A Feeding Frenzy for Fashion

Shop Local. Give Local.

Independent stores thrive when they support their community by hosting events. Not only does a successful event help their business by bringing in traffic, it also positively energizes their store’s reputation.

Independent stores have the opportunity to make their own rules. Adding special events to their “to-do” list is a fun way to keep constant buzz around their stores. Whether an event is built around a holiday, a local community partnership or a routine event the first Friday of each month – hosting special events as part of your routine will give your customers a reason other than shopping to come to your store. Of course, the goal is to get them to shop more, but it’s also a way to build respect and loyalty that will bring customers back when they do need something – whether or not there’s an event to bring them in. 

A good example of a successful event built around a local partnership in the community is the Fashion Fundraiser benefit we did for the Chattanooga Food Bank.food drive

Our goals were twofold:
1. Create consumer incentive to donate food for the local food bank.
2. Create awareness around the Horny Toad and Nau apparel brands by getting consumers to interact with the product.

We teamed up with two of our partners (Horny Toad and Nau), and we sent an email to our Chattanooga-area subscribers. A key component to helping spread the word is to work with your partners, from the vendor to the nonprofit. Our partners made sure to segment their mailing list by location sending their own emails. This can be a major awareness driver.

Shop Local. Give Local. Promotional Materials

All marketing materials had a similar look and feel as the in-store print materials, which included posters, post cards, and bag stuffers. At Rock Creek, we made a point of reaching out to our best customers with a personal invite, and we dropped flyers in bags at the register for about a week leading up to the event. Another powerful draw came from our staff, who reached out to their friends and neighbors.

Event details. Customers were asked to bring canned goods to exchange for raffle tickets and a chance to win Horny Toad and Nau. Simple math was applied: the more canned goods brought in = more raffle tickets! Additionally, customers were given an exclusive 20% off during the event. Horny Toad and Nau brands added to the fun by being present to discuss the history and benefits of sustainable clothing. Guests who tried on Horny Toad or Nau got additional raffle tickets. Consumers even ham it up in front of the in-store studio camera. (Turns out most of us like having fun in front of a camera.) And no event is complete without treats and tidbits such as music, food, drink and merriment – all of which came together to support the local Chattanooga Area Food Bank!

The results? Over two hundred guests arrived with shopping carts full of food! The in-store event drew one of the largest groups.  Sales were well over our projected goals. Overall, the event brought great brand awareness, word-of-mouth buzz from the customers and an overload of food in the collection barrels. It was a success!

— Mark McKnight, eCommerce & Marketing Director, Rock Creek