Hi Everyone, I need your help and advice fo...

Hi Everyone,

I need your help and advice for KUIU’s 2012 marketing plan. Below is a summary of the current marketing placements and up coming trade show schedule to give you an idea of our current plans.  I have also provided a list of questions to spur conversation.

I am looking forward to hearing your comments and ideas for KUIU’s marketing and want to thank everyone advance who takes the time to comment. Your input on the direction to take this brand on product and marketing is incredibly valuable.

KUIU is currently advertising in:

  • Huntin Fool
  • Traditional Bowhunter
  • Relentless 365 (California Hunting Publication)
  • South Pacific Bowhunter
  • Extreme Elk (2012 commitment)
  • Bowsite
  • Tradgang
Tradeshow Schedule 2012:
  • Wild Sheep Foundation- Reno, NV
  • Safari Club International- Las Vegas, NV
  • Western Conservation- Salt Lake City, UT
A few questions for you:
  • Where else should we be advertising in 2012?
  • Are there any other consumer trade shows you recommend?
  • Is Print media a waist of money or does it help you learn about new products and brands?
  • Do ads in magazines give brands credibility?
  • Do you believe editorials about new products?  Are editorials credible or just another paid spokesman/prostaffer?
  • How and where do you find out about new gear? magazine ads? forums? television programs or ads? word of mouth/recommendations from others? blogs?
  • How do we continue to spread the word about KUIU?

I LOVE hearing new marketing ideas!  Please be as creative, I am open to any and all ideas.

Thank you for your continuing help to build KUIU.

Jason

This article has 200 comment(s)

  1. Aaron Kessie

    ISE is running in Vegas at the same time as the RMEF elk camp. You have a great line, I would say get into every show possible so people can touch, feel, rub, and smell, zip and unzip! Most consumers want to touch a product!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Aaron! I agree!

  2. Merch

    What about us in Canada? How about contacting Foundation for Wild Sheep Foundation and becoming involved in this orginization.

    • Jason Hairston

      What do recommend for KUIU in Canada? How do we reach your friends?

      • Adam Janke

        Jason

        For Canada I think the trade show approach you’ve focused on so far in the US would work the best. The gear speaks for itself when someone sees it and touches it. I’ve had so many hunters AND non-hunters go nuts for the fabrics when they see/feel my gear. Early adopter/gear-heads like us Kuiu followers who are used to technical fabrics from other outdoor sports “get” what your gear is all about but I still know lots of guys who insist on old-school fabrics and don’t have an appreciation for technical fabrics in a hunting situation. Because of this buying sight unseen online might be a challenge. There are a variety of trade shows up here in Canada in 2012 with the biggest being Huntfest (I posted about it below). I would assume your challenge is time/staffing these shows. A good idea would be to take a few of your “Inner Circle” members and ask them to work some of these shows for you as REAL end-users, people who can talk to other potential customers not as employees of Kuiu but as VERY satisfied customers. I’m sure you guys have numerous Inner Circle customers in the three 3 regions Huntfest is held next year (BC, Alberta, Ontario) that would jump at the chance to spread the Kuiu word, I know I would in a heartbeat!! I’ve gone on a moose, elk and numerous deer hunts in my gear this year here in the mountains of BC and without question it is the best gear I have ever owned. Period. I would put it up against the best technical mountaineering, ski/snowboard, trail running gear I have ever had on. These are the experiences potential customers need to hear. There is also a magazine here in BC called BC Outdoors and they do an annual hunting issue that would get you good exposure.

      • Terry Brew

        Hi Jason, March 3-5th 2012 in Red Deer Alberta, there is the Mother of All Shoots, 3-d archery, there should be 500+ archers present. Here is an offer for you, I have a booth already booked, get some samples, size chart and ordering info that I can hand out to me, and I will get the word out for you. Cost will be what ever it takes to get some of your product here.
        There are a bunch of us around Central Alberta using the Kuiu line and I would be happy to show it off for you. The Wild Sheep Foundation has their banquet here around the same time, within a couple of weeks, another 600 people attend that one, should be able to work something out there as well if you are interested.

        Terry

      • Lee B

        All of the Sportsmans shows that they have in Alberta would be worth attending. Also advertising on the canadian sportsmans channel “Wild TV” or sponsoring someone that has a show on that channel would be good as well. I do hope that you can make it to one or all of the Alberta Sportsmans shows… bring lots of gear if you do, I’m certain it will be a lighter trip home for you.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Adam, Terry and Lee for the comments and suggestions for Canada. I will look into these trade shows and shoots and circle back with you on your offers. This is VERY generous of all of you. Thank you!

      Jason

      • Adam Janke

        Jason,

        Huntfest is held mid-July in Alberta, the end of July in BC and early August in Ontario.

        Adam

      • Mikael

        I agree most companies focus on their American base but somewhat foget Canada’s hunting industry.

        Since your product line is based for mountains hunters, mainly sheep hunter, I’d start up here in the north with Alberta and BC. I strongly suggest the BC wild sheep banquet in March in Kamloops (as a new sheep hunter I’ve only heard of what the show is about but I plan to attend this year) and also the Calgary and Edmonton are the main shows in Alberta.

        They are obviously not as big as most shows and banquets south of the border but here’s my main advice. The Alberta and Northern BC economy is steaming hot right now due to the very active oil and gas industy. Most hunters don’t have time to search for better other than what hunting stores sell.

        Attending specific main events with many people you would find potential clients who don’t know anything about Kuiu. You know your stuff when i comes to your gear and marketing and just remember that people here make very good money (due to the oil and gas work) on average. That being said i strongly believe it would be a success for you and hunters of these provinces hunt in the maintain/foothills for sheep to elk and moose. Exactly what your product line is design for.

  3. SBW

    Where else should we be advertising in 2012?
    Blogs and forums are best value

    Are there any other consumer trade shows you recommend?
    Their are several european shows that would be worth looking at

    Is Print media a waist of money or does it help you learn about new products and brands?
    Mostly a waste of money until your’re a lot bigger than you are now, say the size of Gerber.

    Do ads in magazines give brands credibility?
    If placed against editorial they help with awareness more than credibility

    Do you believe editorials about new products? Are editorials credible or just another paid spokesman/prostaffer?
    The days of magazine editors having any credibility are long gone, I know several journalists who have found themselves in trouble for telling the truth about shonky products, and one particular journalist who was asked to review a pair of boots that were to be returned un worn.

    How and where do you find out about new gear? magazine ads? forums? television programs or ads? word of mouth/recommendations from others? blogs?

    Forums tend to offer quite extreme viewpoints but are an influence, blog posts are more credible as they offer real time reports into usage, word of mouth is always best. For example a friend of mine is a gamekeeper in Scotland who loves a certain brand of boots, the forums are split between people who have had theirs for ten years and love them and people who bought theirs in the last two years who would never buy them again.

    How do we continue to spread the word about KUIU?
    Continue to do what your doing, get customers to send in photos and reports, do tie-ins with other companies who share your design ethos, put your PR efforts into popping up in unexpected places.

    SBW

    • Jason Hairston

      SBW, Thank you. This is all fantastic advice and insight. What European shows do you recommend? How do we reach the european hunter?

      JH

  4. Michael Witteveen

    Jason,

    I’m not sure where else to advertise. You have some pretty good publications there, especially Traditional Bowhunter (that’s where I first heard about KUIU.)

    There are two traditional archery expos every year, West and East. The Eastern one is held in Kalamazoo, Michigan every February. There are quite a few bowyers there, along with suppliers like 3Rivers Archery. There are demonstrations put on by flint knappers and bowyers (usually putting on a sinew backing.) There are talks given by speakers (Fred Asbell, Marv Clynke, Dave Peterson, the Wensell brothers, among others.) In short, it is a great place to have people get a chance to feel the clothes, try them on, and get excited for next years hunt. It would be nice for some some Midwestern Bowhunters to see how this would apply for whitetail hunting also.

    I bought a guide jacket sight unseen and was not disappointed. I couldn’t believe the quality! I used to be in outdoor retail and have seen some absolute junk from companies that ought to have know better for much more than you are charging for KUIU gear. Kudos! I realize that some folks would want to physically touch teh clothes just to make sure, because even at your prices, it is still an investment to shell out for an outfit. However, how many sales would you really generate from a show like that? You would definitely generate some interest, but would it be worth it? That’s your call, and your gamble. However, if you need someone to work a booth for a day, get in touch with me.

    I think the editorials are a toss up. Some are obviously just a press release to fulfill a contractual agreement, or to ensure sponsorship. They have a “hunting porn” feel to them. It’s all about easier, faster, bigger trophy, get your deer this weekend in three easy steps! You’ll see a lot of crossbow and ATV ads in those magazines. Oh boy, let the hate mail start rolling in! Other magazines or hunting programs seem to have a more genuine feel. They seem to emphasize the love of the hunt. Traditional Bowhunter, On Your Own Adventures (aTV show, and sponsored I know, but a nice show none the less, they don’t go on an on about what gear they use) etc., would hold more sway with me.

    Of course, if you wanted to sponser my SW Michigan hunting this year, I would be glad to show as many hunters as possible how great the gear is. I’ll walk around the trad expo in KUIU gear (Guaranteed to get stopped 100 times to get asked “What is that stuff? That’s AWESOME!” and hand out fliers and answer questions. Ah, viral marketing at its best.

    Take care,

    Mike

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Mike for the offer I just might take you up on this. It looks like I will be attending PBS this spring in Portland and have not finalized plans for any other shows yet. February is a tough month as most of the other shows are this month. But I will see.

      JH

  5. Randy

    Jason,

    For those of us on the East coast, would you consider the Eastern Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA? It’s always the second week of February each year.

    Thanks!

    Randy

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Randy,

      I have thought about this one but have schedule conflict this year. I have heard that show is unreal.

      J

  6. kevin

    Good morning Jason. I have purchased and Used your layered outer ware system up here in Alberta Canada in the mountains and love it ! The problem with marketing up here is most people want to actually see the product in order to purchase it. Unfortunately word of mouth and internet only go so far I feel that if you want more market up here and to get people to buy your gear you would have to make it more readily available up here for viewing. Most hunters up here are in the mtns hunting and not on the net viewing new products. Maybe put some in a hunting store? I’ve noticed Sitka gear is really showing up? Just a thought. Kevin

    • Quinn

      Kevin, I also live in Alb. I agree it’s nice to touch and try something on before buying but then we will be paying upwards of 40 points more for the same gear as we would on the website. I was in Cabelas EDM a couple weeks ago and the Sitka timber pants are $400+?? i would rather order something on line, try it on, if i don’t like it or it does”nt fit I’ll sell it to one of my buddys or pay the shipping to send it back and still be way ahead.

      • kevin

        Hello quinn I agree that selling things in alberta is probably the last thing a company wants. There is absolutely no customer service here already but It does nothing but cost money to buy stuff then ship it back if it doesn’t fit! Its not that kuiu is not. Great stuff its the time and money if something doesn’t fit or you don’t like. I’d like to purchase the beane or gloves or cap but when you figure in shipping and duty its not worth it. By the way have you ever bought a pair of $400 hikers online that never fit , tried using them, couldn’t and sold for 75$ sometimes online shopping don’t PAY. Kevin

      • Jason Hairston

        Hi Quinn,

        Thank you for your comment and support.

        JH

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Kevin for your comment. I agree with you that KUIU is missing customers by not putting our gear in retail stores. However if we continue to make the finest mountain hunting products possible and sell them to the consumer at wholesale that it is just a matter of time before I turn all of our competitions customers into KUIU customers. It will require patience, but I do not want to sacrifice quality to lower the prices so we can put KUIU in retailers. I think we all loose in the long run IMO. It is certainly a trade off by selling online direct for sure. I appreciate your thoughts and comment.

