Indie Businesses and the Revival of Craft Experiences

Indie Businesses and the Revival of Craft Experiences


[MUSIC] If everything goes in one direction and
everything’s digital and people are feeling, in some ways,
more disconnected than they were before, connected in one way and
disconnected in a human way. It’s sort of natural for people to
crave and want that human experience. Retail isn’t dead,
just the experience is different. [MUSIC]>>I don’t know if people saw, there was
a New York Times article in January and it talked about the frightful five. And those are the big technology platform
companies, Google, Apple, Microsoft, that are set up to dominate so
much of our digital lives. And I think the frightful piece of
it is we depend on those things, they’ve changed our lives. We’re all addicted to our devices,
but we also worry about it. And so I think we increasingly crave
the small and the handcrafted. And we root for categories that people
wrote off at one point as dying, that are really coming
back in a major way. So that’s what this panel’s
gonna be about, and we’re gonna look at the revival of craft
through the lens of three industries that have gone through a notable resurgence. John, I was wondering, do you have any stories about just how
crazy people will go to get Heady?>>There’s a lot of crazy people
out there, that is for sure.>>[LAUGH]
>>We’ve experienced a steady amount of growth and notoriety from
the day that we first started doing this. The first time I brewed
Heady Topper was early in 2004. And yeah, I could tell you tales
of long lines and stuff like that, but the story that I find fascinating
is the first time that Jen and I realized just what was going on. That there was something
going on outside of us, outside of our business that we,
before then had been pretty unaware of. I had just finished brewing a batch
of beer, we split schedules, so we had a small child. I would go in early in the morning,
I would brew. Jen would bring our son in
just about when I was done. I’d take him, she’d take over, she would run the restaurant for the night
and I would go home with our son. So I had just finished brewing,
I was up at the bar, I think I was cleaning the line
maybe putting a new beer on tap and a gentleman came in just as we opened and
he sat down and he ordered a Heady Topper. And I said, I just put that on today. He’s like, yeah, I know. I said, okay. [LAUGH] So he had seen my tweet
the previous day that it was on. He said, I’m from Florida. I said, great, are you here,
what brings you to Vermont? He said, this brings me to Vermont.>>[LAUGH]
>>I said, you gotta be kidding me, I said, you came here for Heady Topper? He’s like, I bought my ticket last
night because I got your Tweet. I am here just for this beer,
and I leave tomorrow. He sat at the bar [NOISE] for
eight hours that we were open and drank as much of it as he could and
that was it. Out the door he went. And I mean, Janet and
I the next day was like, can you believe that dude bought a plane ticket just
to come up and drink that beer? I mean, it really blew our minds. And that was in the early
days of when some of the social networking websites,
the beer websites that exist, that was in the early days of those and
so it has grown. You see how people can communicate and
talk and talk about new things that are out and how quickly word
spreads and that was a big eye opener.>>Yeah, and
I think that’s a great point cuz in a way you could look at all of these
brands as fiercely analog, but all are really shrewd users of digital and
social media. So let’s turn to Bridget. So Bridget, you run marketing at Shinola. Just tell us a little
bit about the company.>>So Shinola was started, we built
a watch factory in Detroit in 2012 and really our intention was to make products
in the US and also to create jobs. We started with watches,
we also do bicycles, journals, in fact,
that are sold here in the book shop. And we are also launching audio,
coincidentally a turntable this September. So we really look at ourselves
as an American design brand.>>Yeah, with a range of products.>>Correct.>>That’s a beautiful watch, by the way.>>[LAUGH]
>>Thank you.>>So I wanted to ask you Bridget, if you
think about craft as exists somewhere at the intersection of high quality
products and missioner story, you’ve had that balance at different
