win by default.
But, the biggest winners of all are always the customer. The customers are the people that deliver the money into the business. They come first in our book. The campaign was designed for them. A little smile goes a long way.
Describing all the techniques we used to create this humorous and powerful AntiMarketing campaign here would require too much writing. The subtlety in the 3 applications applied here would also mean writing an entire book. We may include this case study in a book someday.
The campaign didn’t come out of thin air. We didn’t just guess it would work. We knew it would work. There are only a few companies that do branding, design, communications, and advertising as we do.
Allow us to help your business excel, if you want to make more money. Yes, we are going to suggest something you wouldn’t expect but, that’s one of the reasons clients hire us.
Maybe you can call us. You may be happy you did.
Thank you. Have a nice day.
🤒 : Breuk IVersen
🤖 : (718) 578-6613
👹 : BinkNyc.com
😍 : BinkNyc@gmail.com