      J

  7. Patrick

    I’d be at the ATA show for SURE if I were KUIU. It’s the largest archery/hunting trade show in the world. Archerytalk.com is another huge web forum you may want to consider advertising on. As for print mag. advertising, I can’t believe you don’t already advertise in Eastman’s. Those are three HUGE advertising opps for you to consider IMO.

    • Jason Hairston

      Eastmans is certainly one I am considering. Thank you for taking the time to comment and help!

      JH

  8. Tom Ryle

    Jason,

    It’s a great start! Lots of great questions too, but I need to take some time to respond to each of them so I’ll be back with my responses to each.

    In a word, I feel the “viral” nature of on-line promotion is excellent and worthwhile, but often not enough to complete transactions. Print makes a brand more formal and/or reputable but until people can physically “touch”, there will always be hesitation, especially on spendy gear.

    A recent example – I was doing seminars at Cabela’s last weekend and a guy came up to me afterwards and wanted to “see, touch, and feel” my Guide Vest before pulling the trigger on a sizable shopping cart order on Kuiu.com. He said he was going to complete the or after he had a chance to look it over and see firsthand (with my soda!) the DWR finish performance.

    -Tom

    • lghtnquik

      Tom,

      That was me! I ordered a Guide jacket, hat and Merino gaiter Monday night. I also posted up that maybe they should do the Sportsmans Show in Puyallup, WA and Portland, OR.

      Kyle

      • Jason Hairston

        I will be in Portland at PBS this spring.

        JH

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Tom for your comment. This is certainly the sacrifice with online direct only.

      J

  9. Scott Engel

    Good questions, Jason. My thoughts are below:

    ■Where else should we be advertising in 2012? Seems like a good list to me. You might consider some “mainstream” pubs like Outdoor Life.
    ■Are there any other consumer trade shows you recommend? I’m no help on this one.
    ■Is Print media a waist of money or does it help you learn about new products and brands? Again, I’m no help on this one.
    ■Do ads in magazines give brands credibility? No, I certainly don’t believe they give them credibility. They do, however, give the brands recognizability, which is important.
    ■Do you believe editorials about new products? Are editorials credible or just another paid spokesman/prostaffer? Absolutley not. Unless I know something about the person providing the info about the product, I consider them worse then worthless. If I know the person and can pick their brain, I consider this info very valuable.
    ■How and where do you find out about new gear? magazine ads? forums? television programs or ads? word of mouth/recommendations from others? blogs? Internet. Occasionally I see something in a mag, but it’s almost entirely internet based for me.
    ■How do we continue to spread the word about KUIU? Keep making a great product, keep treating your customers well, and keeping taking care of customer concerns. The rest will take care of its self.

    • Jason Hairston

      “Keep making a great product, keep treating your customers well, and keeping taking care of customer concerns. The rest will take care of its self.”

      This is KUIU’s mission statement in a nut shell! Thank you!

      JH

  10. Joel Sibley

    For starters get a larger wherehouse for more inventory.
    For me personally. NO on editorials , print. Media is good I really rely on the web for new gear then will research thru magazines but give most credibility to word of mouth from other people who truly rely on there gear if choice. Trade shows are good for new products. The main thing I like about Kuiu so far is 1.customer service/warranty. Do whatever you want just don’t change that. Joel

    • Jason Hairston

      Joel, thank you for your comment and I agree with all of your comments. They are well noted. I am working on the Inventory and we will have more arriving in December, January and February. I could not have predicted/afforded to anticipate this much success for KUIU so quickly. The good and bad with success. But, we will do much better on inventory in 2012. I appreciate your support for KUIU.

      J

  11. Lloyd

    Jason you might add to your list Eastmans they often promote backpacking hunting in their magazines.

    • lindsey

      Eastmans is sponsored by Russell brand.. id almost doubt they would run another camo company in their magazine.. just a thought.

      • Jason Hairston

        They will run other brands, but are loyal to promoting on only Mossy Oak Brush and Russell.

    • Jason Hairston

      I agree Lloyd!

  12. Lee

    Dallas Safari Show!! Hands down best place to market high end products, plenty of deep pockets in Dallas, and alot of guys that hunt all over the world. I think you would be hard pressed to find another city ( except Houston)where more hunters travel around the world and hunt and demand the best products money can buy.

    • Joe

      I agree with lee, I bought attack pants, gloves, beanies, gaitor and 180 base all without getting my hands on it. I relied on you, not editorials, blogs (except yours) or print to buy it. Took it to CO this fall and was glad I did. Considering a pack but I cant get my hands on it. Dallas SCI would be a good place to be, However, at this late date (January) I’m not sure there is an opening ????

      • Jason Hairston

        Joe,

        Let me know if I can answer any questions regarding our Packs.

        JH

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Lee, I have heard this. I will put this on the short list for 2013, it is too close to make it for this January.

      JH

      • Brody

        Good call on the Dallas Safari Club show. It is the only hunting show that I have been to that has improved year after year, even in the bad economy. I try to never miss that show. The Houston Safari Club show is small in comparison and doesn’t even come close to attracting the same numbers of people.

  13. Bryan aka TradRag

    Where else should we be advertising in 2012?
    Can you get in to Eastman’s? A lot of DIY hunters take it.
    Take advantage of FREE offers to advertise. {clear my throat} 🙂

    Are there any other consumer trade shows you recommend?
    Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Elk Camp show.

    Is Print media a waist of money or does it help you learn about new products and brands?
    Great for branding. You really don’t learn much until you visit the product site. Maybe get your QR Code in there on the ad.

    Do ads in magazines give brands credibility?
    They can or they can be ‘overdone’ in my opinion. If they peak my interst I look further online or the product site.

    Do you believe editorials about new products? Are editorials credible or just another paid spokesman/prostaffer?
    Paid for to a point. If you’re getting paid it’s hard to be negative. RIght?

    How and where do you find out about new gear? magazine ads? forums? television programs or ads? word of mouth/recommendations from others? blogs?
    Forums, blogs, word of mouth, and some magazine.

    How do we continue to spread the word about KUIU?
    This is a stretch but what about a word of mouth campaign? Sort of a reward (in points towards gear) for guys and gals that I refer to KUIU and they buy. Wouldn’t be hard. You take a guy like me that is KUIU buff and sells his hunting buddies and they sell their buddies, etc. Like back in time during the inception of KUIU… I saw the writing on the wall and I believe I helped gather a couple (few maybe) other willing paying bodies to jump on the bandwagon. Just a thought. I’ll still advertise KUIU for free if somebody would just send me a banner image. 😉

    • Jason Hairston

      What do you need for a banner image:)? Same as on Bowsite? I have thought a LOT about a referral program and agree it is a fantastic idea. The hard part is the management of such a program it is a big undertaking. Any ideas to make it simple?

      JH

  14. Marc Gutman

    Jason,

    What about webinas to your fociused community– could be talking about new products, technologies, hunts, etc. It’s a grat way for you to get a more personal connection to your customers. Caveat – I know about this because it’ s my business but I’d be happy to give you my thoughts at any time if interested. Just shoot me an email at mgutman @ ligthouseconferencing.com

    • Jason Hairston

      Great Idea Marc! Talk to you tomorrow.

      JH

  15. Brad Larsen

    You should also be advertising with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. You may also want to consider the RMEF Trade Show. I think you should also consider the Dallas Safari Club trade show in Dallas. That organization is one of the biggest outside SCI. Also – I am shocked you have not hooked up with the Eastman’s crew for their magazines. You are really missing out there. Keep up the good work! One last thing – I would like to see you guys make a 150 shirt without the collar and zipper. That would be a great base layer!

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Brad,

      I agree RMEF is a fantastic organization to support and advertise with. They are certainly in my future plans. Noted on the shirt recommendation and D-SCI. Thank you for your help.

      J

  16. Mike

    I have enjoyed seeing you guys grow. You might want to think about Eastmans bowhunting as well, I am sure you know them and the DIY hunting culture is right in there with your philosophy. You might also check into Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, a group devoted to controlling the expanding and rampant ATV/ Offroad abuse in our wild lands. Since the traditional bowhunting arena is something you guys are in and advertise in, you should really think about heading up to Idaho this year, we have the Longbow Safari this July and the Western States Traditional Rendezvous as well… I’d like to see some combo deals this year from you… a free truckers hat with the purchase of pants and a top, etc… maybe a drawing now and then for bloggers and such who review your products and send you a link. Great job Jason and crew!

    • Jason Hairston

      Well noted Mike. Great suggestions. Thank you. I would LOVE to shoot the Longbow Safari this summer with you. I will see what I can do to make it up there.

      JH

  17. Mark Richer

    Hi Jason,
    Perhaps a little advertising North of the border could open up another market for you, also maybe think about a forest camo for us eastern whitetail guys.
    Cheers
    Mark

    • Jason Hairston

      Well noted Mark. Thank you.

      Jason

  18. Jerry

    How do I find new gear?

    For me it is those websites/forums where real people are telling their story, and pointing out what gear they used. Sites like Bowsite, the Leatherwall, MonsterMuleys, SageCreek. Guys like Elk Reaper, Big Dan, medicinemann that I know put a piece of equipment/clothes/gear into real hunting situations, and have real pictures of how it worked for them.

    As for magazines, they are pretty to look at, but have almost no bearing on the decisions I make on what new gear to look into, a picture of a guy skylined on some mountain crest are all well and good, but it makes me feel he was just dropped there, they took a picture, and away they went.

    Pro-staffers….. Walking billboards, not for me. I really respect what you all did, in finding a guy like Aron ( Elk Reaper ), and putting your gear in his hands, not to have him sell it, but to beat the heck out of it, and give an honest opinion, of which you take note and work out the kinks. Just because TalkingHead on TV wears something, will rarely if ever, get me to try it out.

    Just my .02

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you Jerry! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Very well noted.

      J

  19. Gale Smith

    I think you should either sponsor a television show or let the guy from On Your Own Adventures use your gear. It’s the only televsion show worth watching. He’s hardcore and hunts the way most guys would want to hunt. All the other shows are infomercials for outfitters. Just my two cents.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Gale!

      J

  20. J.R. Young

    -Is Print media a waist of money or does it help you learn about new products and brands?
    Print media is a starting point for me. If I am thumbing through a magazine and I seen an ad of a product that intrigues me I will investigate it further through the internet (general) and their website (specific).

    -Do ads in magazines give brands credibility?
    To me, not necessarily credibility, but they can spark and interest (if it is a new product).

    -Do you believe editorials about new products? Are editorials credible or just another paid spokesman/prostaffer?
    I prefer general gear reviews or product testing reports where the author may be testing several peices of equipment. Some of the branding (Shockey, Bone Collector, Michael Waddle, Lee and Tiffany etc.) in hunting today absolutely makes me cringe. I would never take an endorsement from any one of these individuals. I prefer any editorial or gear review to be as objective as possible.

    -How and where do you find out about new gear? magazine ads? forums? television programs or ads? word of mouth/recommendations from others? blogs?
    In the last ten or so years for me I think I have found out more about new gear through forums. I have used them as a tool to find new gear and then further research new gear. They provide a multiple levels of information unlike a print at that is just a starting point. I personally enjoy reading indepth reports about users experience. I have a hearty appetite for information and will seek out detail as opposed to relying on “this stuff is the best, it’s light and awesome”.

    -How do we continue to spread the word about KUIU?
    I think through continued exposure though online forums and select print ad as well as trade shows. The unique thing about clothing and gear is that most consumers want to touch it, feel it and investigate it in the first person before purchasing. With the direct distributorship that KUIU runs it will be a challenge since KUIU will not be stocked on shelves. However, your (Jasons) reputation and experience with gear as well as the additional support from general users should aid prospective buyers to take a chance on KUIU when deciding to make a new purchase.

