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How Brands Can Pivot During Uncertain Times – VisualFizz Growth Series with Kyle Hodges

Hear Dark Matter Coffee's Kyle Hodges' best advice for brands on pivoting businesses during uncertain economic times, from VisualFizz.

Growth Series with Kyle Hodges, Pivoting Your Business to Survive Covid
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VisualFizz Virtual Growth Series #10 Recap – View All Growth Series Here

At VisualFizz’s virtual Growth Series event titled Pivoting Your Business to Survive Covid, our guest speaker mentioned a key opening statement to our virtual attendees:

We’re builders in the sense that we build culture.

Kyle Hodges knows how to pivot.

He has pivoted in his career and he has helped his company pivot during covid. In this VisualFizz Growth Series event, Kyle Hodges discusses how to stay afloat during covid, offline and organic strategies to expand brand awareness and how to build a community around your product.

Kyle is a Hoosier native, living in Chicago with 20+ years in the entertainment business. He started his own record business, later had to declare bankruptcy due to the industry however has pivoted his career to move past the tough times. Kyle has deep rooted marketing and public relations experience with a focus on disrupting the norm and testing innovative strategy for his brands. He is an expert on adapting skills that have allowed him to pivot both personally and professionally during Covid. As the Minister of Propaganda at Dark Matter Coffee, he drives lead generation and collaboration for the brand.

Reserve your spot at our next Virtual Growth Series event held every other Thursday for free!

Building a Successful Marketing Strategy with No Budget

Dan Salganik introduced VisualFizz Growth Series and Kyle Hodges, and from there, Hodges opened up on his experience pivoting from entertainment, owning a record business, and transitioning to a well known coffee shop in Chicago.

When Kyle started at Dark Matter Coffee in Chicago, he had no connections and no budget for marketing. His main objective strategy to grow the brand and be a staple in Chicago was to be a major culture driver. His strategy started by partnering with unconventional local beer festivals and concerts.

You have to be willing to do things on your own terms. Don’t get caught up in the echo chamber.

Dark Matter has never purchased social media ads or paid advertising, instead they find success in collaborations, and partnerships across the city. After the first year, Dark Matter connected the dots between beer lovers and coffee lovers through partnerships with breweries and artists. He strived to push boundaries while continuously expanding into new audiences. 

For more information on Reaching New Audiences, Audrey Burger has additional advice on how she was able to launch and market 100s of consumer packaged goods.

Maintaining a Business to Stay Afloat During Covid

And now? They continue to lean on their community to stay afloat during covid and continue to help others as well. The key takeaways for surviving covid are:

Great communication will solve and prevent problems.

Hodges has made it through this pandemic without a complete loss for Dark Matter Coffee. Instead, they maintained their business, maintained relationships and are now opening a new location.

He attributes his success with Dark Matter Coffee through these four main takeaways.

  1. Communication is key. Communicate with your internal team and communicate with your consumers on regulation, hours and business operations.
  2. Utilize your immediate resources. Dark Matter only paid for necessities and stayed within their budgets. Their goal was to maintain, not to grow.
  3. Help everyone you possibly can and it will come back full circle. Kyle and the Dark Matter team gave away archived merchandise to artists so they can have an income.
  4. Create efficiency by reducing overhead. Dark Matter Coffee reduced their menu options and staff when they were not operating at full capacity.

The evening finished with a Q&A session from the audience as well as VisualFizz co-founder Dan Salganik. 

The Story Behind VisualFizz Growth Series

Growth is one of the best problems a business can have. It is also something that you, as a business owner, Director, C-Suite individual, or team member have to deal with on a regular basis. Whether it’s closing a sale, seeking outside funding from investors, hosting a successful networking event, hiring new members, or even simply not going crazy, you have to be mindful about the actions you take when growth happens.

This is why we launched the Growth Series networking event. Many of us have questions and few of us have all of the answers. VisualFizz, a digital marketing agency that predominantly works with ‘growth stage’ businesses has been asked these questions constantly and we felt that it’s time to provide you with some answers.

We have asked the best and brightest to speak up and chat with us AND YOU about what they’ve learned through their years of GROWING their own thing and their marketing strategies for small businesses. These individuals are industry leaders, founders of notable companies, sales geniuses, event hosts and personalities, and so much more. 

Missed The Growth Series event? There’s More!

If you’re still marketing to luxury consumers based on their bank accounts, you might be missing out on some key trends changing—and challenging—the luxury event landscape. In Evolving with the New Wave of Luxury Consumers with Elise Schmitt, we explore why collaborations with mainstream brands are changing up the way marketers engage with luxury consumers, and why aspiring luxury consumers have become so important to high-end brands. Hear about the evolution of the “lifestyle + luxury” brand, and what consumers are looking for in a bespoke brand experience. Walk away with candid perspectives and new ideas on how to market luxury in this new era.

For more VisualFizz Virtual Growth Series events, reserve your spot for free here.

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