Everything begins at the grass roots level. One person at a time. A small community.
There’s no doubt this method works.
It is slow, difficult, and may not have exponential growth. But, it’s sustainable.
Let’s take a look at four examples of starting at the grass roots level.
The Pabst Blue Ribbon Come Back
Pabst Blue Ribbon was going out of business. There was no Marketing budget. Sales were in a steep decline.
They went back to the grass roots level. No advertising.
The new target market? Hipsters.
The target for Pabst was Hipsters who wanted a beer that had zero national attention. Naturally, Hipsters were a perfect target.
Pabst Blue Ribbon is back on the national beer scene. You can see it in dive bars and Fraternity Houses across America.
Changing the balance of beer power with a grass roots approach. And Hipsters.
Grass Roots Level with The Art of Shaving
Shaving got to a point where, basically, men were putting sharp blades on their faces with little more than foam as protection. Not taking care of our beautiful faces during our morning shave.
The result in the market was men looking for high-quality shaving products. This began with a small community of dedicated shavers. Using double-edged safety razors. Going back in time.
The Art of Shaving produced a high-quality shaving cream, designed for the double-edged safety razor. A better shave for your skin. And, my preferred shaving method.
When word got out how much better the products were and the community they built, Gillette bought them.
The return of a great shave at the grass roots level.
The 3rd Wave of Coffee with Blue Bottle Coffee
Folgers put coffee in everyone’s homes in America. The 1st wave of coffee.
Starbucks taught everyone to love coffee in its many forms. The 2nd wave of coffee.
Now, with Blue Bottle Coffee out of Oakland, we have the 3rd wave of coffee.
Produced in small batches, for a small group of coffee aficionado’s, it’s a coffee movement. The ultra-premium coffee market. I am a fan of the new wave of coffee.
I’m a fan of Blue Bottle Coffee and the Blue Bottle Coffee story.
Roasting beans in his Oakland apartment and selling them at a Berkeley Market, the founder, Freeman, began small. At the grass roots level.
Building a community of coffee drinkers led to the expansion of Blue Bottle Coffee and Venture Capital funding.
All from the grass roots level.
Sales Territory Building with Referrals
Whether opening a new sales territory or building an underperforming territory, it takes a grass roots approach.
Starting small. A few customers you can use as referrals. It’s painful, it’s slow, but it works.
I built an underperforming sales territory on low margin service work. Built a community of clients, then leveraged trust for big purchases. Then, I asked for referrals.
We can’t be everywhere at once. It makes sense to focus on the small community we can serve.
In each of these examples, starting at the grass roots level worked. Building a community, one person at a time.
I am sure there are countless more examples, but this is all I could think of.
If we start small, we might have the opportunity to get big. Slowly building traction. I am not too sure what other methods to use.
I’m going to stick to the grass roots level.