    Another way to continue to spread the word would be through youtube or other online video. I think there is a fine line to walk here when shooting hunting footage as you want it to be authentic and not too “pro hunting jock”. Good hunting footage from average hunters on attainable (public land or modest outfitters) is something that I enjoy watching and I think can help your brand. Further, I think product demos and detailed discussions of gear would be beneficial to KUIU. Again, since KUIU is not on shelves, potential consumers will want to do their research and providing video with analysis of the gear could go a long way to rearch out to new consumers.

    • Jason Hairston

      JR, Great stuff here. I appreciate you taking so much time to comment in such detail. ALL of it is well noted. I agree product demos would be really helpful.

      JH

  21. Dan M

    Not to use the comp as a guide line, but Sitka is in every sheep hunting picture – thats where “we” need to get to. I would suggest the SHOT show, the ATA show, and maybe the NRA show. Print can be effective if its in the right pubs – Huntin Fool is number one, advertising in sheep foundation, mule deer foundation, RMEF might be a good bet too. Eastmans is a consideration. Hope that helps! Good luck!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Dan. “We” will change the landscape of sheep hunting photos! Great suggestions, thank you!

      JH

  22. Patrick Nugent

    I first heard of Kuiu through an ad in huntin fool, so I would say it is effective.

    as far as shows, I highly recommend the Dallas Safari Club convention in January….research it a little bit and you will see it is one of the biggest and best shows in the country….many many hunts are booked here…tons of great outfitters from all over the world are there.

    There is a waiting list for exhibitors, but if interested, I can get you in touch with the right folks.

    • Jason Hairston

      Patrick,

      Dallas Safari Club is on my list for 2013. Glad to hear the Huntin Fool is worth the investment. I am a huge fan of Garth and his crew. Great people.

      Jason

  23. Bivy

    I was a huge fan of the Vortex Optics commercial I saw a couple weeks ago that featured KUIU gear. Perhaps partnering with other reputable companies in joint advertisement schemes would be an additional step.

    It was refreshing to see a commercial that didn’t highlight game cameras, mineral supplements/foodplots, or the latest broadhead all the hunting “stars” sold out to!

    • Jason Hairston

      I like that commercial as well! Thanks for the comment.

      J

  24. Biyjp

    Jason,
    I have found that the best advertising is word of mouth. If the product performs as advertised, people will recognize that and talk about it to others. As to your list, I think TB, Relentless & SPB might have a pretty small circulation number.
    Maybe the ad rate is pretty low – then its ok to continue. I’d look at Eastmans and The Bugle. I personally use internet outdoor sites for into, discussion and sales. I’d consider 24 Hour Campfire and the Alaska Outdoor Directory. There are others but again the ad dollars have to have a limit.
    As to shows, it looks like you want to be a direct seller so I would rule out the big wholesale shows. That’s fine, I don’t blame you.
    Finally I know Lance K. is a great guy and hard worker – he carries a lot of credibility. But I know a Master Guide in Alaska who runs an operation and would put KUIU to the torture test. Testimonials carry a lot of credibility in my book!
    Your clothing line is high tech and not cheap. However many of us have found out through the years we would have been better off if we purchased a “high end” product ONCE instead of multiple purchases of lower quality gear. More and more people recognize that with a wide variety of products.
    Finally, the economy is putting a damper on a lot of non-discretionary purchases. You’ve got to cover the monthly bills adequately before all else!
    Good luck!

    • Jason Hairston

      Great comments. Let me know of the Master Guide you recommend.

      Jason

  25. Exploriment

    I just discovered that you exist.

    Rather than paste it all here, I’ll just provide a link to a blog post I wrote a while back about the marketing efforts of outdoor gear companies and the short comings of their marketing efforts.

    http://exploriment.blogspot.com/2011/10/lame-product-pictures.html

    • Jason Hairston

      Perfect, thank you!

      J

  26. Aaron Powell

    Jason,
    I have always liked it when a company provides incentives for the current customers to bring in new ones. Providing discounts for members who recommend friends, etc. You have a huge following of loyal members and if a few of them could spread the word for you, I think it would be a great benefit for KUIU.
    As far as printed media, I like seeing new products and reading reviews in magazines. Eastman’s Hunting Journal and Bowhunting Journal are two that I currently subscribe to. I’ve been to the International Sportsman Exposition (ISE) in Sacramento and feel it might be valuable for you to have a booth there. ISE has multiple show locations as well (http://www.sportsexpos.com). None of this is probably new to you, but I thought I would give you my two cents worth.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks for the comment Aaron. I have done the ISE shows in the past with mixed results. Sacramento being local is probably a no brainer now that you mention it.

      J

  27. David Casaceli

    A few questions for you:
    Where else should we be advertising in 2012?
    Eastman’s seems like a solid option to me… Are there any outfitter trade newsletters or something similar? It seems like those folks make up a big part of your client and “word-of-mouth” base.

    Are there any other consumer trade shows you recommend?
    I never really attend any but my local one, and doing a full out local circuit is probably not worth it for Kuiu…

    Is Print media a waist of money or does it help you learn about new products and brands?
    It helps people learn of a products existence and then they get more information on their own. Online, etc. If you were to do it in say, Eastman’s, I’d make sure you can’t miss the website when you click. Also, continuing to integrate product review and use videos etc. onto the main Kuiu site will help folks new to the brand learn more. With that in mind, and I know I am off topic, a link to external reviews on your products would be great. Some aren’t as savy as others at finding them on their own, and I ALWAYS look at those independent reviews (AKA Elk Reaper on Live Hunt with the Icon) before buying anything.

    Do ads in magazines give brands credibility?
    Not necessary credibility but awareness. I do believe some people would see the credibility side. Knowing it’s from a ‘real’ company gives some piece of mind, I prefer to find the small things before they make it big…

    Do you believe editorials about new products? Are editorials credible or just another paid spokesman/prostaffer?
    Print editorials are usually the manufacturers words reprinted to be someone elses. There is rarely anything negative in them if at all. I better avenue is the independent reviews online outside of print media. They seem to hold more weight with me, as they will point out negatives as well as positives.

    How and where do you find out about new gear? magazine ads? forums? television programs or ads? word of mouth/recommendations from others? blogs?
    All the above. I, unlike many here, am not heavily active in the forum world. Magazine ads definitely help. I also don’t have the biggest circle of friends into this crazy world of ours so I can’t hear world of mouth. It needs to find me…You’ve probably reached most people that are actively looking for the best, it is now up to Kuiu to find those that don’t know what the best is or that think they already have the best. I think a few seleceted print media ads will help. Nothing crazy. But a full page ad for a month or two in eastmans, will help you feel out the affects of the ad campaign.

    How do we continue to spread the word about KUIU?
    I guess I’ve answered that in every question. So i’ll lay off and give you a break.

    • Jason Hairston

      David, thank you. A lot of great ideas here. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and help. There are some trade publications for outfitters I am considering. Great idea.

      J

  28. Brandon Hunt

    The consideration to keep in mind is whether or not print ads are reaching your target market or even just cost effective. Sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box and invest your marketing efforts away from traditional “advertising” methods. Until you start stocking Kuiu products in retailers (Gander Mountain, Cabelas, etc), you might be better off continuing with your web-based marketing efforts since getting people to your website to order products is the priority. Contact your local Small Business Development Center for assistance in developing a marketing plan (these services are free)! Just my 2 cents.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Brandon, well noted! I will contact the SBD and see what they have to offer.

      JH

  29. beaupurvis

    Dallas Safari Club convention. Over 30,000 attendance…first show of the season….first week January.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Beau!

      J

  30. JOAN

    Hello Jason.
    I am Joan Catala form Spain.

    About advertising I think is a good idea to advertise in:
    -Traditional Bowhunting
    -Bowsite
    -Tradgang
    I don’t visit or I am not subscribe to the others.
    The best idea is Traditional Bowhunting I think, cause many no USA citizen are subscribed around the world.

    However if you want to be more strong in Europe there is our neighbour country that has around 12.000 bowhunters and 1.400.000 gun/rifle hunters. There is several hunting magazines there and a really good one about bowhunting that is CHARC magazine.
    About shows there is to great hunting shows in France:
    Game Fair and Ramboillet. Maybe will be a good idea to visit one of them.
    I speak France so I can help you.

    About your adverts in magazines are nice, but I think that for all we know your product is ok…but for somebody that doesnt knows them will be better to add some explanations…or images that show the good performance of the fabric…

    Also I think will be a good idea to in Europe use dealers. People like go to the shops and discover what is better to use. They like to try it. Touch it. We are far form USA so is the better way to win customers. In France a good shop is Frere Loup, I know very well the owner Vincent Perosa. In Spain a good shop is Vital Archery. I also know very well David Asin the owner. In Spain there is also another bowshop called Bowland but is a Cabela’s brand.
    I think will be better publicity for you use this Spanish and France shop and be in this France shows that magazine publicity. People must try your product first.
    Ads, Print…is good but when you know the product…but if not…who takes risk in Spain to buy something they have not tried or even touch?
    I hope have been usefull.
    Do not hesitate to contact me for more help. All the best. Joan Catala

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Joan,

      This is very valuable information on Europe. I may be following up with you for further help and ideas for your market. Thank you very much for your support and if there is anything you need from KUIU please let me know.

      Jason

      • JOAN CATALA

        Happy to hear about that. I have been talking with Brendan too, about how to help you. We keep in contact.

        Please continue doing like know. Is a great value for all the hunters to can use all your equipment!

        Joan Catala

  31. Joe Grygelko

    A few comments from previous subscribers suggest going “mainstream”. Kuiu is developed for a specific target market. This segment could be defined as Hardcore Ultralight Mountain Hunters. This is the segment that Kuiu needs to appeal to. Outdoor Life And Field & Stream don’t really have a large portion of this segment subscribing to their magazines. This is why it is important to get in the magazines, trade shows and events where Kuiu expects to see a large portion of this segment. The most important aspect of marketing is WORD OF MOUTH! Nothing beats word of mouth for advertising to consumers. Continue to create great customer service with loyal customers and the marketing will start to take care of itself. Look at every company that continues to grow. Consumers desire more than just a quality product these days. They want service as well. Keep making these great products and emphasize customer service. These two key ingredients will be the most important marketing elements to create that invaluable WORD OF MOUTH marketing.

    • Jason Hairston

      I could not agree MORE! Well said.

      Jason

  32. Brad

    Do you have a prostaff of folks that are active and noteworthy in the hunting industry? I think Cam Hanes and the Eastman’s guys sell alot of UA and Russell product becasue they are folks that get alot of exposure (blogs, trade shows, TV shows) and who’s opinion is viewed as trustworthy.

    • Cade

      Cameron Hanes (and the Eastman boys for that matter) will wear ANYTHING if he’s paid to do it. How can you take anyone’s opinion seriously if they are willing to hang up the Swarovski optics for a pair of Nikon Monarchs?? LOLOLOLO

    • Jason Hairston

      I consider you and the rest of KUIU’s customers as our prostaff. You say it better and have all the credibility in the world.

      J

  33. grant

    Jason,

    this trade show is huge and draws all kinds of hunters. It ususally draws every stir crazy hunter within a hundred miles after a long winter. Thousands and thousands of people pour through this show, its elbow to elbow and great exposure. By far the biggest show i’ve been too. I am sure event managers can tell you the door numbers. I’d make a trip to come see your products.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Grant, I will check this one out for sure. I appreciate you insight and taking the time to share it.

