The Idea

Grab your cooler of ice and water bottles and go where people are. There are few easier ways to attract customers that will be so thankful you’re there. This guerilla marketing tip has worked for everyone from solo founders to multi-million dollar companies (e.g. HomeJoy).

If you’ve ever been at a beach, park or event and needed a drink with no shops in sight, you know how appreciative you’d be if someone was handing them out free. You can use this to your advantage since people will feel inclined to listen to what you’re doing since you’ve given them something of huge value (not cost in this case) that they wanted.

There’s no guarantee these people will turn into customers. That’s why it’s your job to choose a venue where your target market is likely to be, even if it’s just about spreading the word. But if you think about it, there aren’t too many ways to get a crowd of people flocking to you. Approaching this many people would not only come across as creepy but also desperate. This way the tables are turned.

Bonus:

This tips also works when it’s cold. Just swap water bottles for hot chocolate, tea or coffee. You’ll have to be a bit more careful here dealing with prepared food/hot water liability, so.. beware.

You can even try co-branding with a complementary company to split costs/responsibilities (especially food/beverage makers).

Steps

  1. Find events or venues that your customers are likely to be with local websites, Meetup etc.
  2. Verify with your town/city that it’s okay to do that (or just be sneaky as many do)
  3. Buy water, preferably the mini-bottles and preferably with a branded paper wrap
  4. Get a cooler and fill it with ice. Who wants warm water?
  5. Make a sign that says “Free water!”, preferably with your branding
  6. Start talking to people! Explain what you do but just be casual and friendly
  7. Create a promotional strategy like a contest, product samples or discount to capture emails or sell
  8. Come up with an interesting 1-3 question survey if you want since they’d likely be willing to answer

Venue Ideas

  • Beaches
  • Parks
  • Parking lots
  • Sports games
  • Trade shows
  • Conferences
  • Concerts
  • Festivals

Metrics

  • Ease: Doable
  • Cost: $100+
  • Scope: Medium
  • Speed: Instant
  • Reach: Local