‘Rocking to the Rock’ with the local community

It’s for good reason that Half Moon Outfitters was named the 2011 winner of the  SNEWS®/Backpacker Retailer of the Year at this winter’s Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City. The shop has worked hard to become a leading dealer of gear for kayaking, rock climbing, backpacking, surf and travel. And while Half Moon understands that carrying the right brands and employing knowledgeable customer service whizzes are a big part of running a successful retail store. They have also learned that integrating their brand into the community is what puts the “special” in specialty retail.

Half Moon’s recent partnership with a local radio station is a fine example of its community outreach. The station asked Half Moon to host musicians looking for extra exposure when in town for concerts.  This past spring, Michael Franti released a new CD and, as part of his tour, scheduled a show in Charleston, SC.  Half Moon put together a benefit for the local, not-for-profit Coastal Conservation League . At Half Moon’s behest, other local businesses such as Palmetto Beer and Zia Taqueria provided event extras. (We all love beer and tacos!) Michael Franti was so happy about supporting a local good cause, he helped to generate buzz for the event.

In the end, Half Moon matched the gross revenue and there was some fabulous exposure for the local conservation organization. The event brought over 400 people into the store (both new and loyal customers) and raised over $1500 for the Coastal Conservation League during a time when non-profits are in a perpetual struggle to find funding. And, a great side-benefit?  Customers experienced first-hand what Half Moon is about:  facilitating a lifestyle that supports the outdoors.

On a business level, this is a great example of grassroots outreach and was mostly done by word of mouth marketing.  Not only did this event directly benefit worthy organizations, it perpetuated good will and a feeling of closeness within the community. A clip on FranTV captures the sense of the excitement that surrounded the event. No print or radio ad will accomplish this much buzz!

We hope this community partnership idea sparks some interesting ideas of your own.

Video: http://michaelfranti.com/category/tags/half-moon-outfitters