      Jason

      • Thomas Vree

        Finished reading “Glimmer: How Design Can Transform your Life, and Maybe Even the World by Warren Berger”

        p.147-148 had what was one of my favourite passages

        Brian Collins of the firm COLLINS states that the experience design movement is reinventing the marketing model that has been dominated by advertising for the last half century. That old model made it feasible that a large company could offer a lackluster customer experience, yet still coax people to purchase its bland offerings, thanks to the sheer power of message bombardment. But over the past decade, a flip-flop began to take place. Ads started to lose their power because of changes in media (including more fragmentation and greater audience control and participation). Meanwhile, those same changes in the media heightened the importance of providing quality customer experiences because customers now had more ways to talk to each other. Today, increasingly, the experience is the advertising.

        The companies that are unable to figure out how to design and deliver that experience have little else to do but make pleas for our attention that are mostly ignored–in other words, they advertise. Collins believes we may now be reaching the point at which advertising becomes the penalty paid by companies that cannot design well. “In this new environment,” he says, “you could think of traditional advertising as a tax on laggards.”

    • Jason Hairston

      No problem, I got it.

      J

  34. John

    Jason,
    I can’t add too much to what’s been mentioned above, but as pointed out earlier here there are those who like to touch and try on before buying. For me, I hate buying pants without first trying them on. Maybe a traveling showroom to push your visibility? Being from Washington I’m bummed that your not coming up here. Washington must have enough hunters because Cabelas is building a second store on the coast.
    btw – I plan to wear your gear duck hunting too… wool base layers are the way to go

    All my best,
    John

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks John for your input. Send us your photos for the album shooting ducks. Noted on touch and feel. I am working on some ideas to make this happen in the future.

      J

  35. James

    it all depends what you want Jason. If you want to go really big and be a major player in the clothing industry then you need to go all out. Bring your clothing into stores, advertise in print, TV and internet and make clothes that the majority of people can use. However I don’t like this idea because in the end you end up with a company that is all about the money and not about the gear. I can think of numerous companies that started with awesome stuff then sold out and went mainstream. Their gear went from outstanding to nothing special. But these companies are huge, they have gear in every outdoor store around the world and they probably make a ton of money.

    If it was me I would save money on advertising and focus on making the best gear in the world. The gear will sell it self. If someone wants some new hunting gear and the want the best then they will go on the internet and search for the best. They will find KUIU if they do that. If they are happy to walk into their local store and pick out what they like there then they probably don’t care enough to have really quality gear.

    I love the companies were you can buy direct.

    I see adds everywhere for Badlands packs. I go to my local outdoor store hear in North Bay, ON and they have badlands packs, I go to bass pro a few hours away and they have badlands packs. I watch hunting shows and badlands is a sponsor. BUT for me I will not buy a pack from them. Instead I found a company that does almost zero advertising. No hunter I ever talked to hear in Ontario knows about the company. But they make the best packs 🙂 and that’s where my money will go.

    I want real world reviews, I could care less what some guy in a magazine says. When I get on a forum that has REAL hunters and they give their honest opinion then I listen.

    So for me (a guy who loves top quality gear) all I need is real hunters talking about the product and giving good reviews and then I will check into the product and decide if I will buy.

    That’s just my rambling for today hope it helps in some way. Good luck in 2012

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks James. This is great information. I built another brand and we ended up making decisions around price points and what retailers needed to sell the products, not what was best for our customers. I was not going to make this same mistake twice and the reason I started KUIU. I will continue to build innovative gear for mountain hunting and believe if you make the best gear our customers will find KUIU as they already have. Thank you for your help and support!

      J

  36. Adam Janke

    Huntfest will be held in 3 different locations in Canada in 2012, its big news here in BC that we’ll get it out West next year. Website is http://www.huntfest.ca/ so have a look. You guys desperately need distribution in Canada though. Your pricing for the best product I’ve seen is great but we get KILLED on duties coming back through. This is really frustrating given the fact that product is sewn here in Vancouver! I had close to $100 in customs fees on one shipment.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Adam,

      Opening a warehouse in Canada is in the process for this coming spring. I do not want you to pay these duties when you should not have to. Thanks for the input on hunt fest. I will certainly take a hard look at this!

      J

      • Adam Janke

        Jason,

        No problem at all and good to hear re. Canadian warehousing. If you’re looking for a distributor I know of a couple in the Vancouver area who might be able to help.

        Also, thought I’d add a couple of points as well about the website in general. I absolutely love the “gritty” feel of the site and the images. One of the things that really draws me into the Kuiu and Sitka websites is CONTENT. Good, informtaive content that is not based entirely on product is IMO one of the best ways to spread the word cheaply. As an example, the grizzly hunt article you first had on “The Hunt” was an incredible read and I passed a link to the article on to at least 5 guys who loved the read and the images. You weren’t really “selling” me on the gear in that essay but seeing the real images of the product in the field was incredible and made me want the product BAD. I think every hunter loves a good story and if there are images involved that show Kuiu product then all the better. Also, artciles on pack fitting, backcountry fitness, glassing techniques, wind/elevation compensation, boot selection, backcountry first-aid, etc. I think would spread quickly from Kuiu followers out to their network. Informative, pertinent artciles on mountain hunting and the various elements/variables that go into a successful mountain hunt are so valuable especially to younger active hunters who I think are a lot more interested in “extreme hunting” than others might be.

  37. Tim Hoffer

    Eastman’s comes to mind for an additional advertising spot. Considering your online presence, perhaps some European publications might be an option.

    When it comes to print advertising, I disagree that it is “dead”. The key is to have an integrated marketing approach, blending a consistent message or theme across multiple media outlets: print, blog, email newsletters, YouTube, etc. Gone are the days of a pretty ad (wherever it appeared) “convincing” a potential customer to buy a product, and have that work alone.
    Additionally, I would say that with this market, it is vital to show real users in the field, testing the same clothing, pack, etc. that a customer might buy. It is as close to word of mouth as you can get, but casts a wider net; I pay attention to write-ups by well-known guides and other hardcore users, especially when blended with a great hunting story–Lance Kronberger’s hunts and write-ups come to mind. This kind of communication does two things:
    1. The testing is done by someone who knows what the hell they are talking about–they have the experience, background and ability to put a piece of gear through the wringer, and write about it.
    2. When blended with a compelling hunting story, the reader (and potential customer) now has a mental picture of them doing the same thing, enjoying the same hunt, being out in the wild, and…..wearing that Guide jacket, Spindrift jacket, etc. There is a lot of power in authentic “story-telling” in advertising and marketing today, and with a niche product such as yours, those “in the know” need to be your best advocates.

    I think your Hunting Stories and Guides section of the site are ripe with potential — I would like to see more interaction and real life users reviewing and commenting on KUIU gear.
    In my current role at the company I work for, we use tradeshows a lot. They are beneficial, but it can be tough to prove their effectiveness, and really see an ROI. On one hand, you have to be in front of people, all the time, even if you think you might be saturating a market too much; people remember you, from one show to the next, and many times come to expect to see you. Don’t leave them wondering where you went, or worse, forgetting who you are, and what you have to offer.
    Secondly, if you can devise a way to capitalize on tradeshow traffic after the show, perhaps through a special code to be used later on the site that is distributed by a handout or postcard, you can then start to get a sense of how well the show performed for you.

    I have a number of other thoughts and ideas, but don’t want to take up too much space here! Jason, feel free to shoot me an email if you have any followup questions or ideas, as I would love to brainstorm with you about keeping the momentum of KUIU rolling into 2012 and beyond.

    Thanks for letting an average Joe contribute!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Tim, this is GREAT information and ideas. Thank you very much for taking the time to comment in such detail. I will shoot you an email.

      J

  38. Curtis

    I agree with comments about touching the product. It was my concern that I wouldn’t care for the material when buying. I was wrong:)

    The traditional magazine adds just seem to be all blinged out and telling us how much better their product is. I dont buy into that but I do read the add to educate myself about a product.

    Maybe you could consider a back to the basics(so to speak) type magazine add. No fancy pictures of hunters with big horns. Just a small swatch of your material attached to a page( so we can touch it). Print the facts and description of that particular material (maybe under the swatch). Also let us now which products that material is found in. Of course a link to the KUIU site. You could also vary the material between different mags.

    It would be far different from what we are seeing in mags today.

    • Jason Hairston

      This is a creative idea. I am not sure how to make it happen but I will look into it. Thanks for your help.

      J

  39. Solitude

    Getting hunters hands on the products will allow them to see the quality of the Kuiu line. Once they use the products they will be hooked. IMO donating Kuiu products raffle items to RMEF dinners (and others) will reach a ton of hunters, cost would be minimal and I believe the return on investment quite appealing.

    • David Casaceli

      Never thought of that but it’s a good idea. If you find the right events with a big crowd this could be beneficial. The crowd at banquets is usually the crowd ready to spend money too… lots of dollars dropped on raffle tickets at them.

      You could have your raffle item on a table with a bunch of cards with a coupon code as described earlier to track the exposure and purchases that came from the event… Wouldn’t necessarily need any staff on hand at the events. I’m sure someone would volunteer to help at any event for a small amount of Kuiu Cash!

    • Jason Hairston

      Well noted on RMEF banquets. Thank you.

      Jason

  40. Brent littleton

    Jason I would go to the ata show just to get the word out even more. I would use the Internet as my primary resource to get the word out which you do well. I would also try to get in some local eastcoast state publications because your products I believe will work anywhere. The guys an myself that I hunt with found you guys by the Internet . We will be testing kuiu gear this fall duck hunting in minus zero conditions on the Ohio river. Layering is critical for us because were very active setting decoys. We look forward to 2012 line keep up the good work.
    Brent littleton

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Brent. Your comments are well noted.
      J

  41. Joe Furia

    Jason,

    Some good stuff here. I’d parrot the remark that your marketing strategy is driven by your short-term and long-term business goals. Assuming you know the type of company you would like KUIU to become in terms of size, revenue, employees, etc. over particular time frames or what similar companies you would like to emulate in the outdoor apparel industry (Arcteryx or Icebreaker, for example) then I think that will guide whether you want to keep your marketing efforts focused on word-of-mouth, forums, hardcore publications or whether its worth going more mainstream. I wouldn’t worry about what the other hunting apparel manufactures are doing, but focus on producing gear as good as or better than the extreme sports gear companies, but tailored for hunters. In fact, you might consider look at their marketing strategies (if you haven’t already).

    Frankly, I think there are some issues if you go beyond a customer base of hard-core hunters and try to appeal to a broader audience. Most hunting clothing is crap, but most hunters don’t push their gear and appreciate the quality of your product. Focus on your hard-core hunter base and I believe they’ll be your best marketing tool.

    Thanks for asking,

    Joe

    • David Casaceli

      I think that is a good idea to reach out to the marketing departments of the organizations that you share suppliers with in the high-end outdoor manufacturers like Patagonia and Arcteryx… Given the lack of direct competition at most levels they may help, and emulation may help yourself…

    • Jason Hairston

      Joe I totally agree with you. My focus is to supply the worlds finest gear for mountain hunting and to continue to develop gear for this customer group. I will not go after the masses with sub-quality product. Arcterryx believes in this model and it works for them. Great points!

      Jason

  42. Quinn

    Hi Jason, My Buddy is an outfitter in the Yukon. He was telling me when that plane lands at camp its like a “Sitka fashion show”. on his website he has detailed gear lists, everything from recomended rifle calibers to what boots to buy. i know personally I want to know what real guys(guides/outfitters/wranglers) who spend Xamount of day/yr living on a mountain side wear and what gear they use.

    • Jason Hairston

      Well noted Quinn. Great point.

      J

  43. lindsey

    I have noticed the big fad right now is marketing TV hunting shows. All the big name companies seem to have sponsored one or more hunting programs. I personally love watching On your own adventures. Perhaps KUIU could sponsor a hunting TV show?
    Im looking for sponsors.. 😉
    website marketing I think has also gotten big. I don’t order magazines anymore and mainly get my info on the internet and TV.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you for your comment.