parts of your career, right?>>Definitely, I was lucky enough
back in 2004 to work with Bono and his wife on a small brand
called Eden that they started. And they were really pioneers in the area. Back then, the idea of conscious
fashion just didn’t exist. And that’s when I really fell in love
with this idea of storytelling through the supply chain. I come from a fashion background
where in fact there was a curtain, you never communicated where you
manufactured your products or showed pictures of who was making
the products, and now that’s all changed.>>Yeah, and
that’s a huge part of Shinola’s story.>>It’s at the heart of what we do,
absolutely.>>Mr. Blackwell, Third Man Records, so
we know it’s Jack White’s record label. You’re obviously pressing Jack’s records. But you produce records for
other genres, as well.>>Yeah, we do a little bit of everything. I like to say, a good record label
should be like a good record collection. It’s not just one thing. You should have rock and roll,
and country, and hip hop. Maybe people know or
have a friend who just loves rap music. And that’s great, if you want to talk
about rap music for a half-hour. But then you want to say,
don’t you like AC/DC? Can we talk about that? That’s kind of a simplistic way
of describing our approach. We love bits of everything, so
we release bits of everything.>>What’s the least expected
genre that you guys have?>>We’ve released a record with
Insane Clown Posse, we’ve done->>[CROSSTALK] That was shocking.>>It was shocking. We literally had people said, I will never buy any of your records
again because you put this out. And it was an interesting
collaboration with those guys rapping, the A side was a reinterpretation
of a Mozart song. Mozart kinda has this little known side
where he did his after hours stuff. So he had a song called
Leck mich im Arsch, which translates in German to lick my ass.>>[LAUGH]
>>But he’s Mozart, so he gets a free pass, right? But when ICP sings it, people get mad and
offended and they hate him. And so-
>>[CROSSTALK] Well, I think it’s true, craft brands are not trying
to sell to everybody, right?>>[LAUGH] Yeah.>>You’re trying to talk
to your fierce fans.>>Yeah, so we’ve done Insane Clown Posse, we’ve done
Spoken Word Instructional Records with burlesque dancers or auctioneers
kind of talking about their craft, all the way through obscure re-issues of punk bands from the late 70s that barely
existed that no one’s ever heard of. If it seems interesting to us,
and it compels us, we’ll put it out in hopes that maybe
it’ll compel some other people. Another great example is we have a 45
out by, we say it’s by Carl Sagan. It’s a song called, A Glorious Dawn. And where it comes from is
there was a producer who took spoken audio of Sagan
from His Cosmos series. Stuff like if you wish to make an Apple
pie from scratch first you must invent the universe. And this guy took Sagan’s words and
put them through filters, vocoders, things like that and
gave it a little bit of a melody and also put a backing track to it and
posted it on YouTube. And we saw this pretty early on,
there was maybe like 20, 30,000 views, and Jack White, my boss, saw this and said man
we have to put that on a 45, it’s amazing, it’s beautiful. Absolutely let’s do it. We contact the producer who’s ecstatic,
we contact savings estate who I’m sure have never dealt with this kind of request
before, but they were game for it. And we go to press the record. At that time an initial pressing for us on
a 45 would be maybe about 2,000 copies. Hedging our bets, always keep in mind the dictum that
you can always repress more records. You can never take unsold records back
to the plant and get your money back. Usually past 2,000 at that point so
let’s just press 1,500 because I don’t really know what the market is for
a record by a dead astronomer. So we sold those first 1,500
out in probably about 2 weeks. And then, for the next 3 years we couldn’t
keep it in print, we sold over 10,000 copies of that on 45 500, 1,000 at a time. Keep on doing it. The video has, I think I lost count,
at about 10 millions views on YouTube. This is a thing,
that if you are looking to make money. If you are looking to,
how can we really blow the doors off. You would never go towards this.>>That would be the opposite,
of what you’d do, right?>>Exactly.
