Finding the Golden Ticket with Stewart’s Root Beer

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Some brands focus on giving their customers that feeling of nostalgia — making them long for times past, yet still making them happy in the process. When you’re able to do that as a company, you’ve found the golden ticket. The next step is bringing in more people to experience that wonderful sensation. It also doesn’t hurt to have the best fried pickles in the state of Ohio.

You can listen to the episode and read the transcription below. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, YouTube, or anywhere else you get your podcasts by searching “Creativity Killed the Cat”.

— Intro —

Hey there all you beautiful people! Welcome to the Creativity Killed the Cat podcast. My name’s Andrew Chwalik and I’m going to be helping you develop creative marketing that won’t break the bank.

Before beginning our episode, I’m going to share a fun fact because I do what I want. I graduated in a high school class of 10 students. Yeah, we knew everything about everyone. Sadly though, it closed down a few years back. Not surprising with those enrollment numbers.

Alright, on with the show!

Remember, I take one small business or brand and develop some creative marketing concepts that could be implemented as soon as you finish listening to this podcast. Last episode, I talked about my love of food. I mean come on, who doesn’t love good food. Well, I love it so much that I decided to dedicate this entire episode to all its deliciousness. You’ll see what I mean in a second, but first, let me take a selfie.

— Marketing Chat —

Oh yes, I went there. For two reasons. One, I actually like this song. It has a pretty good beat, you can’t deny that. Second, taking selfies is a great way to interact with your audience! Don’t give me that weird look. Yes, I’m legitimately saying taking selfies can be part of your marketing strategy. Honestly, it should be. Some basic white girl just about spilled her coffee thinking about how she could get a job that only entails making a duck face all day.

Now that we got that awkward segway taken care of, let me explain my selfie marketing tactic.

Hopefully, you already know this, but personal content performs better on social. That means the more personalized content that you share, like Facebook Live videos and behind-the-scenes photos, the more engagement you’re going to see. It makes sense, right? Your audience doesn’t want to just see curated content that you share from other sources all the time. Don’t get me wrong, content curation should be an aspect of your content blueprint, but original content should play the main role. Hey, if you don’t believe me, try it for yourself! Spend a week posting only curated content and then spend the next week posting original content. You let me know what performs better.

A selfie may be the easiest and most cost-effective personalized content you can find, but it can be one of the highest qualities available. It still boggles my mind that more people don’t take advantage of this simple trick! Now, you can spend two hours writing a blog or around a grand to get a 60-second video produced. How about you spend $0 and 10 seconds to take a simple picture? Right. You tell me the better deal.

Now that you understand how easy and inexpensive this little piece of personal content is, let’s talk about what the heck you do with it and why it works.

When interacting with a customer and it’s the right opportunity, take a selfie with a customer. Don’t be weird about it though. You don’t want to ambush someone as soon as they walk in the store. That will have the opposite effect. When you talked with the customer a bit and they seem chill, ask to take a selfie. Feel free to tell them to follow you on social so they can see the picture. Sang as many of these as you can because you can always use them later for some cool marketing tactics. However, you’re going to be posting one of them a day on your social media accounts. This person will become the “customer of the day”. Clutch. Now that you know what to do with your selfie collection, let’s talk results.

One, this is interesting content that your entire audience will enjoy and interact with. Two, this enables you to consistently have content to share across your social presence. Three, you’re encouraging your customers to follow you so they can see the image, effectively growing your audience. Four, people love being in pictures that they don’t take. It’s a psychological thing. It makes them feel important that someone wants a picture with them and then shares it, treating them almost like a celebrity. Any time you can make a customer feel like that, do it.

Taking 10 seconds to take a selfie with a customer can actually be a marketing strategy in itself. Finally starting to catch my drift? As I said, don’t go overboard, but this can be a cool little tactic you use to up your social presence. Okay, the time for selfies is over. Let’s talk about food!

Stewart’s Root Beer

Just last week, my friend Desiree took me to a little place called Stewart’s Root Beer in Marion, OH. I had never heard of it, which surprised her because I went to high school in Marion! Regardless, we hopped in my car and went to check it out. Holy moly, had I been missing out! I’m a nut about fried pickles and they had some of the best ever.

Before I get ahead of myself, Stewart’s Root Beer is a little drive-in restaurant to the north of Marion where you can get classic American fast food, like homemade sloppy joe and frosted root beer floats. They’ve been open since 1925 so they know what they're doing. All you have to do is pull up to one of the microphones, order from your car, and they bring our your delicious food! Not only is it a cool experience, but you also get some legendary tasting food. Trust me, you’re going to want to check it out for yourself. Before I make myself any hungrier, let’s get creative!