      J

  44. Kim

    Jason, stay with the class acts when advertising. For main stream hunting print media IMHO that would be “Sports Afield”, SCI’s member’s magazine “Safari”, and DSC’s (Dallas Safari Club) member’s magazine. “OUtdoor Life” does not even compare for quality. Make the advertising intriguing so they go to your website for more information. For additional trade shows I would suggest RMEF’s and DSC’s annual shows. I agree with several other commentors. It is really nice when you can look at and feel the product. For a product that was designed as mountain (sheep & goat) hunting technical clothing I would bet the majority of your clothing is worn by elk and mule deer hunters. That is great for you. Somewhere you need to explain more the layering concept of your clothing for newbies. I would stay with Bowsite.com. I am not impressed with the other popular archery forums.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Kim for taking the time to comment! Your points are well taken.

      Jason

  45. Riley

    I think that some product companies begin to lose credibility when they begin to advertise too much and people start seeing the product as another gimmick. It’s like watching the outdoor channel and seeing all the different crap on their and the marketing has just gone too far.

    I say, if you want to retain a strong base of supporters, like you do now, then I wouldn’t go overboard with it. In just your first year, you gained a large group of solid supporters, a hardcore fan base. I think that will continue to grow if you stick to your original philosophy and principles.

    I wouldn’t align myself with any of the big name guys that advertise a bunch of gimmicky products. Stick with the hardcore groups, the groups that are directed towards the average guy and not money driven commercial crap. I think the groups you listed were good. It’s also good to see you a part of the bowsite.

    Something that will only help is to continue on with your high visibility ideal. When people can talk with you and they feel that you’re just one of them, then they will be more apt to buy from you than some other invisible corporate type guy.

    I would stick with forums and blogs as a way of advertising with some advertising in key publications. Maybe one area you haven’t touched on is Africa and safari type publications? I can see this type of hunter really going after some of your products. The camo would be killer for over there.

    With just one year of kuiu being out there, the word spread fast and there was a lot of buzz. I think your second year will be even more successful. Good luck, I know i’m a believer now and will continue to tell people it’s the best hunting clothing out there.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Riley I really appreciate the feedback and help. Noted on the Safari Markets.

      J

  46. lghtnquik

    The NW guys love the gear so possibly these shows:

    http://www.thesportshows.com/

    Would like to see you at Puyallup, WA in Jan

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks I will check out this show.

      Jason

  47. Mark Frazer

    I love that you are asking your fan base these questions. That alone may be your smartest marketing move of 2012.

    My first observation is that it appears that you spend all of your ad dollars targeting a very specific consumer group (hunters). I love your gear and can’t wait to purchase some and I don’t hunt. Don’t forget that there is a HUGE group of non-hunting consumers out there that also wear clothes!

    I love backpacker magazine and I am always looking up the brands I see advertised in their publication. I don’t think print is a waste. It is a gateway for consumers to get the real info about your products from your blog.

    If you are going to do tradeshows you need to be at the big one for outdoor gear in Salt Lake City, http://www.outdoorretailer.com/

    I haven’t read any of the other comments so I apologize if this has all been covered. Keep up the good work.

    Mark Frazer

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Mark. I agree with you completely. I have been attending OR twice a year since 2005 and LOVE going! I just hired a new PR firm who specializes in the outdoor market. It will be interesting to see if KUIU will cross that bridge or how long it will take. Thank you for your support.

      Jason

  48. JR

    Im in southern Utah, the Huntin Fool marketing has been big for you I would believe… Muley Crazy has a big following too that I would think would cross over with the Huntin Fool market but would give you access to additional market. No way advertising in these publications is a waste, followers trust these sources for referrences to the best gear. Also another company here in Utah, the Full Moon Productions and Bowcast guys have a huge following and they are big time back country hunters, everyone wants to use the gear they represent. I know you know all these guys, but I think those two would have awesome results.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks JR. Noted on Muley Crazy.

      J

  49. goathunter

    Where else should we be advertising in 2012?
    – This should be determined by your marketing strategy and goals as they relate to your target customers. I will say I don’t read any of the magazines on your advertising list, yet I’m buying your products. Personally, I would focus marketing time and dollars on hunting forums, not magazines. There is typically one big forum/State and a few national ones. I think you’d get farther by paying for advertising on those forums and giving away gear on those forums in exchange for feedback (the names of the first 50 people to provide feedback go into a drawing, etc.) I think word of mouth is your best advertising since you are catering to a niche market. Here in Oregon, the iFish message board members are already well aware of Kuiu given your former affiliation with Sitka.

    Is Print media a waste of money or does it help you learn about new products and brands?
    – I think it’s helpful as a way to increase brand awareness

    Do ads in magazines give brands credibility?
    – I don’t think they add credibility, but they do increase brand awareness.

    Do you believe editorials about new products? Are editorials credible or just another paid spokesman/prostaffer?
    – I typically assume that reviews are biased if they are conducted by reviewers who are either paid or received the goods free of charge (or if the supplier pays for advertising in the magazine). Just as bad are reviews that don’t point out flaws or express negative opinions. I like Bowhunter Magazine, but they are one example of an organization that is useless in terms of providing useful reviews.

    How and where do you find out about new gear? magazine ads? forums? television programs or ads? word of mouth/recommendations from others? blogs?
    – I find out about new products in hunting magazines, online forums, and pro shops. I especially like reviews written by people who purchased the product (customer reviews on Cabela’s.com for example). Word of mouth recommendations carry a lot of influence.

    How do we continue to spread the word about KUIU?
    – My suggestion is to sponsor and support online forums. Another idea is to do co-promotion with other brands that share the KUIU values in terms of quality. For example, maybe co-market with Swarovski and get KUIU positioned as a premium brand. KUIU gear is top-quality, but also expensive. You need to reach those customers who value quality and can afford it, but you also want to build general brand awareness to reach those people who value quality but can’t afford it yet. One way you could build your brand is to use some of your KUIU branded hats and shirts as giveaways. Everyone who gets a hat or shirt will wear it and that’s free advertising for you. Whenever I wear my KUIU hat out of the house, people comment on how cool the logo is. Another idea is to provide inexpensive giveaway items at seminars. For example, The Bow Rack in Springfield, Oregon hosts a hunting seminar every July and it’s turned into a huge event. How awesome would it be if every person walked out of there with a KUIU-branded arrow puller, sticker, paper target, license wallet, or keychain? I personally like the paper target idea because all hunters need to target shoot, paper targets are lightweight to ship, cheap to print, and biodegradable.

    • Jason Hairston

      Goathunter, thank you! A lot of great stuff here! The co-branding association you mention is a fantastic idea. I appreciate your help.

      Jason

  50. Tony Bynum

    How could you miss SHOT? You must also be on a hunting channel and or promos in popular western hunting shows. . . must do more promo’s, and showcase more real time feedback from users. . . need good video promos on vimeo and youtube and they need to show up on popular tv hunting shows . . . As you know, you’re a niche product, if you want to stay true to your brand, stay focused on your user group. . . do a contest, have people produce short clips using your product . . . but i think you really need a tv presents . . . oh yeah, join a trade organization like POMA. I dont think youre a corporate partner in the Professional Outdoor Media Association so take this as another reminder – it’s worth every penny . . . You too Tom Ryle . . .

    Tony Bynum
    Commercial Outdoor, nature & wildlife photographer
    Board of Directors, Professional Outdoor Media Association . . .

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Tony. Will you email me the information on POMA?

      J

  51. Jeff M. Valunas

    Hey there, Jason-
    As you have come to know me, you know I could probably post 10,000 words of marketing advise in a flash. However, there have been many good idea’s posted already, so I won’t cover them again. I would like to ask you a few quick questions, before I give any type of marketing advise, as I would like to know the end game, here… So- What is the “endgame” for KUIU and yourself? Are you building another multi-million dollar company, to sell (again)? Or, is KUIU going to be your ultimate legacy (as far as business goes, I am sure your children are far ahead in that Dept.) Do you want to be known as the Ultimate Camo Company, that everyone has? Do you still want to be developing and inventing new and better gear ? I could give you some better suggestions knowing these things. That perhaps could be better discussed on a wind swept ridge glassing for Coues Deer, in Jan.:)
    JMV

    • Jeff M. Valunas

      (cont.)
      Inevitably, the scale starts to head in a bad direction, when something that is as cool as KUIU, becomes over marketed, and given away.
      That being said, I don’t think you should sponsor ANY hunting show, unless you are going to start your own show. Keeping it simple,(marketing) is cheap for you, and passed on to customers who know how to do a little research. Word of mouth will continue to grow at an exponential rate, and as pictures get into mag. art., more people will be lured in by the wonderful VIAS camo pattern.
      My “two cents” for now-
      I think you are doing a GREAT JOB, with this company.
      Keep in simple and classy, those who appreciate will find KUIU soon enough. JMV

      • Curt Cabrera

        That’s great advice Jeff, very well said!

      • Larry Schwartz

        With respect to sponsoring a TV show, another technique you could use on the Internet is to do your own TV show online with 5-10 minute, well produced videos of people using KUIU gear in real hunting situations. You could host them on the Hunt section of the website. They could be downloads like podcasts or streamed like webcasts.

      • Jason Hairston

        WELL SAID Jeff! Thank you as always!!

        Jason

  52. Terry Marcum

    Jason, I think your advertising is done very well in the magazines I see it in. I read Wild Sheep, Grand Slam, Bugle, MDF, Huntin Fool, as well as mags by state associations of MDF, Wild Sheep. Etc. I think most serious mountain hunters read some or most of these publications. I personally like to read articles by real hunters who use your stuff more than I rely on editorials. If you want real exposure to the masses I would give a set of your camo (pants, shirt, hat, vest, and maybe a Sprindrift jacket) to each Mule Deer Foundation, Elk Foundation, Sheep Foundation local chapter to auction or raffle off at their respective banquets. This way each local Joe can touch your stuff and maybe even try it on. The banquet season is coming and this would be the best way for you to be exposed to the mountain hunting multitudes that I know of. I do like your clothes a lot. I wish you had a jacket that had some Windstopper or something in it for wind. I have not tried your rain gear because I have so much other rain gear but I hear it works very well. Keep up the good work. Terry Marcum

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Terry for your comments and advice. It is very helpful. Have you tried our Guide Jacket in the wind?

      Jason

      • Terry Marcum

        Jason, I did use the whole system in Wyoming on a backpack elk hunt in September. It wasn’t Wyoming windy but a little and had one day of rain. I did wear the Guide Jacket and it seemed to not be as windproof as the Cabelas Berber Fleece jacket with windstopper I have worn for years. The Guide Jacket is very comfortable I guess it’s just a different “feel” from what I am used to. Terry

  53. Justin

    Jason
    Have u considered Eastmans as far as advertising goes? Some guys cant afford Hunting fool or dont feel they get their bang for their buck. Eastmans MRS section is great and the price is definitely affordable.
    I hade a product idea as well…
    I hate the fact my KUIU system get mixed in w/ all my old camo at times. Have u considered a small duffle bag for your system. Maybe have a package deal as well for the whole system for the guy starting out thats not afraid to spent some money on quality gear.
    Just a thought, keep up the great work!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Justin, I like the system idea.

      J

  54. Lee Nelson

    As another Canadian I would say you really should try and get up here for a show or two. I was amazed at how much of your product I saw out here for the first year. The Sheep Conference that was in Kamloops, BC would be a great start. You may also want to look at huntingbc.ca as a place to advertise. The magazine editors are just salesman these days so I don’t put any faith in what they tell us, anything to sell add space. Another thought is the guys buying Sitka in stores up here get KILLED on price. If you get the word out that you ship up here and can keep your shipping costs reasonable I see no reason you couldn’t own the Canadian market for technical high end hunting gear.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Lee. I am working on a Canadian Warehouse right now. Most of our gear is made in Vancouver so there is no duty.

