The classic marketing entrepreneur identifies a need, creates a solution to that need, develops a marketing strategy to exploit the solution then sells the hell out of it. Sparking that creativity is where the magic in marketing originates and the source of the spark can come anywhere, anytime.
For David Stein, President of Beertubes.com the moment of inspiration came in the heat of a 2005 bowling competition when he poured himself a cool, refreshing brew from his pitcher of beer and it wasn’t as cold as it needed to be – horrors!
Collaborating with company co-owner Jason Drum, the team came with the “beertube” – a portable combination of a keg and draft beer dispenser that can be put on a table and keeps its contents colder, longer than a standard pitcher. Starting small, they created a prototype of the idea using an actual bowling ball for the base and drilling out the necessary holes for the tube of beer and tap. Reaction to the prototype was positive, Sequoia Pro Bowl’s owner wanted 25 right away. By March of 2006 they had 50 units made and they headed to a bowling trade show to try and sell the stock – they returned with orders for 180!
Early bowling center buyers confirmed the “Beertube” delivered on its promises and the business continued to grow. David and Jason expanded the line to include more themes in the designs and more customization options – they now have over a dozen bases that can be used. In 2007 the duo had enough business they had to quit their “day jobs” to pursue the opportunity they had created.
Cool thrills for David in his entrepreneurial journey include:
- Anytime he sees the product in use in the marketplace and people talking about it
- Setting up the first full container-load of product from their supplier in Asia
- Getting placed in the Anheuser-Busch product catalogue for distributors in 2008
To date, their business has grown through trade shows, beer distributors and direct business. In 2010 the company is positioning itself for expansion beyond beer and promoting the concept of “drinktubes.” Licensing opportunities with brand equities such as sports teams is another area they have identified.
If you want to experience the Beertube first hand, it is in use at local Quaker Steak and Lube locations and Wings and Rings in Lewis Center.
Author’s Note: This “Profiles in Cool” blog series puts the spotlight on folks in Central Ohio doing “cool” things in the field of marketing. My definition of “cool” is 100% subjective – I welcome your comments!