This concept is not extremely creative, but the advertising method would be fun. Start offering delivery for local businesses. I know a ton of offices that would instantly start ordering their lunch from your shop. Heck, I WISH I could order lunch from you every day. This would be a great way to increase business and to get more people ordering from you on a regular basis. Plus, only delivering to offices prevents you from needing to go all the way across town to deliver one hamburger to some random dude. Another option would be to only deliver if a certain amount was spent, say $30. This would ensure that every trip was worthwhile for your business.

Sweet, large-scale delivery is the concept, but how do you get people to take advantage of this new service? I don’t think it would be too difficult, just make a post on your Facebook Page and update your My Google Business account. Once one business starts taking advantage of it, I’m sure the word will spread. However, there are two cool marketing concepts you could use, one to kick off your delivery service, and another to continuously promote it.

The first is to basically announce your new service with those old fashion root beer candies. Be careful with this one because you don’t want to be giving out A&W branded candy, that would totally send the wrong message and I know how intense that rivalry can get. Some root beer drinkers adamantly support one brand or another. Save a headache and simply snag a ton of the generic root beer barrels. Make up little to-go bags with a handful of barrels and a note explaining that businesses can get Stewart’s Root Beer delivered! Then deliver these little goodie bags to as many local businesses as you’d like. If you want to go hardcore, make the note a small branded magnet so each business can just toss it up on the company fridge so people will always be reminded of the service.

The second marketing concept will help promote your brand and service to other businesses in the area. Offer a 10% discount for a business’s next order if they post an office selfie with their employees eating your food. Of course, they need to tag your Facebook Page. This will allow other businesses in the area to hear about your delivery service and, trust me, they won’t want to miss out!

Another one. How many high schools are in Marion? I think there are at least five in the area, even with Marion Catholic no longer being open. Tear. That means a lot of sporting events with hungry people. If you want to test out the delivery concept before full implementation, why not simply meet customers where you know they’ll already be. Work out a deal with all these local high schools to be their official concession stand or at least a supplementary offering. Sure, schools do typically have their own concession, but they don’t offer a ton of variety. Help them up their game by selling some of your popular products as well. I’d get some friend pickles at every single game, even if I’m coaching. That’s just the truth. Schools would love to be able to offer more products, especially if it made fans happier and caused them to buy more products. Think about it, if someone comes up to by your homemade sloppy joe, they’ll also want a drink. That’s a sale for you and a sale for the school if it’s set up correctly. There are so many ways to make that relationship work. Maybe you strike a deal where you simply offer your legendary root beer or how about you sell during events that don’t have a concession stand. There are so many opportunities with five high schools being in such close proximity, maybe you can be the first business to truly take advantage of it!

One more creative marketing concept. Here we go. This one will be fun. Hey, if you want someone to do this for you I’m your man. And no, I’m not just saying that so I have a reason to get more friend pickles…well, maybe I am. Let’s get your Facebook Page generating some customers. You know Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, right? That golden ticket idea was fantastic. We’re going to steal it. Okay, we’re going to borrow the idea and modernize it. Go live on Facebook and let everyone know that random orders will have “golden tickets” hidden inside of them. If people find them, they can bring them in and get a free root beer float. The only catch is that if they do bring that ticket in, they just need to say hello real quick on your next Facebook Live video. Do a 60-second interview of the lucky individual where you ask them how they felt when they found the ticket and what their favorite food is. Stuff like that. Nothing fancy. Just good a good old fashion contest with a modern twist. I could see this concept becoming a fun little promotion that’s talked about all over Marion. Just make it fun. You’ll also be getting some spectacular Facebook content. Man…I want a golden ticket now…

Stewart’s Root Beer

Boom. Stewart’s Root Beer now has some creative marketing ideas that won’t break the bank and will get more people excited about their already delicious food. Heck, I’m already excited about getting that next golden ticket! And the next time I can get some fried pickles….just saying. Hey, if you want to check them out for yourself head 1036 North Main Street in Marion, OH. And be on the lookout for some of those winning interviews on their Facebook Page at Stewart’s Root Beer — Marion.

— Closing —

Well, that’s all folks. Thanks for joining me on this episode of Creativity Killed the Cat! I hope you had as much fun as I did and were able to take away some creative marketing ideas that YOU can start using right now.

If you’re still stuck and need a little extra creative juice, head over to to find some more content that will continue to get your creative gears turning. Plus, you can reach out and let me know if you want your business or brand as the theme for one of our future episodes.

Keep saving those cats. I’ll see you all on the next episode of Creativity Killed the Cat. In the meantime, if you know of any high schools looking to adopt me, let me know. I need to be able to watch some high school soccer!