Have You Herd? – December 2018

By: Rich Katz, Founder & Managing Director

New Happenings

Here’s to smart marketing and a tenacity that withstands our 16-year history:

  • Proper Topper – A top producer of golf hats and apparel, Imperial Headwear enjoys close relationships with iconic golf courses, country clubs and resorts, as well as major championships, professional tours and governing bodies. Committed to a cool aesthetic, functionality and perfection in fit and comfort, the company recently celebrated its centenary yet maintains the heartbeat of an innovative start-up.

To leverage the power of data and trends, Imperial selected Buffalo to undertake a comprehensive marketing analytics project.  Based on the outputs, our team will turnkey search engine marketing encompassing SEO, content development and segmented inbound marketing.  We are excited for Imperial to realize a meaningful lift in e-commerce.

  • Versatility Extraordinaire – After hauling cases of water bottles up flights of stairs to his girlfriend (now wife’s) apartment, product designer and eventual REDUCE founder Ken Kreafle seemed like it was all so wasteful – the time, energy and especially the packaging. That’s part of the reason REDUCE aims to make recycling bins obsolete.  That was the inspiration: drinkware with an ethos of sustainability mixed with functionality and decorative flair.  Stocked by Costco, Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and other retailers, REDUCE now wants to bring its story to the masses.

With on-trend vessels for everyone – parents, fitness fanatics, kids and those who enjoy an adult beverage or two – REDUCE has turned to Buffalo to deliver on a multi-category, lifestyle-driven PR program to awaken more consumers to this sleeper brand.  After all, the reusable water bottle market is forecast to reach $10B by 2023 at a CAGR of 4%.

  • Valley of the SunDesert Highlands is widely considered the premier country club in Scottsdale, Arizona.  About two-thirds of its 530 members play golf on the Nicklaus Signature design and 18-hole putting course.  Home re-sales in the community range from $1.5MM to $4MM.  Although residents and members are titans of industry, they’re extremely humble, checking titles and accomplishments at the door in favor of fun and relaxation.  The golf course is undergoing $7MM in enhancements that will position it for its next incarnation and a new breed of player.  A poplar and soon-to-be expanded fitness center, tournament-caliber tennis facilities and programming, culinary delights and a full slate of social activities round out the lifestyle play.

Taking pipeline expansion in its own hands, Desert Highlands has tapped Buffalo to formulate an integrated inbound-outbound awareness and digital marketing strategy that marries membership and real estate.  As such, we are focused on new and modern brand messaging, select media relations, and highly-targeted paid search and social media.

Avoiding Crowds

It’s no surprise digital outpaced brick-and-mortar shopping this Black Friday.

But what has our Buffalo team shaking heads are the many product manufacturers without a strong online presence.

Relying on a foot-soldier strategy is yesterday’s news.  Bets on selling at physical stores need to be hedged by following consumer preferences for e-commerce.  These Black Friday stats should stimulate re-thinking:

  • Online sales rose more than 23% over 2017, crossing $6 billion among 80 of the top 100 U.S. retailers. On Thanksgiving Day alone, sales grew an estimated 28%.
  • Sales at brick-and-mortar stores fell 4% to 7% over Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, and traffic fell 5% to 9%, continuing the trend of recent years.

There’s a lot of revenue on the line when it comes to taking control of direct-to-consumer opportunities.  The National Retail Federation forecasts U.S. holiday retail sales in November and December will increase 4.3% to 4.8% over 2017, totaling $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion.  That compares with an average annual increase of 3.9% the past five years.  So much for Black Friday waning in importance.

That doesn’t even account for the other months on the calendar.

Acting like online behemoths Amazon and Walmart is paramount in today’s business world.  Instant gratification and no-hassle lifestyles rule.  Those who don’t invest in improving their e-commerce platforms and digital marketing are one step away from revenue lament.

It’s not a difficult process for Buffalo to engineer.  We manage it regularly and cost-efficiently for product manufactures.

Information Buffet

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times:  How do brands break through the clutter?

We talk a lot about data informing messaging.  While true, it repeatedly comes down to taking creative chances.  B2C companies typically get it, but those in the B2B space, well, not so much.

We don’t need a Super Bowl ad budget.

Think this way:  Step out of your comfort zone by brainstorming ideas, concepts and campaigns which have never been done before.  Relatively speaking, shock and grab audiences with the unexpected, something that’s different, eye-catching, fun and cool.  Departing boring for classy bravery will be appreciated and memorable.  Don’t stray too far from master brand message pillars to avoid industry taboo and engender emotional connections.  End with a call to action, be it subtle or, as variables dictate, unapologetically overt.

Our Buffalo team accomplished this feat with its concept and production of TV spots for Global Golf.  A “Hello, Good Buy” theme was brought to life by a professional jingle that had audiences inherently singing along.  It wasn’t long before “Hello, Good Buy” became synonymous with globalgolf.com as the premier destination to buy and sell new and pre-owned golf clubs.  Custom commercials for Father’s Day, holiday and major tournament weeks appropriately followed this unforgettable route.  The campaign also resonated across social, web, e-mail and other marketing channels.  The jingle is forever embedded in my brain.

As in the case of Global Golf, consumers react to campaigns whereby marketing doesn’t feel like marketing. That’s the sign of compelling creative.  Be the water cooler topic of conversation.  Anything less than clever often renders brands one of the pack.

Golf’s Super Bowl

Year-round, Buffalo road warriors represent clients at several trade shows from coast to coast.  On our feet from dawn to dusk and then some, hustle is a company mantra.

One such gathering is the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show, January 22-25.  With more than 20 clients at golf’s largest trade show, Buffalo is flying 18 team members to Orlando to direct more than 300 pre-arranged media interviews over four days.  We’re talking international, national and regional; consumer and trade; and print, online and broadcast outlets like Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes.com, Golf Channel, Golf Digest, GOLF Magazine and Sports Illustrated.

Buffalo leadership will facilitate client strategy meetings focused on branding, public relations, social media, digital-data marketing, creative campaigns and overall revenue strategies.  Joe Steranka, retired CEO of the PGA of America (2005-2012) and Buffalo’s Chief Strategy Officer the past several years, is part of Buffalo’s assemblage.