One day, we received a call from a client with a very unique and rare problem. Yes, all our clients have unique problems, but this problem was truly rare!
Interestingly, he was an ambergris dealer. If you do not already know what this is, it is whale excreta which is extremely valuable because it has some very exotic uses like perfumes, aphrodisiacs etc. Yes, get over it, we already mentioned that it was a crappy case study. His problem was that there was high demand for his product but supply was inadequate- he desperately needed more suppliers. We realized that it was not that there were no suppliers for the product but that the suppliers were scattered all over the globe and had no awareness of our client. So, they wouldn’t get in touch with him and he couldn’t have contact beyond a limited few.
His brief to us was simple. “If you can find me 2 new ambergris suppliers in 5 years, I will be the hero of the ambergris market.” Although this sounded like a simple task, we realized it was far from simple. How do you find people who supply such a rare product? It would be like looking for a needle in a field of haystacks.
To make things more difficult, our client was apprehensive about going on social media because he thought that other dealers would steal his network of suppliers. The other choice he had was word of mouth, but then word of
mouth is sometimes unreliable and takes a long time to bear fruit.
As we saw it, the only way he could go global in a short while was through social media and we pushed him to do it.
So how did we handle this? Our strategy involved setting up his presence on social media and then positioning him as the ‘go-to guy’ for anything ambergris. He became the expert who could answer any questions on the subject. Beachcombers from all over the world began frequenting his social media pages.
We are pleased to report that our strategy did not just bring him 2 new suppliers in 5 years but 5 new suppliers in 2 years! The highlight for our client was when the ambergris industry leader felicitated him for his achievement at a special dinner! All thanks to social media, and might we boastfully say our strategy, he was now truly the hero of his industry! And yes, we remember saying this crappy story would end very well indeed!
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