>>What’s interesting about that is and you guy’s all have stories that way, is you operate in markets that used to be
dominated by what’s gonna sell the most, and how can we bring it down to
a lowest common denominator taste? And at each of your businesses does
something, the polar opposite. [MUSIC] What’s behind the revival of craft? I mean you guys have three
very different categories. But what’s in the culture that
people are craving these brands. So Bridgette, can you take a crack?>>I think with everything,
if everything goes in one direction and everything is digital and
people are feeling. In some ways more disconnected
than they were before. Connected in one way, and
disconnected in a human way. It sort of natural for people to crave and
want that human experience. Retail isn’t dead,
just the experience is different. So I think as long as we’re human beings
and want that sort of connection. To me it seems only natural
that sometimes, you know what, I just want my watch to tell me the time.>>Smart enough, right?>>Yes, just smart enough.>>So
it’s maybe a little bit of a reaction against the digital domination that we
all subscribe to, but rebel against. John, when we were talking,
there’s some other factors too, right? You’re talking about
growing up in the 70s and the kind of options we had as consumers.>>I think it’s a cultural rejection of this watering down of our
society that was going on for years. All of a sudden,
as a child who’s gonna eat Wonder Bread? Who is ever gonna eat that again? And so, we were, I was raised in the midst
of when it had already happened. When the giant corporations had taken
over, had streamlined everything, and as you said,
dumbed down everything to the point where they think everybody is gonna like it. Everybody’s eyes were opened up at some
point along the way where they reject that, and say, no there’s so
much more to it than that. It’s not just looking at your wrist and
telling what time it is. It’s not just delivering alcohol
to your blood stream, and it’s not just flipping through
a zillion digital songs. People need that connections
to quality and to realness and I think that’s what drives a lot of it. You wanna be able to sit down, and
take the time and just slow down, and just listen to a complete album,
who does that anymore? Not enough people. And the appreciation of
a finely made time piece, it’s not about just having something
thrown out at you as cheaply as possible.>>Not just about accuracy, right?>>Yes.>>Well, anything you would add
to what’s behind this, Ben? I would just say if he wants to
see people that eat Wonder Bread, well come down to Nashville and there’s-
>>[LAUGH]>>If you look at the success of Etsy for instance, where you have, and
it’s predominantly women who are selling on Etsy who are making things on their
kitchen table or in their basement. And then, have grown their business
to a million dollar business and now are seeking out manufacturing outside
of their home or not doing it themselves. It started as it was all people
making the products themselves. That’s a huge indicator of
people wanting to get into this, wanting to get into the business
of making things again. I come from a manufacturing background,
my mother emigrated from Italy, worked in a factory in Midtown and so
I grew up on the factory floor literally. My brother got in the business
after production went off sure and he held on to his machine and
hope it will come back. It’s coming back, there’s a number
of facts why that is happening but it absolutely coming back and people want
to be connected to knowing how to make thing I mean especially in this country
we were known for making things and not only in making things but
making great long lasting products. And that is coming back,
especially in Detroit. Detroit, where you have space and still affordable rent where
you can do these things. And a community of people around
you who are supporting you. So we’re seeing it in Detroit but
we’re seeing it in cities all over the US.>>I think of Vermont as a maker state.>>And
I think it’s a generational thing, too.>>I think that the younger
generation of people, they see that. I think that there’s a lot of
people that wanna be entrepreneurs, that wanna have their own business,
and they’re trying to figure out what are they gonna do,
what are you gonna make? I remember being very young my
grandfather he emigrated from Germany and he was a baker. And very early on I knew,
no offense to everybody in a suit and tie, I knew that I did not wanna wear
a suit and tie for the rest of my life. I needed to make something I needed at the
end of the day to have something tangible sitting in front of me,
that I can take pride in. I couldn’t. My father was a stockbroker,
and God bless him. I watched him do that every day. Not for me. So when I came on to brewing, when I discovered brewing craft beer,
this light went off. And all of a sudden I had that focus and
that. It didn’t matter. Whatever I had to do,
I was gonna do until I achieved that. That’s what I was gonna do for a living. So it was not a question,
really, of if, it was when. [MUSIC]>>People are smart about jumping on fads,
right? So Craft is a fad now, too. I’m sure you have a lot of imitators,
Bridget. And Warby Parker’s a great brand, and how many dozens of companies have
