Monday, December 21, 2009

Feeling the love

I'm writing this post to thank all the media outlets that recommended as a source for holiday gifts for boaters over the past several weeks.

The love started pouring in way back in October when Alan Sorum included BoatNameGear in his article, Unique Christmas Gifts for Boaters, which was posted in Alan's Boating & Sailing blog on Suite101, as well as in a print boating publication in Long Island.

Being featured in the Florida Keys Fishing Examiner warmed our hearts so that we felt like we were actually in the Florida Keys! Thanks to author Christy Johnson for chumming the waters on Black Friday with our special offers of the day.

The love continued with a story by Ericka Watson, the Powerboating guide, who wrote, "By personalizing an item for the boater in your life, you are meeting a practical need with a personal touch." Ericka then went on to discuss BoatNameGear and the products we offer.

The most unexpected endorsement came from the printed Lake Wylie Pilot (Lake Wylie, S.C.), where the author included BoatNameGear's products among those "that as a boater myself I would love to have." A similar story appeared in a blog that included BoatNameGear in their "Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Carolina Boaters."

If we missed someone, please post it here. And thanks to all the writers, bloggers, twitterers (tweeters?) and facebookers who helped get the word out about what great holiday gifts can be found at BoatNameGear.

We're doing our best to live up to all of your recommendations.

I only hope that the high expectations of some of our recent customers are a result of great service that they've received from us in the past. I further hope that we meet or exceed those expectations - in quick service and quality, personalized products. It's too late to get any more personalized gear from our store, but you can still get a gift certificate with all the thoughtfulness of our gear and the flexibility to buy and receive the gift right up through Christmas Eve.

Happy Holidays everybody!

Good Business

Sometimes it's the simple things that keep successful companies ahead of the competition.

Mar-Lan Industries is a 50+ year old Texas-based supplier of electrical products to the marine industry. 12 days ago Jim Desai, the company's CEO, posted a small but sincere offer for a free calendar in a group I run on LinkedIn for boaters to network with each other (FirstBoat Business Networking Group).

I was impressed that Mar-Lan - a B2B company - seemed to get social media. The offer was from the CEO himself, and he didn't "spam" the discussion group with a blunt message like "Click here to view our electrical accessories" - he was smart enough to know that people viewing the offer in his post could find out more about his company if they were so inclined.

I signed up that day to get a free calendar.

And within 7 business days, I had my new calendar (pictured here). Turns out it's a nice wall calendar with motivational slogans on each page below pictures of outdoor adventures - from kayaking to surfing to mountain climbing. Mar-Lan also sent a "happy holidays" note on company letterhead with the contact info for their key customer-facing employees. Oh, and of course the calendar has Mar-Lan's contact info including web address across the bottom of the calendar so that I'll look at it all year.

Now, I am admittedly not necessarily Mar-Lan's target audience. But if anyone ever asks, I'll speak of Mar-Lan with a warm fuzzy feeling because they gave me something for nothing. And heck, I might even blog about them...