      Jason

  55. Don Carpenter

    You’ve got a tough nut to crack here. I think print media is a dying breed with all the information available on the web. One advantage you have is, the products you make are exceptional quality, and word of mouth means a lot in your industry. Spokesmen are puppets in my opinion. Real hunters sharing real experiences carry more weight with me and the hunters I know. Start a campaign featuring non-celebrity/non-paid hunters telling their experience with your product. Most of the information I get on new gear comes from forums and blogs, sometimes you have to sift through some nonsense but if I hadn’t been looking for good gear I would have never been a customer of yours in the first place. I do think doing the hunting expos is a good idea, because most people are tactile spenders, they need to get their paws on something in order to give up their hard earned cash. Good luck with your with your marketing.

    Cheers

    • Jeff M. Valunas

      DC-
      I haven’t forgotten you!!! My offer still stands, from the Forum!
      You have some great suggestions here as well.
      Thank YOU, for everything you have done!
      JMV

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Don for taking the time to comment. Good stuff, I appreciate it!

      Jason

  56. TJ H.

    As stated by the gentleman above, it all depends on what your goal is. Obviously shows like ATA are a waste of time unless you start doing retail sales in stores, which is pretty much the opposite of what you’ve set out to do so far. I would also recommend NOT going big advertising on the outdoor channels. Producing your own online show or video shorts that show KUIU in action would be excellent for guys who have not experienced your product first hand. It would add to your web appeal while not requiring the extra financial burden of sponsoring a big name show.

    KUIU is top of the line gear designed for guys who are hardcore type of hunters. These types of hunters appreciate how the gear is designed. The average weekend warrior might like the gear, but won’t necessarily appreciate how functional and well designed KUIU is. They’ll like the gear, but they’ll wait to see what deals Gander has at the end of the season. I’m not western bowhunter (not until next September anyways), but I am a hardcore whitetail guy. Even on private land that I have hunting rights to, I still carry in my Lone Wolf sticks and Stand so that I’m able to hunt in a way that allows me the versatility I need to adapt to the situation. KUIU offers that. Hardcore hunters who are mobile, regardless of terrain or the game being chased, all have similar needs. And online forums (where I learned of KUIU) tend to hold more of these die-hards than a hunting magazine telling you 5 easy ways to kill a buck in a 3-day weekend.

    I don’t feel going big with marketing benefits a company like KUIU as much as others do. I would love all of my family/friends to hunt in KUIU gear, but they won’t for the simple fact that they’ll see a price tag and not the value that high quality gear has in the woods. KUIU is growing because hardcore guys who use the stuff can attest to it’s quality and are doing so. Adding small things (i.e. video of KUIU in action) will help to show how beneficial KUIU is moreso than just picture and writing (though I do love the blog!). Simple and functional is the basis of KUIU (even if the technology is complex), and a marketing approach that mirrors that philosophy would appear to make the most sense to me. Good Luck, and Keep us posted on the release of the new line-up. These cold WI mornings would be a bit more pleasant with some Spindrift Pants.

    TJ…

    • Jeff M. Valunas

      TJ H.- Clearly, we are on the same page, as far as marketing goes. I especially, liked the comment of-” Simple and functional is the basis of KUIU (even if the technology is complex), and a marketing approach that mirrors that philosophy would appear to make the most sense to me.”
      Exactly, what I hoped to word… Very nice… You hit it perfectly!!!
      JMV

      • TJ H.

        Thanks Jeff! Just felt the portion of us wanting to keep KUIU from becoming every other company out there should at least be vocal about it. I know KUIU is growing, and will have more stock this year, but could they properly supply a larger surge of customers than they’ll already have to deal with? I’m sure the number of pre-orders is quite sizeable already. I know by the time I had learned of them, they were out of the Attack Pants and Guide Jacket. That was 6 months ago. I want KUIU to succeed and to be a major player, but I want them to do it in the style that is already uniquely KUIU. No need to rush into putting every hunter in their clothes and sacrificing quality and reputation to do so. Though I feel KUIU can be utilized by everyone, it simply will not be for everyone based on their own mindsets. Some just won’t spend more than Wal-Mart or Gander sale prices on hunting gear. Others will view the gear to be too hardcore for their purposes, even if it would help them. Yes, you can market to try and overcome some of these mindsets, but is it worth the cost for likely minimal gains. Most of the current customers are here because we sought out high performance gear. We didn’t have flashy ads or “celebrity hunters” telling us how great KUIU is and that we all need some. We wanted great, simple, functional clothing, KUIU built it, and for those of us that weren’t there at the start, well, we found it. Certainly grow and increase brand awareness, but not at the cost of quality. KUIU is substance. Far too much of the other companies are not.

        TJ…

    • Curt Cabrera

      Excellent TJ!

      • Jeff M. Valunas

        C.C.-
        Thanks for your comments, above!!! Your a Class Act, in my mind, and I appreciate any kind words from you! I hope to post a successful hunt on the forum, by Dec. 3rd. Keep your eye’s open, as it would be an
        honor, to show you… ME in the KUIU gear, with hopefully something
        I was able to take, on my last week of Nov. Coues Deer Hunt!
        Be Good-
        JMV

      • Jeff M. Valunas

        Ha, sorry to cut in here- But, just as my suggestions from above have came true, I thought to slip it in here. Thumbing thru my newest copy of Eastmans Bowhunting Journal, I noticed South Cox, in one of his ‘Tech Tips’ wearing KUIU’s- Guide Pant’s, and one/ if not both, of the Merino Wool Shirts in VIAS camo. As I stated above, or somewhere around this post… Once the VIAS camo get’s into Mag. Art. (magazine articles), the pattern will speak for itself, and lure more people to KUIU! I haven’t even read the article yet, but the picture is there… And, Eastmans’ , was kind enough to put their subscribership in the back end of the mag. around 38,000. Meaning, KUIU has just been exposed to that many NEW EYES!.Pretty Slick, Jason… And great idea’s from many above… JMV

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks TJ great advice. The Spindrift Pants are coming.

      J

  57. JG

    Jason, I really respect your business approach and how you are continually seeking input from your actual customers. With regards to print and TV, I wonder if it’s a huge money bonfire that could raise the overhead and product cost. However, Eastman’s and “On Your Own Adventures” have been mentioned repeatedly, and those are both great (Electric guitar music in the background and Bad Boy Buggy close-ups don’t sell me). Also, Eastman’s used to have a show/video podcast with real public land hunts that I really liked. Co-producing something realistic, dignified, and informative like that could be the ticket. Just don’t start designing video camera mounts into your Icon. I think the podcast format might be cost effective as well. I usually download a bunch before a business trip.

    Overall, I like websites/ads/commercials to be technical and informative. I’m an engineer and I want to buy things on their scientific merit. I could see a marketing approach that educates the consumer in detail about merino and the Toray shells. I think real hunt footage that shows the freezing in the morning and sweating by noon aspect of layering, the downsides of bulky clothing (on your back or in your pack), and how funky some clothing gets on Muley Hunt Day 5.

    Maybe I’m just one type of consumer, but I think a lot of us would like to be spoken to as adults before we invest (more than purchase) in hunting gear. I hunt on a budget, but I know that by the time I buy tags, burn my vacation time, drive 800 miles, and hike my rump off the gear I bring (and how little of it I can get away with) has a huge effect on my enjoyment of that investment. I want to feel like Superman on the hunt so i don’t wimp out and perhaps nTell me why that is and why your gear is right; don’t tell me that by buying it I will likely shoot a monster bull.

    • JG

      Sorry, I was typing on a smartphone and accidentally hit “post” before I was done.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks JG for such a detailed comment. I really appreciate your input and help! Good stuff.

      Jason

  58. David Pollock

    Jason,

    As an Australian Hunter, i first saw your coming soon ad in the South Pacific Bowhunter magazine, i then read the review they did that has just come out in the last few weeks, they rated your gear very highly, and that magazine is run by guys that hunt hard and don’t praise gear unless it is for real. i plan to buy some ofyour gear in the new year, as most Australian hunters wear cold weather and rain gear made by 4 different New Zealand companies, that now make most of their clothing in China, the one that doesnt is Swazi and it is probably the best quality. All the best with 2012, and will make sure i send you some photos of your gear alongside some Australian game, regards David

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks David for your comment and glad to hear KUIU is going down under. PLEASE email us your photos for the album.

      Jason

  59. william newman

    If you want to improve your sales, make them available at the trade shows. I was in MI. In july. Two sale persons were there taking orders. I go to have my hands on and purchase what will work for me, not from reading testimonials from the famous bowhunter. Id prefer a calendar of location you will be to purchase on the spot.
    Wm.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks William. I will get a calendar out for everyone.

      Jason

  60. Charltonm

    Jason – How about the Sportsman Expo? I would think you could spark a greater local interest and drive people to you website.

    On Marketing – Since you go direct to the consumer instead of via retail, could you partner with some of the local outdoor shops, throughout the country, that you have strong relationships with and post a link on their local websites or sometype of printed marketing material or display advertisment in their shops? I’m just thinking if you aren’t taking business away from them and they believe and support your products, maybe they can assist you in reaching a portion of that target market that still isn’t familiar with the KUIU product. Take care – Chuck

    • Jason Hairston

      Great ideas Chuck. Thank you.

      Jason

  61. Bill Tozer

    In Canada… Huntfest Tradeshows, touch feel buy. Also sponsorship of a couple of the online forums like http://www.HuntingBC.ca and http://www.bowzone.ca/forum/

    But the biggest and best thing you could do to increase sales in Canada would be to reduce the exorbitant shipping/courier/brokerage costs by having a Canadian distribution centre that would have stock on hand (especially of the products that are made here.

    • Jason Hairston

      Noted Bill. I totally agree with you and I am working on a warehouse in canada for next season.

      Jason

  62. Mike W.

    The outdoorsmen/women that truly spend enough time in the field to appreciate what kuiu is and why it exists is a small percentage of the population. Kuiu has no option but to grow in future years as more of the clothing gets out there. There is no amount of marketing that can compete with word of mouth and first hand recomendations. The best of the best seem to be already be using Kuiu, thats very apparent by 2011’s field photos throughout the web. I think that when it comes to a purchase like Kuiu people need honest feedback and want experienced recomendations. I would focus on putting Kuiu in the hands of the elite every chance I got. There is no reason that every guide and outfitter in the west shouldn’t be wearing kuiu, the quality is there at only 70% of the price of the competition. With over 200 outfitters in montana alone thats alot of recomendations when you break down each outfitter may have 2-6 guides, and 8-10 hunters per week. I believe each of western states, idaho, montana, oregon, etc. has a group and website such as http://www.montanaoutfitters.org. As far as the general public is concerned I think the key is to put the product in the hands of the people. They want to know how it fits, what temp ranges to use each piece, what combinations of the system to use in varying climates and why. This is all info that some of us have access to through the people that use this gear to make their living. The 1 week warrior who is every bit as passionate as the elite guide may not have the resources to really educate themselves on the benefits of wool or the benefits of the Kuiu line. I myself utilize Kuiu on a weekly basis and still learn more about it every time out.

    P.S the 1 week warrior usually buys his gear either from a “gear list” like http://www.freelanceoutdooradventures.com offers, or they buy whatever the local sporting goods store has on the shelf which is probably only there because it had the largest profit margin in the catalog…

    • Jason Hairston

      Great stuff Mike. I totally agree.