popped up to imitate what they do? But I think there’s something about
more permanent resetting, too. Like in the 70s, you could choose from
like seven beers if you were in America, and I know that the scale for being able
to be a brewer was like a million barrels. You’re happy at 10,000, right?>>Very happy, and yeah. I remember as a kid going to a restaurant,
and the waitress would come up and say, Schmidt, Schlitz or Michelob? And those were your choices. And you see it in the food
industry as well. There is an appreciation for quality. There is a desire to learn where
these things come from, who makes them, what is that spider web
that leads out from what you create? There’s a lot of people, it’s not just us. We have a trail of people behind
us that help us do what we do and they’re mostly very like-minded people.>From small hop farmers
in Oregon to family-run malt business in England
that supplies us our barley. So it’s the world around and
it’s an issue of quality, I find.>>Interestingly enough, Kanye West,
not that he says a lot of things that he doesn’t follow up on, but yesterday,
he said he’s no longer releasing CDs. It’s gonna be streaming and vinyl. That’s kind of my hope for the world. I hate CDs, they’re frisbees and
coasters at this point. But if people still want CDs,
we’re gonna make them until we’re by no means trying to dictate how
people have to listen to something. But in terms of market, it’s
increasingly even harder for me to tell. I just, I know if people want
the Hateful Eight vinyl soundtrack, I can tell the demand on that, when we
put it out, and we sell out really quick. Okay, it’s a bigger
demand than we thought. But that changes release to release,
week to week.>>As far as my opinion on that it’s,
I see it as a sea change. When craft beer first came onto
the scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s, it has done nothing but climb. It has been a long hard road to readjust
people’s palettes to what we now create. But now that it is out there,
and we have done that, and we’ve done all that groundwork,
the sky’s the limit. There are teenagers, as we speak, stealing
double IPAs out of their dad’s fridge. They’re not stealing their
Budweisers necessarily. And when they open that fridge,
they’re not faced with a sea of Budweiser. It’s a fridge of craft beer, and so I can’t see that kid growing up
some day and saying “I can’t wait to have my first Miller Lite.”
>>The younger consumer is a good point there. I mean, the under 30, the M-word. I saying it. That audience, you know,
today are asking those questions so it’s not this niche thing in the corner,
or a fad. The consumer today, and for
us it runs across many age groups, cares about where their
products are coming from. Certainly the under 30 generation
absolutely is asking these questions, so I definitely think there’s opportunity. Certainly, we’re in it. We’re passionate, It’s a business
that we want to be profitable. So, we do believe in it,
and it can be a business. It’s just when it gets to the point of
a big, multinational corporation where it might be a little bit more difficult
to achieve this kind of storytelling. [MUSIC]>>And somebody said yesterday
that brand has now changed. Product marketing and
corporate image were separate. Now they’re coming back together. For your companies,
it’s never been separated, right? It’s hard to imagine your product
story absent your mission, Bridget.>>It has to be part of what
you do everyday, so from HR to marketing to Ecom to manufacturing, that
has to be at the heart of what you do. I’ve learned through Eden somewhat
the hard way in that we have this great mission of increasing trade in Africa and creating jobs in Africa, but
no one thought about the product. So it was sort of an afterthought. And we sort of naively put some product
out there that we all weren’t that proud of, and it didn’t sell. And so it’s great that you have this
lofty goal, but ultimate, if it’s driven by the sale of a certain product, that
product needs to stand up to that mission. Cuz ultimately you’re you’re
making a promise to the consumer. And so not only do you need
to realize your mission through what you do socially,
but also in those products. So that’s why, for us at Shinola,
creating a product first and foremost that’s made to last. That is care and everything that we
do including the box that it goes in. It has to be part of
everyone’s job at the company.>>So you’re going to make all
the products you guys sell, like you won’t license or is that part of?>>We don’t manufacture everything
ourselves, so we do assemble the watches and the bicycles, and
make some of our leather goods in Detroit. Otherwise we work with
partner factories in the US. Not all of the components come from the
States, some of them come from overseas. Just simply there isn’t
the availability at the quality and the quantity that we need.>>Yeah, well there’s something
too about Detroit in particular. And Ben you should ring in on this too. And I would say just generally it’s almost
impossible to separate craft from place. And I think one thing craft has
done is bring a sense of place and location back to products,
which I think is really great. But can you talk about
like that side of it? How many jobs, you guys are committed
to the manufacturing in Detroit, right?>>In the US.
