I’m a planner. I plan everything. I still use a pen and paper planner to map out all of life’s obligations and I wouldn’t have it any other way! With that in mind, helping my clients create a strategy is one of my favorite things to do. What is even better is when they follow the strategy, implement it and are successful!
Jacolatte sells chocolate and other fine confections. The company was established in 2014 and began selling online through Etsy as well as at local craft and vendors fairs. The company has a unique product as they are selling a high quality chocolate that you can’t buy in every chocolate store. They use a product called Couveture chocolate and it is organic, gluten and GMO free.
The owner of Jacolatte, Amber, came to me for help with a strategy for the grand opening of her retail location. She took the leap to have a retail space and really wanted to make a big splash out of the gate. First, we talked about budget. She set a realistic budget and from there we built a plan that fit.
To start, Amber took the initiative to reach out to local media. She made connections at two of the local papers and ended up landing a very nice feature article in the Niagara Gazette. Soon she will be featured in the Wheatfield Tribune.
Next, we discussed elements of a marketing strategy and settled on the following tactics to promote the grand opening:
- Facebook posts and events
- Email marketing
- Direct mail – Including a mass mailing to a targeted list and personal invitations
- Online event calendars
- Incentives to attend the grand opening event
From there we got to work! We split the to-do list up and got everything accomplished in a short amount of time. I contacted one of my other clients, That Party Chick, to help us create a unique invitation and postcard to mail. I used Mail Chimp to create all her email marketing campaigns and we relied heavily on Facebook to talk about the grand opening and promote the incentives she was offering.
We created a number of incentives to encourage people to attend the event. Everyone that attended had the chance to enter to win a $100 VISA gift card by signing up for her email list. She also offered 10% off all purchases that night. Lastly, she gave away a chocolate covered pretzel to everyone that attended and attached a thank you coupon enticing them to return this month.
The End Result
Between the coverage in the local paper she secured and implementing our marketing strategy, Amber had over 100 guests at her grand opening. Products were flying off the shelves and the engagement on her Facebook page has been amazing. The grand opening has set the stage for her business. She is building a brand and getting her name out into the community. Now the challenge will be to keep the momentum going but we are already working on an overall marketing strategy to continue getting her message out.
The Lesson to Be Learned
The story is a true testament to the power of a marketing plan. Creating a plan does not have to be difficult. In this case, it was a 2 page word document that said what we were doing, how we were doing it and when. Keep in mind, having a plan is not enough. You have to create it, implement it and stick to a plan for the long term in order to see results. I see so many businesses that have ideas on how to grow but they never act on them. They get caught up in the day to day operation and great ideas go un-executed.
If you are trying to grow your business take the time to commit your plan to paper. You would be surprised at what a difference having a strategy in writing can make. Having it in writing adds a level of accountability. You can go back and see at any given point how you have stuck to the plan or deviated from it. It also gives you an opportunity to objectively look at what you want to do and determine if you have the capacity to execute your plan on your own or if you need to call in reinforcement.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this company. They are off to a great start and they have been very smart about building their business from the ground up. Next up…an overall marketing strategy for continued growth!
P.S. – If you are a chocolate lover…visiting Jacolatte is a must!