      Jason

  63. john

    Jason,

    I’m a big Kuiu fan and your gear is awesome but I still visit the Sitka site often to watch the films they come up with and I follow the blog. I think more film stuff like vimeo links on the forum of folks using your gear on actual hunts in bad weather really focuses on the mountain hunter market you’re targeting. I’m spreading the word about your gear but often find myself showing friends the sitka site as well because its just a little slicker. Its not just photos. With regard to print media, what about Gray’s?
    Just some thoughts.

    • Jason Hairston

      Well noted on the film. Thanks for the input.

      Jason

  64. Cody Canale

    Eastmans

    • Richard Diaz

      I agree with blog’s and forums being the best value. I am in AZ and have never seen the publications you have listed. Your gear and the Vias pattern work extremely well in AZ especially for sheep and coues deer type of terrain. There are very few companies that push products in the SW and the money going into hunting in the area is growing like crazy, especially with all the hunting Mexico is now offering. The long range/tactical sites are also a great place to advertise, these folks have money (+$5K rifle setups) and tend to look for lightweight gear. Here are some of the places off the top of my head that would be cheap and have folks that spend money on high end gear:

      AZ Sheep Society
      RMEF
      Coueswhitetail.com
      longrangehunting.com
      24hourcampfire.com
      snipershide.com

      Get the guides in each region to start using your stuff and it will catch fire one small group at a time. Also, the idea about hosting as many videos as you can shoeing your gear on real hunts is a must. I don’t even care if someone kills a monster on some ranch 99.9% of the population will never have access to. I watch things that either teach me something or show realistic public land hunts. It is much more interesting to watch someone setup their gear and work their butt off then it is to watch them sit in a heated stand and shoot something at the feeder.

      A special Kuiu pattern stock with McMillan, they are the most well known of the high end stock mfg’s. A carbon fiber stock with your pattern would be awesome and would be a great piece of marketing on its own.

      I would also start thinking about marketing the solid colors to other sporting activities. I wore the guide jacket in grey to play golf and it was awesome since it does not restrict movement. Again a market where people spend a lot on their equipment.

      The comments on staying with the technical sell are right on most of the people on your site know more than the average guy about gear and what their needs really are. We usually look at those charts and do at least a little research. I put much more merit in the the feedback from the forums than I do from any other public medium.

      Also, I think it is time to put a little more structure into the forum it is large enough that things on there seem very random now. An experts page and articles from the customers would be great. The Kestrel info and Q&A was very informative.

      Keep up the good work!

    • Jason Hairston

      noted

    • Jason Hairston

      Noted and thank you.

  65. Hugh

    Jason

    Dont forget about the Sportsmans Show in Anchorage every spring. Huge place to settle into and booth and offer your product. After talking to the guys at Mystery Ranch three years ago….they came up, it was a big hit for their company. They didnt bring enough gear..but went back with a huge list of customers.

    Might help coming north..hence your product line is about going to extremes and going light. Great place to get it out…I do believe if the clients of guides see them wearing it..or as most Alasakans do..just wear it everywhere and all the time….the KUIU fever will spread..lol

    Have fun and good luck…looking forward to doing my part of advertising it for you in AK..

    IMHO, I think word of mouth, the forums, blogs and internet is your biggest marketing tool. Interation with your webpage and allowing customers to speak honestly about your product is going to help you in a huge way. I would also consider getting hooked up with some of the outdoor shows on TV and somehow getting one of those reps to wear and market your gear. I know this might pose a huge challenge….as you know..would be great for the company. As someone did with your old Sitka gear with Tred Barta and staff…seems to be working..

    Just my 2cents…

    • Jason Hairston

      I will sign up for this show! thank you for the input and we will see you this spring in AK!

      J

  66. Daniel Liss

    Hi Jason I have something I am starting in January and its a blog of training both physical and with my bow, planning DIY hunts, Gear Reiviews, and more my email is daniel.liss@yahoo.com thanks!

  67. Shane

    Get involved in the major forums that are around the internet. Get an advertisement block and link on their website. Create a post every now and again about new product or events. I can think of a certain optics dealer that has exploded its exposure by getting involved in the major web forums. If people are talking about you online then they are also talking about you with their buddies offline.

    Print and media advertising gets you exposure, which is the whole idea behind marketing. I tend to feel print has more substance than some joker on TV telling me I should buy something.

    Gear reviews in magazines, on TV, or elsewhere are not credible! Don’t waste the money.

    Allowing people to touch the product increases their willingness to buy. Trade show are an obvious place to get exposure. Slightly different idea; all the hunting organization’s local chapters across the country have a yearly banquet and auction. This includes RMEF, Ducks Unlimited, NRA, SCI, Wild Sheep Foundation, Pheasants Forever, etc, etc. Some of these local banquets can have 300-400 attendees. Find out which of these chapter events have a good turn out and donate a jacket or set of rain gear for them to put in one of their various auctions. Donating to five or six large chapter events could put your product in front of 1,500 or more hunters, ten events could reach 3,000 or more hunters. You get the benefit of people walking by and touching your gear and it casts KUIU in a positive light for donating to a worthy cause. The best part is your donation is tax deductible!!

    • Jason Hairston

      Great stuff Shane, well noted! I appreciate you taking the time to give such a detailed comment.

      Jason

  68. Hunasgirl

    My husband heard about you thru Hunting Fool, And we have encouraged a few friends to go for KUIU gear as well. I love the pants and I killed my first deer/buck wearing them! Yeah!!! We usually try things from word of mouth, or just random encounters with a good deal!

    I believe crediable editorials work great, as well as just getting pictures of animals taken while wearing your gear.

    I would head to RMEF in Vegas, although we live just out of Reno, we might make the trip down.

    Next I would look at getting the clothes into Scheele’s os Sportmans warehouse. Both smaller than Cabela’s but we shop there because the are more accessible.

    I would say that most print adds are a waste of money. If you do one, make sure it is put together well, has a great picture in it, and maybe even a 2nd picture of a women wearing the gear to show that it fits us great as well.

    Get someone on TV to wear your clothes… I have already seem one add where the guy is wearing KUIU. TV and hunting shows are more valuable then print adds. And most people foward thru commercials these days.

    Good luck, you are getting positive comments from us!

    Thanks Shelly

    • chris

      How do you continue spreading the word of Kuiu products?
      My suggestion is a five word campgain……” I do………Do You………..Kuiu”. In your current trade publication adds and your website
      you could post pix of hardcore hunters or guides either with game or in some remote region wearing Kuiu, with a quick description of location, and maybe which piece of Kuiu gear the invidual is wearing then the words”I do….Do you……Kuiu” You could run multiple adds in the same publication, first add with the picture and statement “I do”?, then a few pages further in the publication, another add saying “Do you..Kuiu”? Then directions to your website.
      On your home page of your website you could have a revovling slide show of pix. Again stating who and where the hunter is, then “I do”. Run maybe 5-7 slides then have a picuture slide stating “Do you…..Kuiu”, then directing them to your online store. To obtain enough photo’s you could have a constest. Hunters/guides could submit photo’s into the website, then your staff could select photo’s to run for apx 2-3 weeks. Whoever’s photo is selected, there prize could be $25, $50 or even $100 gift cert. to purchase Kuiu gear. I think this would be quite succesful on the website b/c this is where your sales occur. I personally love going onto your website, just to look at the pictures( I have bought gear also, and I love it). There are some really good photographers out there posting on your website. The more quality pix, I feel the more traffic, the more traffic to your site, the better potential for sales. Especially when most photo’s of hunts are taken by everyday people who have a great passion for the outdoors, who are also “amatuer” photographers.

      chris <

      • Jason Hairston

        Thanks Chris! I do…KUIU. I like that. Thank you. I agree with the photo contest and we will look into setting this up in the future. Thanks for the help and feedback.

        Jason

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Shelly and congratulations on your 1st buck. I am VERY happy KUIU had a small part in it. Please email us your photos so we can show you off in the album.

      Jason

  69. Josh Kuntz

    YouTube is now the 2nd largest search engine behind only Google. Build a library of really high quality videos clearly showing product features and utilizing real customer reviews. The next best thing to actually touching and wearing the gear is to see it on video. Keep making great products and keep listening to your customers and you will continue to be a great company.

    Cheers,
    Josh

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Josh! Great point and well noted.

      Jason

  70. JD

    Jason,

    Facebook is a very powerful marketing tool that used correctly could do wonders for getting the KUIU brand out there posting blog updates and sales ect is very basic. Build a community where consumers can be involved in the brand in another medium other than the blog. The plus, its all free and the the amount of people (from all over the world) you can reach is endless …. I would love to go in more depth if your interested just shoot me an email. Can not wait to see whats next for KUIU.

    • Jason Hairston

      Great point! Thanks JD

      Jason

  71. Frank Fieweger

    Jason,

    You said anything. I live in Colorado, hunt, fish, snowmobile, all over the state of Colorado as well as Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas. I own a big F-250 and I know a local guy that does incredible vinyl wraps. Wrap my truck with KUIU logo’s and camo pattern and I will be a rolling billboard seen by millions!!! 🙂 Love your gear!!! Seriously, give it some thought 😉

    • Jason Hairston

      I love this creativity and commitment! What does a vehicle wrap cost?

      Jason

      • Frank Fieweger

        Jason,

        Just got back from a successfull 4th season elk hunt 🙂 I’ll check on the wrap. I’m extremely committed to companies that make great products and have equally great customer support. If we wrap my truck, lets not forget to fill it with KUIU product info that I can hand out to everyone I see!!! I could become your biggest advertisement. I’ll get back to you!

        Frank

        • Jason Hairston

          Seriously let me know. We could have fun with this.

          JH

          • Frank Fieweger

            Jason,

            I sent a rather lenghty and detailed e-mail to the “contact KUIU” e-mail (if that makes any sense) Lets chat 🙂

          • Jason Hairston

            Got it! Thank you.

            JH

  72. Ron Green

    Jason, thanks for the opportunity to give some input into this. Let me start with a few words and then I’ll go on to answer your questions below.

    First of all, congratulations on KUIU’s success so far. I really like the products I have so far and am patiently waiting to order more (solid color attack pants). I like your model of direct sales to help keep prices low, although I am a person who likes to touch, feel, and try on clothing items before purchasing. Your using the blog to disseminate information before the launch of KUIU was great and put my mind more at ease in regards to purchasing items without touching them and being able to try them on. Your exchange policy also helped put my mind at ease. You’ve been able to build a good tribe and it appears to continually grow.

    My initial impressions are that while KUIU clothing is pretty awesome, it comes with a price tag that is higher than what most people are willing to spend. In saying that though, a few of my buddies who’ve never dreamed of spending $150 for a pair of pants have since ponied up and either spent the money or are planning on spending the money after experiencing the difference in quality clothing, either through my or others testimony and being able to handle the clothing.

    I see the same people buying good clothing as the people buying premium optics. In that regard, I’d look at advertising where ever Swarovski, Leica, or Zeiss advertises. In my mind you would be marketing to the same people. (Obviously realizing that the big three optics manufacturers are established with big tribes and can spread themselves out a bit more.)

    Here are my answers to your questions…

    Where else should we be advertising in 2012?
    Eastmans’ Hunting and Bowhunting Journals in regards to magazines. Also Western Hunter magazine.

    Are there any other consumer trade shows you recommend?
    I’d say the bigger ‘specialty’ shows, like the sheep shows, RMEF, and SCI shows. I’d personally stay away from the local ISE shows. From my experience at the ISE shows, only a small percentage of the attenders at those shows would be seriously interested in KUIU.

    Is Print media a waist of money or does it help you learn about new products and brands?
    I’d say print media helps keep the brand visible and in front of people who read the magazines but may not spend a lot of time on hunting forums or blogs.