[CROSSTALK] Specifically in Detroit.>>And did you say there was
some research asking consumers if you would go out of your way to buy
American and I think it was sorta split. But people would go out of
their way to buy in Detroit or pay more, is there something to that?>>Yeah,
it was before my time with the company, I started sort of just
after the beginning. But apparently there was a focus
group that we did down in Dallas and there was, I think it was pencil,
pen, something like that. Same price, I’m sorry, not the same price. Look the same. One was made in China, one was made in
the USA, one was made in Detroit, and we asked which one would you pay more for? And people said if
between made in the USA, made in China, they’d do made in China. They would prefer the cheaper,
made in China, but made in the USA really wasn’t meaningful, but that they
would pay more for made in Detroit. And I think that just goes down to people
want to know that level of detail. I think over the years,
made in the USA has become diluted and what exactly does that mean? You know, it’s something that at
least today, people are unsure of. Whereas made in Detroit,
even if I’m not from Detroit, I can, all of a sudden that conjures up
something very specific in my mind, and I feel more of a connection to it.>>Yep. And you guys,
you are a maker business too Ben, right?>>Absolutely, so our outpost
in Detroit is actually two doors down from Shinola’s,
call it your flagship?>>Flagship, yup-
>>Flagship.>>It was our first store.>>So we’re, it’s a very fun block there.>>Yeah.
>>But [LAUGH] our primary focus for the first seven years of the business
has been acting as a record label, doing occasional live performances and
merchandising, but mainly putting out records. And things have gotten so complex and
protracted in terms of turn around times in the vinyl business over this time
period that we are actually expanding and setting up our own vinyl factory
in our building in Detroit. So we’ll have a record
store you can walk into. You walk down a hallway, and you’ll see
these presses spitting out vinyl records. To the tune of, these are first new vinyl
press machines made in about 35 years. And these are the first new ones
in North America in that time. So that’s kind of our focus. I, for years and years said,
I wanna be involved. I wanna be a certain aspect of DIY for
our record label. But I don’t wanna run a press Steam plant. There’s too much science involved. Steam pressure, engineering. Once you mention PSI, I have to tap out.>>[LAUGH]
>>I don’t know anything more than that. But, it became this thing well,
why wouldn’t we do this? We have so much issue with turn around
times at plants across the globe. Whereas when we started,
you could probably, I could with push, get a record turned around in three weeks. Really, really pushing it. Now, if you walk into
basically any plant in the US, and their stated public turn
around time is 14 weeks.>>And that’s a big thing, right? People probably know these numbers,
but say the lowest point of records, mid 90s to mid 2000s, less than
a million records sold in this country. It’s now more than 14 million, and the record factories
are working three shifts, right?>>Well yeah, and these are machines too
that were only ever made to run eight hours a day, so you’re dealing with
having to constantly repair the machines That are most plants are operating
with the finest that mid 1950’s, 1960’s technology has to offer. So for us, third man, we’ve been open
seven years, I think almost to the day. We’ve released over 350 titles. Across those 350 titles,
we’ve pressed two million pieces of vinyl. To put that in perspective,
the pressing plant that we primarily use, United Record Pressing, which is two
miles from our office in Nashville. So very, very close. A very,
very good working relationship with them. Their biggest customer
is Universal Records. Big huge multinational cooperation. Second biggest customer is Sony,
big huge multinational corporation. Our third biggest customer is Third Man
Records, a label that didn’t even exist eight years ago, and
I think one thing is because we’re a good face for vinyl. No one really looks at Sony and says, man,
they’re doing so many great vinyl things. It’s kind of like it’s so big it’s
kind of hard to really get a feel on, but for us we do small,
or we do interesting, we do craft things and
that gets noticed a lot more. [MUSIC] Well there is also a interesting thing
how the craft side of your industries, I’d say beer and records, are really
driving the bus these days in terms of the most interesting
parts of the industry. Craft is like what,11% of beer by volume,
but like 15 or 16% by sales. I don’t know if I have
those numbers right.>>20%.
