I’ve been at this for more than 20 years. I’m old, broken, don’t smell particularly fragrant and am getting to the over the hill stage in life. I’ve been there, done that. But you know that old chestnut.
Over these last two weeks, however, I’ve gotten to do something that’s altogether different from, say, helping a Fortune 500 launch a campaign making fun of hipsters.
I’m opening a bar.
Or rather, my partners in Elasticity, our landlord and I are opening a bar. We had space in the lobby, so why not? We felt that if we could bring a unique business into our building it would be good for downtown St. Louis, an interesting experience for us (until it bankrupts us), and a nice perk for our team when they want to snort down a fine Manhattan or craft beer.
So in launching the Tiny Bar — yes, a bar is a product – our strategy was rooted in these five things:
- The details. Every detail is important. The name is Tiny Bar because our space is 250-square-feet. Although the name is Tiny Bar, we’re “Kind of a Big Deal.” Our patron saint is Eddie Gaedel – who stood just 3’7”. Our menu has tall pours and short pours and the list goes on.
- Strategic events. Events are meaningful, particularly when tied to the brand. For example, on June 8, we’ll hold the world’s tiniest parade at 1/8th of a block as well as a street party. The number 1/8 was on Eddie Gaedel’s jersey during his one at bat for the St. Louis Browns in 1951.
- Build buzz. We slowly began leaving breadcrumbs about Tiny Bar out in the world, building curiosity for well over a year. Future patrons eagerly awaited opening day, which helped fuel the buzz.
- Entice the media. Much as we left breadcrumbs for the public, similarly, we kept the media engaged by offering tiny bits of information along the way, eventually generating quite a bit of dialogue around the opening. This was a nice way to kick off our grand opening.
- A quality product. If your product sucks, you can say goodbye to positive word-of-mouth referrals. While we’ve only just opened our doors, we’ve worked hard to ensure that our cocktails, wine and beer are all high quality, well thought out and have, um, drinkability.
Though opening a Tiny Bar is simply my latest great adventure, these five elements can make up almost any strategic product PR plan.