At Quinn/Brein, we like out-of-box thinking so when Fetha Styx and their upstart Colt Fishing Rods came to us with a completely new approach to conquering the fishing world, we were intrigued.
Fetha Styx, which had a small, but dedicated Pacific Northwest following, was re-launching itself as a fishing company with a social conscience. That is, they were focusing their product lines with a variety of niche audiences and a portion of proceeds going to a related charitable tie-in. For example, “True Hero” was a series of fresh and salt water fishing rods with money going towards non-profits supporting the families of fallen firefighters and police officers. Another offering was the first ever NASCAR branded fishing rod with money helping to fund environmental initiatives.
In addition, the company had invested in a sister brand, Colt Fishing Rods, who was manufacturing an indestructible fishing rod!
Other than a core group of die-hard followers, Fetha Styx was fairly unknown in the industry. We began by making introductions to the core trade publications. From there we reached out to not only consumer angling press but also to those media speaking to the various demographics represented by the specific rod lines. Our approach really amounted to consistency and transparency: Fetha Styx wasn’t a “name” (yet) but we used their unique approach to prove they had something interesting to say for the long term. It worked: review requests for their upcoming products (even those not even in production yet!) began to roll in!
Colt was a different beast altogether: the “indestructible” technology they were using was a design that had been improved upon, but first introduced by another company over a decade before. The original product was well received but the company had other issues that forced it out of business. We had to craft a communications strategy that allowed us to talk about the positive aspects of the previous product without aligning ourselves with the now defunct company.
Both companies wanted to make a big splash at ICAST, the largest sport fishing trade show in North America. Our approach was to treat the two companies separately and explore the various opportunities that would make sense for their respective brands and audiences. For example, for Fetha Styx, because of its broad appeal potential and low price points, we planned a big launch event inviting dealers, retailers, and the media. For Colt we took into account the innovative tech behind the rod’s design and manufacturing, to put together smaller gatherings of stakeholders who represented serious enthusiasts.
For both companies, we crafted messaging strategies (on and off the show floor), set up one-on-one meetings with key press, and worked the show to make sure enthusiasm was high. By the time the show was over, we’re willing to bet everyone had at least heard of Fetha Styx and Colt Fishing Rods!