>>20%>>It’s funny, cuz there’s an article in the paper today that talks about InBev and
their attempts to buy up craft brewers. And when they bought Goose Island out of
Chicago and 10 Barrel out of Oregon and you see them, they’re scrambling because
they see their market share disappearing. And to them, I don’t know if they
totally understand why, you know? I’m sure they do, but here they are, they’re grabbing large craft brewers,
which is fine. But craft brewing as a whole isn’t being
driven by these large craft breweries, it’s being driven by the little guys. The innovation, the creativeness is coming out of these little places,
and it’s not gonna change. Now that the genie is out of the bottle, people aren’t gonna to go back to
drinking Schmidt, Schlitz, or Michelob. They are hooked now, and
they’ve recognized the quality. And what you referenced before, the idea
of quality being the driving force. To us, quality is everything. We don’t have Marketing Department,
it’s Jean and I with our ideas and making our ideas
real and bringing it to fruition, but at the end of the day none of that matters if
one our customers opens a can of our beer. And feels as though it has slipped and
it is not what it used to be. You’ve got nothing. All the marketing in the world
isn’t going to change that. Our end of the bargain is making sure
that, that beer is absolutely perfect. That if you by it from one of
our authorized distributors, you can be assured that
it is gonna be perfect. If it gets messed up it’s cuz
you messed it up, you know? And all of our growth
has driven out of that. It’s word of mouth. People talking about,
you’ve gotta try this beer.>>Well so I wanna, cuz I think there’s
a question about scale on there too. At like what size can you
not do that stuff anymore? But I also wanted to make a point
that you don’t do any marketing, and most small craft brewers don’t. They don’t have to, if they’re good,
but it’s interesting to see the impact. So, now, Coors Light is now
creating advertising for women. So, where women are not just play things,
but they are actually the target of the ad,
right? And the piece that I read about that
actually credited craft brewers with that. Saying not that craft brewers have
done a lot of advertising to women, but they’ve always just understood that
you got men drinking the beer, and women drinking the beer, and
we’re gonna treat them the same. And, your consumers get the difference,
right, they’re not being talked down to, they’re not being excluded. And I think the rest of
the market’s trying to catch up.>>I don’t think you’ve seen any craft
brewers putting bikini-clad women dancing on the beach with the beers either.>>I think that’s right.>>It just spoke down to
50% of the population. It’s a crazy way of thinking. It’s an outdated way of thinking, and
I think most of us have moved beyond that.>>We’re starting to,
at least the big guys. [MUSIC] So, Bridget, your mission,
Chinola’s mission, isn’t about being, or doesn’t limit you to being small. I think you guys want to get bigger,
right?>>We definitely do. In order to be sustainable and to create
the amount of jobs that we want to create, we absolutely have to be a certain size. But I do think there’s a certain
point where too big is too big. And I think, that’s where many companies
kind of fall into problems where it becomes less about people and
more about the bottom line. And that’s when decisions are made,
not necessarily good long term decisions. But, yeah, we definitely have to reach,
I don’t know exactly what that number is, but we have to reach a certain size
in order to sustain our business. We built a pretty big organization, being in all these different
categories is not easy, so.>>Right.>>And
ultimately we do wanna create those jobs.>>And, is there a way that you
guys think internally about how do you maintain that balance? Like, you’re getting bigger but you’re staying true to-
>>Every day we talk about it, it’s something that every single
person in the organization and certainly the executive team, talk about. How do we make sure within
the organization that people still feel connected? That there’s still that human touch. How does that feel 20 stores in,
100 stores in? So it’s something that we talk about and think of every day, and
it’s a priority, basically.>>Yeah And John, I think, and
I know you guys a little bit that your goal is to grow 0%, right?>>Our goal is to create amazing jobs, regardless of whether it’s two jobs or
twenty jobs And to give our employees a quality lifestyle. We have a lot of employees, more than a
lot of companies would say that they need. But for us, we’re very fortunate that
we can sustain something like that, and we can give people something
