Fire Alarm As A Marketing Opportunity

guerilla marketing 300x225 Fire Alarm As A Marketing OpportunityWe’re not really ones to toot our own marketing horns, but something happened yesterday morning that helped the Grooming Guys get back to our guerrilla marketing roots a bit.  You know… return us to the hard-core type of grass roots stuff that helped us initially build our business in D.C. then Virginia and now Atlanta.  It was fun, a bit different and not-at-all premeditated.  And ultimately in the end, and most importantly, no one got hurt and the fire department was able to go home.

Here’s the minute-by-minute timeline:

10:42   Fire alarm goes off in the Bender Building in D.C.  Our corporate office is upstairs and our store is on the ground floor facing L. Street.

10:43   The GL office staff looks at one another in query and begins to shout across the office to discuss if it’s the real deal or a drill?  Something worth going down numerous flights of stairs for? The store calls upstairs to see what they should do as guests are getting services and it’s loud as can be.       

10:45   Loud speaker in building says it’s not a drill and Web Opps Leader Tito Fuentes runs as fast as he can for the stairs, knocking over women, children and everything else in his path.

10:46   The Grooming Guys look at one another, then Marketing Whiz Michael Levy, and decide that 500 people standing outside the building does not constitute an “emergency,” but rather constitutes a great opportunity to introduce people to Grooming Lounge products and services.

10:47   Grooming Guys plus Levy head into the Web warehouse, grab tons of collateral material and a box of samples.  They commence down the stairs and out of the building.

10:51  The GL Alarm Team checks that all is OK in the store, which it is (people don’t seem to mind getting a haircut with blazing alarms going off) and begins telling the hoards outside that “we’re sponsoring the fire alarm.”  Some laugh and others sneer at us with palpable disgust.

10:53  Cold folks outside realize we’re passing out really good stuff from the likes of Malin+Goetz, Anthony and more.  We’re surrounded with potential guests grabbing for goodies.

10:54 Marketing Whiz Michael Levy observes that “men really don’t like being handed brochures about grooming from other guys?”  Fire Alarm Team decides a female addition to the squad is needed.

10:55 Assistant Manager Patty O. declines our offer, instead choosing to stay in loud store and apologize to annoyed and soon-to-be hearing impaired guests.

10:56 Several people comment that they appreciated our efforts and will visit the Grooming Lounge soon.  Also, the lady above agrees to have her picture taken after 4-5 people decline this great offer.

11:00 Fire alarm over and firemen state that the issue was a “broken transformer.

11:00 – 11:17 Waiting for the elevator to go upstairs

TBD   Call from office building asking Grooming Guys to terminate the existence of our Fire Alarm Team.

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  • About Grooming Lounge

    Michael Gilman is Founder of The Grooming Lounge, the country's premiere destination for men's grooming products, services and advice. In this blog he'll talk about his business, customer service, the gentlemanly arts and whatever is currently bothering him.

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