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Donut Wars, Part 1

Here’s A Story Of A Puny, Rebel Marketing Force That Takes Down An Empire.

Here’s A Story Of A Puny, Rebel Marketing Force That Takes Down An Empire.

A Strategic Plan For A Little Start-Up Donut Shop To Take Down Krispy Kreme.

And Hope For Little Guys Everywhere.

By Rich Harshaw

Note: This article is part of MYM’s ongoing “Outside The Box” series, which feature ideas, strategies, and case studies from OUTSIDE contractor marketing, with suggestions of how to implement those ideas into your business.

Nothing brings joy to a Saturday morning in the Harshaw household more than a couple dozen Krispy Kreme donuts—fresh, hot, and ready to dunk in a cup of cold milk. My six locust-wannabe children can devour two dozen in approximately thirteen seconds—sprinkles and all.

So one Saturday morning when my oldest daughter reminded me she had to be at school for a band competition at 8:30, it was a perfect chance to make a run. My oldest son jumped at the chance to come with me and get the hottest of the hot right after they go through that glaze waterfall thingy. There’s nothing like father-son bonding at 240 calories and eight grams of fat per donut. Homer would be proud.

After we hastily dispatched of the flute player (more for the rest of us!), it was on to donut Shangri La. As we turned right onto Highway 26, my donut radar efficiently picked out a daring new player in the local donut scene. A new shop bearing the generic white letter sign “DONUTS” was a dead giveaway that this was a Korean-owned store. And judging by the parking lot, they weren’t experiencing the typical traffic control problems associated with Krispy Kreme grand openings. In fact, there wasn’t a single car in the lot.

My son was already locked and loaded: “Dad—check it out! A new donut shop! Let’s go there instead of Krispy Kreme. I hate Krispy Kreme. We always go to Krispy Kreme. I like the big donuts from the little shops better.”

The glaze waterfall thingy would have to wait for another day. The Koreans had just won a new customer.

No small feat considering that at approximately three miles from my house, this was the ONLY locally-owned shop in existence. Krispy Kreme had decimated the rest when they opened their mega store three or four years prior.

As we walked in, I was not surprised to see that indeed, this was a Korean shop. “Just opened?” I inquired as I approached the eager employee standing behind the counter ready to serve what appeared to be an endless and yet-untouched supply of donuts. “Three weeks open now,” came the broken-English reply. Amazing—three weeks and already the place had the look and feel of a crusty little donut shop that had been there twenty-five years.

It wasn’t dirty—but there was absolutely nothing remarkable in the entire place. The walls were all painted pale yellow, and on the left wall was the standard-issue donut shop drink cooler with sliding glass doors and an assortment of juices, milks, and energy drinks. Just past the cooler was the huge Jesus picture—the one that’s always there in these kinds of shops, unless they have the more traditional Buddha-type statues. Just below that was the seventeen-year old CD boombox playing random light rock hits from the 80s. The back wall featured a bulletin board where you could leave your business card, which caused me to think—do you really want to hire an accountant, plumber, or personal trainer you found on the bulletin board at the donut shop? A half-dozen of those flimsy little donut shop tables and chairs were in the middle of the shop for those who preferred to dine on their donuts while reading the Korean newspaper that was conveniently available. The glass cases under the counter featured a wide assortment of nice looking donuts—plus those creepy hot dog things wrapped in a bun that I’ve never really seen anyone buy.

Six dollars a dozen was the asking price on the menu board above the clerk’s head—it was the generic kind with lines on it that you can stick letters on to form whatever words and prices you want. Fancies and cream-filled would cost extra—but for regular old donuts, their price was a full dollar less than the Evil Empire was charging less than a mile down the road.

We bought my standard cache—a dozen glazed and a dozen chocolate sprinkles—plus three chocolate milks for the kiddos back home. Then, to my surprise, the lady threw in a dozen donut holes for free—a nice touch. We got out of there for just under seventeen bucks. Not too shabby.

