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The Best Way to Tell A Brand's Story is Through A School of Fish

This year, The Brandon Agency was tasked with helping to launch new outdoor lifestyle brand, Fish Hippie. The Mt. Airy, N.C.-based company’s mantra is “drift off course,” and they create the apparel and accessories to do just that. As lovers of the coast, life’s downtime, great escapes and roads less traveled, Fish Hippie outfits the free-spirited with tees featuring original designs, accessories and North Carolina-grown wines.

As part of the launch, we worked with Fish Hippie’s creators, Drew Denny and Ben Webb, to develop a college ambassador program or, in Fish Hippie-speak, the Drifters Program. The Drifters, as we like to call them, are 18- to 30-year-old outgoing undergrads, networking grads, and enthusiastic socialites swimming somewhere in between. They are young entrepreneurs looking to make some money, snag free merchandise, network, make friends and, most importantly, have fun while spreading the word about Fish Hippie.

The Bait

The primary role of a Drifter is to advocate Fish Hippie products and increase awareness through a mix of events, social media content and other opportunities. Drifters are responsible for hosting promotional events, developing retail partnerships, providing marketing reports, and recruiting new Drifters to the program.

As part of the Fish Hippie Drifters Program, participants are compensated based on how many people purchase products online. Drifters are each issued a unique promo code that tracks purchases, which is the basis of compensation. At the end of each month, Drifters elect to receive cash or credits on the Fish Hippie online store.

Catching our Drifters

To find our Drifters, we utilized all areas of The Brandon Agency integrated marketing team, including planning / research, PR, social media, design and creative and fired on all cylinders. The team began by distributing news about the program to key media contacts and targeting university and college newspapers to start spreading the word.

Then we took to Fish Hippie’s rapidly growing fan base on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where we used targeted ads to direct our audience back to the Fish Hippie website to apply to the program. Once on Fish Hippie’s newly designed site, applicants filled out a brief questionnaire to help narrow down the best catches.

Finally, on a grassroots level, we designed a good, old-fashioned handout flyer about the program to be passed out around Southeastern community events.

Hook, Line, Sinker

While the program is still in its beginning stages, we have already received more than 120 applications and have officially welcomed 30 Drifters to the program – and adding more each day. As the Drifters begin their duties we’ll be sharing their way of life, stories, photos from their events, and highlighting their successes online.

How do you share your brand’s story? Tell us in the comments below. If you need help with branding, contact us at The Brandon Agency.