This year’s Kendal Mountain Festival was one of the most successful ever, with 16,000 enthusiasts, athletes and industry folk descending from all over the world.
Since 2000 Spring has packed its bags and headed north to join the fun. And this year, for the third in a row, we’ve represented Hydro Flask.
So how do you make sure that such a prime audience, full of influential people see, touch and buy your product?
Nora Muller, Marketing and Events for Hydro Flask in Europe added, “The great visibility and Hydro Flask’s success at Kendal is only possible thanks to our great Spring team with their sparkling ideas, a very open-minded festival crew and, most importantly, festival visitors who enjoy our product and are ready for an alternative to plastic.”
So how did we do it? Using our experience from previous years, we brainstormed the issues and came up with creative solutions:
Competition: At Kendal you’re up against dozens of other premium product stands. All vying for attention. So how do you ensure people stop and talk to you?
Colour: We started with the very basics of a bright, visually appealing and enticing stand. Hydro Flask as a brand is colourful and attractive. As Matt Jordan from Wildside Trading Ltd. told us, “It worked because it was fun and interactive. Vibrant colours make people stop and look; and draw you in with the fun element.”
Interaction: The fun element Matt mentions was a ‘Post-it Note Pixel Art’ game. We created a large mural by asking everyone who visited the stand to write on a Post-it note which one piece of plastic could they do without. This ensured our stand was interactive but also aligned the brand to an important issue that Hydro Flask and many of its users are concerned about. People wanted to spend more time on our stand and take the game seriously.
Staff: Both Abbie and Jas from Spring spent the weekend at the Festival, alongside Nora from Hydro Flask. “You need staff who are approachable, interact and engage. Without that it won’t work well”, says Matt. “Thankfully all three aren’t afraid of a friendly chat, and live the brand – the perfect representatives.”
Freebies: Everyone loves a freebie. But with so many being given away, it’s easy for yours to get lost in the mirth. Instead of handing out the usual keyrings and pens, we offered a free Flex Boot for anyone who brought along their Hydro Flask or bought one from the stand. This ensured more investment in the brand.
As Matt says, “It’s very cost effective for Hydro Flask to give product away rather than signing cheques. That’s because it’s something that everyone needs, and can use, and the more we give away the more we sell – people always love Hydro Flask and want to buy more”.
Getting the attention of the experts: Ambassadors are a real coup for any brand. If they love your product, they’ll live it and constantly place it in front of your prime, target audience.
Seeding: It’s an easy win to seed each of the 150 speakers at Kendal, in the hope they’ll use your product in front of a big audience that weekend. But how can you get more out of this opportunity? We contacted those speakers we knew were going to be at the Festival beforehand to introduce ourselves and tell them they would be getting a Hydro Flask at the Festival. And told them we’d love to meet them, and if they had time to pop by the stand we could offer a free upgrade. This gave us a chance to take a social media-worthy pic with them and, more importantly, have a proper chat one-on-one at the Festival.
Volunteer discount: Abbie says, “This year, we were excited to offer volunteers and Kendal staff 50 per cent off certain Hydro Flask products in recognition of them offering their free time for this event. This was a unique opportunity because Hydro Flask don’t discount their product in the UK, however they recognise that an event of this nature wouldn’t be so successful without them. This offer went down a treat.” This aligns the Hydro Flask brand more closely with the Festival – giving it kudos. Kendal also bought and engraved a number of Hydro Flask bottles with the KMF logo to be sold on the merchandise stand.
Not just a stand. You don’t want to confine your presence to the stand alone. There are loads of opportunities around a Festival to spread your message and deliver more impact.
Hydration stations: We wanted to practise what we preach. What’s the point of encouraging everyone to use a Hydro Flask if they then have to buy a plastic bottle of water to fill it up. We placed three water coolers in the Basecamp Village, the Leisure Centre and the Town Hall to encourage people to refill rather than buy bottled water. This also reaffirmed our association with a plastic free future.
Coffee shop discount: By arranging a discount with the Brewery Arts Centre café for anyone who brought their Hydro Flask in when buying a drink, we extended our brand awareness to hot drinks and Hydro Flask’s mission to rid the world of single use coffee cups. Keeping us on message.
Happy Hour: And on the Friday night we gave the ‘Columbia Bar’ 250 Hydro Flask True Pint tumblers to give away to anyone buying a beer. It introduced a new audience to a new Hydro Flask product – we’re not just a bottles and coffee flasks. It can be used after hours as well!
Losing money: Consumer festivals are a great way to spend a lot of money. Discounts, freebies, and giveaways quickly add up. So how can you attempt to be profitable at the same time?
How about actually selling your product as well? This year, for the first time we had the opportunity to sell Hydro Flasks from the stand. Abbie says, “Because this was our third year at the show, people were well-acquainted with the brand and its products and we were incredibly successful, selling huge numbers.” And for any Hydro Flask sold, we offered a Flex Boot as a free gift.
Spring’s apprentice, Jas, joined Abbie at the Festival for the first time. She says, “Kendal Mountain Festival was a success for Hydro Flask. The event was packed with outdoorsy people and it was great to be able to talk directly to those who were really interested in the products.”
But we’ll leave the final comment to Nora, “Kendal is like cooking a great dish for us. When people like it you want to cook it again! Making the same recipe for the third time you start to evolve, refine, keep what has been a success. Every time you have more fun and challenge yourself to make it even better.”