As we drove home I couldn’t help but think that this brave little startup was doomed to be crushed by the venerable Krispy Kreme—it was only a matter of time. But it didn’t have to be this way! A savvy marketing Korean shop could take a substantial chunk out of KK’s hide if they would just employ a few simple strategies. Four strategies to be precise—detailed here for you reading pleasure, so you may be able to use them in your construction, plumber, or HVAC marketing efforts. Think of me as the holographic Princess Leah R2-D2 kept showing Luke in the original Star Wars.

Citizens, we have a plan to destroy the Evil Empire.
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I Don’t Care If Your Online Video Gets A Million Views.

With Regards To Contractor Marketing, Creating A Spectacle Will Get People To Pay Attention… And Make A Strong Point.

With Regards To Contractor Marketing, Creating A Spectacle Will Get People To Pay Attention… And Make A Strong Point.

Just Make Sure When Your Prospects See It,
It Makes Them Want To Buy From You Instead Of Anyone Else.

Written by Rich Harshaw.

Will it blend? That is the question.

At least that’s the question Tom Dickson, former CEO of Blendtech has been asking since 2006, when he started his wildly successful video series with that same name on YouTube.

It’s so simple, it’s genius: To show people the raw blending power of his blenders, Tom takes odd, interesting, and unexpected household items and throws them into the blender and “lets it rip.”

The idea came from a new marketing director named George Wright. He’d seen Tom chopping up blocks of wood in their product testing laboratory. Wright was new, so unlike longtime employees who were used to seeing Tom grind odd objects into dust, he was blown away. Who would have thought a blender could blend wood into sawdust! $50 later, they created the first “Will it Blend” video of the Blendtech pulverizing marbles into a pile of white dust.
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I Know I Need To Post SOMETHING On Facebook…. But What?

Creating Interesting, Relevant, Entertaining Facebook Content Is Just A Matter of Planning, Research, And Focus…

Creating Interesting, Relevant, Entertaining Facebook Content Is Just A Matter of Planning, Research, And Focus…

58 Sample Facebook Posts For Remodelers In 10 Categories

Last week I posted two articles about social media for contractors—first a set of tips to get you started, then a list of blunders to avoid. In both posts I encouraged you, above all else, to keep your posts interesting, engaging, and entertaining. I also encouraged you to systematize and calendar your posts to you are always prepared at least two weeks in advance.

So today we’re going to take this all to the next logical level by creating sample posts in multiple categories; these posts could then be calendared out in whatever frequency and interval you want.

But before we get started, just a couple of notes: 1) these are SAMPLE posts; use them for inspiration, not verbatim; 2) these posts will be written for multiple kinds of remodeling companies… don’t be confused that a post that talks about window replacement is followed by one touting kitchens.

The idea is to write multiple posts in multiple categories, then create a schedule that mixes them up and keeps the type of post fresh.

Okay, here we go! These categories are not in any particular order.
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Don’t Do This: Contractor Social Media Blunders

Social Media Can Be Great For Your Business… As Long As You Avoid These Pitfalls.

Social Media Can Be Great For Your Business… As Long As You Avoid These Pitfalls.

Too Many Self-Serving, Boring Social Media Posts Haphazardly Catering To People Who Don’t Care Anyway.

Let’s Try To Avoid That.

Written by Rich Harshaw.

Last post was dedicated to Social Media Quick Tips… which was a good introductory primer to the subject. Go back and read it again before tackling this post. Today we’re going to discuss the most common mistakes remodeling companies make when trying to implement social media….

Blunder #1: Posting Too Frequently: Besides me and my kids, my wife’s #1 love in life is Anthropologie. Not “the study of humans past, present, and future.” I’m talking about the woman’s clothing, doo-dad, frou-frou and knick-knack store that is the frequent beneficiary of half my paycheck. 90% of her closet and half the stuff in my house originated from that store.

Her next love in life after me, my kids, and Anthropologie is Pinterest. You know, the social media network that caters to women by letting them “pin” photos of stuff they like to “boards” that they can then share with their friends. My wife pins stuff constantly, and checks to see what other people have pinned approximately 713 times a day.

So when I asked my wife recently if she follows Anthropologie on Pinterest and she said NO, I almost fell over and died on the spot.
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