to truly take pride in. Every one of our employees
would do anything for use if there was anything that came up,
they would volunteer to do it. It’s not like, my God,
I’m being asked to do this. We treat them with the utmost respect. We give them amazing benefits,
and we create an atmosphere that we don’t want our employees
to ever dread coming to work. I have worked so many horrible jobs
leading up to owning our own business. And I always promised myself that I would
never, ever forget what that was like, to get dressed, to go to work,
and just be like, my god, I have 7 hours and
59 more minutes of this to go.>>[LAUGH]
>>I mean, that is a brutal existence, and it would kill us if any of our
employees ever felt like that. So, we go out of our way to put family and
lifestyle first. If collectively,
our employees can work together and work four days a week instead of five
days a week, take the fifth day off. If the work is done, and it’s done the way
we need it to be done, we give them the freedom and the flexibility to enjoy
life and not just work their lives away. [MUSIC]>>It’s very hard to get Teddy you told
the story about the guy from Florida. Scarcity keeps the demand high,
it’s fundamentally, it’s got to be a great product first,
right? But the fact that it’s harder to find
means that, it’s hard in New York, if you want to go, you gotta go up to, and so,
I think that I’m interested in that, too. Is there a sense that scarcity can mean something rare that is worth
going out of your way for? And Ben, you probably have, well,
your 45 example is connected to that.>>Well, absolutely. Everything that Third Man
releases on vinyl, we kind of have two different
lanes that we operate. One is the limited edition usually
colored version of a record. And that can be as few as 150 copies. Maybe, probably more than 300. And then we have our
standard issue black vinyl that’s in print for
a very reasonable price forever. So, it doesn’t matter how long ago it
was released, you can go to our website, you can go to any respectable
record store and you can find it. The idea behind the limited
edition stuff is, record collectors are a truly
mad bunch of people, and there’s an idea it’s part of
collecting records is the hunt. They look for something. If you can just go to any corner store and buy a copy of this limited record,
what’s the fun in it? So, we’ve done crazy things where we’ve
released record via helium balloons. In previous incarnations, we’ve hid
records in re-upholstered furniture, things of that nature, to the point where we see our location
in Nashville’s really unique. Across the street from us is a homeless
shelter, behind us is a homeless shelter, behind that is a methadone clinic,
next door to us is a swinger’s club, at the end of the block,
when we first started, was another swinger’s club
that eventually burned down. So, this is the prime area.>>Where have these guys been?>>[LAUGH]
>>[LAUGH]>>This isn’t national, not in Detroit.>>[LAUGH]
>>But we would start releasing, we would do these limited addition records
that you could only buy in the shop. So, what’s common today is people think
that they should just be able to go online and buy something,
everyone has instant gratification. And when you fly in the face of that,
people get really, really mad. And we make them limit one per customer,
things of that nature. Well, it got so desirable in our
location that there was a businessman, business man, who started hiring homeless
people to wait in line to buy our records, and he give them five to 10 box each,
and then he would put them on eBay. For example, we have a record that we
released called the triple decor record, which is basically a seven inch vinyl,
45 sealed inside a 12 inch. And the only way you can get into it is
break it, and it is kind of idea of you buy records because you wanna listen to
them, or because you wanna have an object. Anyways, we made 300 of those. We sold them out of our storefront. $30 each. That same day,
they were selling for $500 on ebay. Some might say,
we should just be selling them for $500. Not just guys employing the homeless
of Nashville neighborhoods. But it’s kind of more about creating
something than necessarily. Getting the most amount,
maximizing the profits off of it.>>Well, I think it’s true, and
brands have always been about the stories. You buy a brand, in part, because the story it
allows you to tell about yourself. And, Bridget, you and I have talked about how luxury brands
maybe are suffering a little bit, because people don’t necessarily want to just tell
the story about see this fancy label. They want to affiliate with something
deeper, and I do think that the story that your fans get to tell is