    Do ads in magazines give brands credibility?
    I believe word of mouth gives brands credibility, but ads in magazines help put the name out there. If I were to mention KUIU to someone who’s never heard of it it would mean nothing, but if the person has seen a KUIU ad in a magazine and can relate it to what they need or want, then what I say is taken more seriously.

    Do you believe editorials about new products? Are editorials credible or just another paid spokesman/prostaffer?
    I like researching gear, so I like to get my hands on everything I can find about the gear, but I have to take what is being discussed in editorials with a grain of salt. It can help with brand recognition.

    How and where do you find out about new gear? magazine ads? forums? television programs or ads? word of mouth/recommendations from others? blogs?
    For me it would mainly be forums and blogs. I think word of mouth recommendations have the highest credibility, but like with product reviews you have to weed through the people who know what they are talking about and those that don’t, as well as personal likes/dislikes, and real qualities/issues with gear. I know traffic to the blog posts I’ve done on KUIU gear are some of the highest on my blog, especially just before and after the launch of KUIU. People were looking for as much information as possible, and most likely from an unrelated source.

    How do we continue to spread the word about KUIU?
    I think word of mouth will continue to be your biggest ally. Continue with your track record of good customer service and the word will spread. Drawings for gear on fb after getting to a certain number of likes will also help spread the word on KUIU. I think the idea posted above of donating gear to local conservation organizations banquets where people can touch, feel, and look at the gear in person vs in pictures helps show the quality of the garment that pictures can’t completely convey. And lastly, including KUIU stickers with every order will help put the word out there. Let people advertise for you on their trucks, water bottles, computers, etc.

    Good luck in 2012!

    Ron Green
    teamkendrickoutdoors.com

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Ron,

      Thank you for taking so much time to put your ideas and thoughts into detail. I really appreciate and value your opinion. This is great stuff for me and my team to review and digest and consider. Thank you for your support of KUIU and what we do. Please let me know if there is ever anything I can do for you.

      Jason

  73. Russ

    I think you guys should advertise in Eastman’s hunting journal. That’s the crowd you would like to target since they focus on mountain hunting.

    Alaska outdoor show in Anchorage would be a good place to advertise- you are building quite a following in AK, and I think your presence at the show would really show your stuff to people who want to try it, but are skeptical because they haven’t been able to try it on and such.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Russ,

      Well noted on the AK show. I am going to make sure we are there this spring!

      Jason

  74. Trevor

    Jason,

    I know that it is only the second year of business, but do you feel as though you have started to solidify your position as top flight mountain hunting outfitter of clothing and equipment? If it was me, I would make sure that you have put in place that element before I ventured into the ultralight camping, outdoor sports, etc realm. You can always “sell down” to folks, but you can never “upsell” to the outer fringe. If you can make KUIU, cool and cutting edge, not only in product, but also brand recognition you can sell downstream to all sorts of folks who would never have used your equipment before. You have a great, short brand name, cutting edge logo, and top of the heap equipment. Do you feel like you are ready or interested in selling to more of the average joes? If so, I have several ideas that I think could be great ways to get the word out without much overhead and massive viral capabilities. But you are the expert and only you know when it is time to do so. Either way, keep it up.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Trevor, I am just getting started in this as you mention and have a LOT of work ahead of me to reach my goals for KUIU in Mountain Hunting. I am committed to staying true to our core user and build gear and refine gear for them. If we do this well the rest will fall in place down the road because great mountain hunting gear has no equal.

      Jason

  75. DJ Ridge

    Jason,

    I just recently found out about KUIU in Peterson’s Hunting magazine. I’m an Eastern US (Pennsylvania & Maryland) hunter and am just as interested in your line of clothing as those out West. I love Sitka & was thrilled when I found out about your new line KUIU.

    IMO magazine advertising is good to get the word out initially then it comes down to word of mouth & trade shows.

    I saw someone earlier mention the Eastern Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA. I go to that one every year along with thousands of other Eastern hunters. What about setting up a booth there & having us Eastern hunters who actually use the clothing be in the booth for you? I’d be willing to work something out with you if you’re interested in marketing in that manner out East. That way you get the advertisement without having to be there. A network of real Eastern hunters who actually use the stuff in the conditions that those hunters would be using it.

    I’ve got personal connections with a Sika deer outfitter in MD, the owner of KeystoneCountryStore.com (hunting gear supplier in PA) as well as an African Safari business who specializes in bowhunting. Some possible connections there to market your clothing as well. Just some thoughts. Create a network of good people who share your same passions & then use it.

    I’m interested in helping you spread the brand in the East – let me know.

  76. Tyler White

    Jason, Your products are great, I love the layered wool on my late Idaho Archery Hunt. Eastmans Hunting Journal is a good magazine to advertise in. Also believe it or not I know alot of die hard hunters buy hunting clothing in large part to how the camo looks. Do you plan on incorporating any othe camo patterns into your line? Would like some other patterns if possible.

    Tyler

  77. Evan Williams

    Mr. Hairston,

    There are a TON of great posts and conversations above. I will be honest I didn’t make it through ALL 192 (sorry). I have worked in the Industry now for almost 5 years. Mainly in a Pro-Shop here in Colorado Springs but also had a brief stint (seasonal) with an archery publication.

    I wanted to throw in a few things and if they were already covered GREAT more lean towards something in that direction.

    ■Where else should we be advertising in 2012?

    I like the list, however, HONESTLY I am only familiar with TWO and one I am not a subscriber/follower of simply aware of the existence. I, like some of the above gentlemen, am a little surprised not to see anything in Eastmans’, however, having worked at a less popular publication I can image the price of advertising with them!!!! KUIU is such a niche market of hunters’ its hard to pick this magazine or that website b/c you aren’t building gear for EVERYONE!!! And that sets KUIU apart and makes you UNIQUE. KEEP THAT GOING!!

    ■Are there any other consumer trade shows you recommend?

    I personally would like to see you at ATA. Since I don’t OWN a shop and just work at one…I haven’t gotten to go. I do know the industry is so WRAPPED up in Whitetail hunting EVERYTHING is geared towards that BUT some others you might think about:

    SHOT SHOW, BowCast at the Bird (UTAH), maybe a western states bowhunter association banquet, P&Y or B&C convention, etc

    ■Is Print media a waist of money or does it help you learn about new products and brands?

    I believe, like stated above, that print media is a great way to LEARN about a new product on the market. But I HATE seeing the same ad appear in every issue of a magazine AND the same one in MULTIPLE publications.
    I understand that redundancy pounds our subconscience and before we know it we are checking things out but after a time…I am flipping pages so fast because I don’t want to see an ad. I want tips/tactics/reader stories!!!

    ■Do ads in magazines give brands credibility?

    Not at all!!!! Simply gives the readers/targeted audience an AWARENESS of your product. Too many publications are out to simply sell ad space and quality of product and company doesn’t matter to them. Its about trying to balance the books and sell a magazine.

    ■Do you believe editorials about new products? Are editorials credible or just another paid spokesman/prostaffer?

    Has ANYONE EVER read a negative editorial…mmmmmm!!! Now that being said…a Good journalist will find the STRENGTHS of a product and pound the living TAR out of them in an editorial!!! That isn’t what I want to see. I want to know its PROS and CONS….is it worth getting a new piece of gear or new equipment or does what I have work in more situations that I hunt in or put my gear through. I have a friend that was asked to write an editorial about a new product and told…”you will write a great positive piece because they just signed a HUGE advertising contract!!” Is that what things are coming to?!?!?! REALLY…

    The issue I have with a Pro-Staffer writing about a product is you have to take it with a grain of salt because they are either being paid to use it or are getting it for free. Don’t get me wrong I would LOVE to be in that position and do exactly the same thing because I use the gear I do for a reason and I constantly have people asking me what I use and WHY!!! The why is the the most important reason. It works for me and I have faith and confidence in it. IF I DON’T HAVE THAT ITS GONE!!! When I am at 11000+ feet and 8+ miles back for 10 days you know EVERYTHING is scrutinized!!! It means too much.

    ■How and where do you find out about new gear? magazine ads? forums? television programs or ads? word of mouth/recommendations from others? blogs?

    Most of the gear I get onto is from word of mouth. I know enough people in the loop who know people that I get some good heads ups and can follow things early and check things out. Internet would be the second way.

    ■How do we continue to spread the word about KUIU?

    One thing that would really get things OUT in western states…pick ONE or TWO of the best shops in a state (Utah, Colorado, Montana, Arizona, etc) and send them a pair of Attack pants, a 185 base top, and maybe another piece so that they AND their customers can see and get their hands on it. I hate buying gear…ESPECIALLY CLOTHING sight unseen. I held off until guys I knew in town had it and they brought it in to me. I saw, felt, and tried on EVERY PIECE (except for 185 merino beanie and gloves) before I purchased!!! I also had you on the phone once talking about the waist belt sizing on the Icon Frame and I don’t know HOW MANY times I spoke with Brendan!!! By the way…If he mentioned me being a pain in his @$$ 🙂 Tell him to call Marc Smith and blame him!!!! :):) Marc is a great friend and knew i was having gear issues. KUIU is making a great product, your customer service is PHENOMENAL! Its one call when I needed to make it I enjoyed making.

    I love the information that you are giving us the consumers about what you are doing. I like having DETAILS!!!!

    Evan Williams
    Bill Pellegrino’s Archery Hut
    Colorado Springs, CO

  78. Dillon Hofs

    Jason any thoughts of a anything north of the border?

    Dillon Hofs

  79. Will Jenkins

    Jason I know I’m a little late contributing to this post as I’m just finding your blog. A trade show you may be interested in is the Eastern Sports Show in Harrisburg PA its enormous and would definitely help increase your presence on the east coast. Also as a blogger I’m definitely influenced by fellow bloggers and honestly that’s how I found KUIU through Mark’s Blog SoleAdventure.com. While in other industries bloggers tend to be just as easily bought as a print ad, in the hunting world there seems to be a quite a few good, straight forward hunting bloggers that I think would help you advertise and help uphold your mission/values. Also advertising with most bloggers is pretty cheap usually a discounted rate for a review or some free product and you’ll have a partner helping promote your brand on their site as well as social media. Looking forward to the future of KUIU and following along on the blog!

  80. Tim Loran

    Try a brand specific hunting videos, people get to see the product, see it work, and if a quality video will never forget the product.

    If you need some Canadian adventure shots, count me in.

  81. Kyle peck

    Have you considered the international sportmans expo, they are conducted in 5 or 6 western states? Perhaps advertise in eastmans bowhunter and rifle mag as they appeal to western and DIY hunters. I think print media can be valuable in educating people about a product in addition to creating brand appeal. I personally feel that editorials are typically biased and don’t place a lot of credence in them. I usually find out about new gear from magazine ads and word of mouth mostly. Trade shows when I go. Keep spreading Kuiu through magazine ads, trade shows and Internet marketing techniques. I learned about Kuiu through an ad and article in the hunting fool mag. I then went to the web site and read about Kuiu ,how it was designed/ made which impressed me enough to order the 185 merino shirt in a sales promo. After seeing the quality of the product first hand I was impressed enough to order the rest of your products.

  82. Tim Loran

    One big thing is having stock in supply. I think you are missing tons of sales from people trying and trying to order and them getting fed up that there is no supply, I know it is about a quality material and build and a real aspect of growing pains but I believe this maybe a real issue. Your product is so well known for quality and that it markets itself from person to person and amounst the hunting public.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Tim,

      Thank you for the comment. I figured this was going to happen this first season if this business went well. I could not afford to buy more than I did. The lead time for our fabrics from Toray are very long because of this we are just now getting inventory back in stock. Going forward we will be in stock much better than this season. I appreciate your support.

      J