With tourism down in the Portland-metro area because of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with ongoing protests in the city core, sales stalled for Orox Leather Co., a family-owned business that prides itself in its craft leather goods and Mexican heritage. Adding to this already challenging time for small, local businesses, the Orox team was robbed not once, but twice over the course of two months, losing tens of thousands of dollars of leather bags, wallets and other products.
In a position to help, we were introduced to Orox through our work with the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP), which helps small and medium-sized manufacturers address business challenges, adopt new technology and improve operations to compete globally. OMEP presented the opportunity for CK to provide broader marketing support and consultation work to help Orox boost web traffic and online sales during this challenging time. As a small, family-owned business with a small marketing team and advertising budget, we proposed giving the Orox a plan, the tools and suggested marketing tactics they could implement on their own.
We provided consultation on a variety of topics to help their team increase their online presence with minimal advertising costs. That work included:
- Review of keywords and search terms
- Support in crafting e-blasts and marketing materials
- Writing taglines to help bring the Orox brand to life
- Audit of social media profiles, including copy and photography
- Recommendations for social media and digital advertising
- Launch of online customer reviews and a more robust e-blast and customer communications tracking
- Advice on PR and pitching product stories to regional and national media outlets, as well as connecting with regional brands and social media influencers to help promote their leather goods
Social media advertising is a game changer for small businesses with limited advertising budgets to test messages, visuals and promotions to sell their products. We stressed to Orox was the value of ongoing testing of our suggested strategies and tactics to find out what resonates most with their target audiences.
In Orox’s testing, the team found tremendous success in partnering with influential chefs for their leather aprons. More surprising, they found a niche on TikTok with a video on the benefits of purchasing real leather belts versus faux leather, which has been viewed 84,000 times since posting. That video led to a significant increase in belt sales and interest in the company’s other leather goods. Rather than simply posting on Instagram, they tested a new approach by connecting with influencers to sell products. And rather than stick to Facebook and Instagram only, the team tested a new social media platform altogether, with outstanding results.
It can be easy to roll out new marketing materials and hope they stick, but with more and more competition for consumer dollars, it’s incredibly important to review metrics, adjust strategy, and then review again: the belt and suspenders approach. That can take several iterations across a variety of mediums to really hone in on how to maintain good communication with existing customers as well as attract new ones through one’s marketing approach.
In just a couple short months, Orox has seen an increase in sales, customer reviews and web traffic after adjusting its marketing approach and implementing the strategies we recommended.