how hard they worked for that record. And I know that part of the story
people tell about Heady is first, it’s a fantastic beer. And second, look at all the stuff we did
to go out of our way and get that beer. That’s a big part of it. And it’s not a bad thing,
it’s a good thing.>>Which is funny,
cuz you use the word scarcity. And to Jen and I, for 8 1/2 years,
I don’t think I ever brewed more than 400 barrels in a year at that
pub, now we make over 9000 barrels a year, and people tell us that we’re
purposefully limiting our production and accusing us of that
>>[LAUGH]>>And it’s like, you gotta be kidding me? I’m making an ocean of beer,
in my opinion. And how, we’re not driving this
by trying to make it scarce. It’s scarce because people
were turned into it, and they appreciate it and they want it. And they will go to those extreme
measures of driving hours and hours to get it, or
going to a record store and waiting in line to be sure that
you get one of those records. And when people accuse us of that and
say well, I should be able to get
that in California. It’s like, should you? I don’t think you should, and the reference I always use is when I
come to Manhattan, I go to Lombardi’s. I don’t complain that I can’t get my large
cheese pizza from Lombardi’s in Vermont. I look forward to it, and when I come
to the city, I know I’m gonna get it. And when I walk out the door, I might
not be back for five more years, but I’m not gonna complain about it. I’m gonna look forward to that
next time you can get it.>>Yeah, makes sense. For Shinola, what story does
owning a Shinola watch, for instance, allow people to
tell about themselves? Or what are they,
when they talk to their friends? It’s interesting, because I’ll
fly around for work or whatever. And I’ll be on a plane,
not just one going back and forth to Detroit, and I’ll see somebody
with a watch on and I’ll say, nice watch. And they launch into the story of, my God. Do you know Shinola? Shinola is this brand,
they’re based in Detroit. Check it out.>>Awesome.
>>Go to their website.>>Yes, I’ve heard of that.>>And [LAUGH].>>I’ve been with you,
heard this exact same thing.>>Yeah.
>>When we were out to eat, not to steal your story, but.>>Yeah, no.
>>When we were out to eat in Nashville, with a couple of others, with Jacques and
Tom, who are other big wigs at Shinola. I think big wig is the official term,
right?>>Yes. And Jacque, it’s a dark steak house, and
Jacque looks probably about 30 feet away, and he says that guys wearing a Shinola. I’m like wow, pretty cool, eagle eyes. And the guy walks past going to
the restroom or something, and Jacque just says, hey,
do you like that watch? And absolutely everything
Bridget says totally happens. My God, there’s this company from Detroit,
and he goes on for about five minutes, and Jacque’s just shaking his head,
he’s like, yeah, that’s our company. And the go->>[LAUGH]
>>Are, really? Yeah, if you ever make it to Detroit, come on by and
we’ll show you around the factory. And the guy was just,
he had multiple watches, he’s like, I’ve got three of them at home.>>He went on, he invited Jacque to,
they were going to see some->>They were going to the hockey game.>>That was it, yeah.
>>Yeah, yeah.>>Is there a better experience for
a Chief Marketing Officer to have?>>It’s amazing, and what I really love
about it is that so far, every time I’ve had the story told back to me, it’s
accurate, and that part is so important. Because I have worked for other companies, and people say yeah, that brand that does
this, and then you’re like, God, no, that’s not it, so
that part is really exciting for me.>>I think it’s the idea that,
now more than ever, you can have near infinite options in
anything you do in your life. Whether it’s what kind
of music you listen to, how you listen to that music, what kind of
beer, what kind of watch, all that stuff. Whereas before,
pre-Internet proliferation, you were kinda limited to what effort
you are willing to put into something, now if that just meant, I need a watch, I’m just going go to Sears, whatever they
have at Sears is just my availability. Now people have the ability to, if you
want to be really really knowledgeable and know deeply about where your beer comes
from, or who pressed the record that you’re looking to buy, you have
the ability to do that where as even 15, 20 years ago,
that would have been just near impossible.>>Absolutely, and I think quality is
across these categories’ provenance, really understanding where
these things come from. In a sense of story or mission, I think
people really want to look past and see the brand as a lens, not a surface. [MUSIC]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *