In the little town of Sisters in Central Oregon, I ended up drinking coffee next to Mike, the owner of Hop in the Spa, and before he could tell me his story I stopped him. I already knew all about it. His business had gone viral globally when it opened just 10 months ago.
After visiting some cool beer spas in Europe, this daring entrepreneur thought up the really far-out idea to start a beer spa in a town with a population of about 2,500. A year ago people probably thought he was crazy. But he had two things going for him.
#1) This would be the first Beer Spa in America.
#2) He had a relationship with a big name beer brand – Deschutes Brewery.
The Spa opened on Valentine’s day 2016. Absolutely no one could have anticipated what happened next. A super unique concept in a smoking hot industry (craft beer) hit the Home Run button immediately. By the end of February, this business was international news.
As marketers for small local businesses, we focus a lot on inbound links to our clients websites. In Google’s world, if other websites link to your website then it must be worthy of that link. The more links you have, the better your website will rank online. When big league websites link to yours then that really means something. Look what happened to Hop in the Spa:
A business could pay a PR Firm $100k and not even come close to this. Seriously, this is a Unicorn. And since this spa is literally two blocks from my home I drive past it every day and I’ve wondered if anyone actually goes in there. Now sitting next to Mike, I asked him how things are going. He’s brimming over with opportunities & potential.
Beer Geeks fly in from all over the world just to experience this spa. Corporations from all over the US are gifting executives spa-lodging-tour packages. Other breweries want in. Hotels want to open beer spas. European tv stations send teams to Oregon to cover the craft beer movement, including “America’s first Beer Spa”.
And while this level of success is rare, the benefits of your business being unique & newsworthy are right at your fingertips. You’ll still need to be awesome, provide great customer service and actually run your business well. But media attention can separate you from the rest of the pack – in a hurry.
Is your business unique? How can you be newsworthy? There’s a lot of noise out there in the world right now. We’re all bombarded with media all day long. What is it about your business that stands out? What far-out idea of yours is ready to rise above the chatter, get you some links to your website and potentially create some new opportunities in 2017?