Aesthetically pleasing, functionally sound.
A custom built guitar-mailer designed to kick some doors down.
There’s not many things that will give you the same feeling of satisfaction as creating something from nothing. Especially when what you’re creating is being designed to solve a challenge; like breaking out of traditional approaches to reach new audiences.
As part of our outbound strategy, we wanted to test some new approaches. Instead of opting for a traditional marketing mailer, the dreaded cold call, or outbound email, we decided to create something that was a little more our style.. a little more rock ‘n roll.
A friend of mine mentioned success with sending out a handful of guitars to break into a new industry. So we decided custom branded guitars would be hard to miss if they showed up at a prospective client’s front door. But rather than sending a product off the shelf, I decided to build a one-of-a-kind playable guitar that was shaped like our icon and named after our furry office mascot, Kaiya. It had to be unmistakable.
And so, the Kaiyacaster was born.
Not only would these guitars provide an extremely unique and eye catching pop to our marketing efforts, but it also offered our team the opportunity to document the journey, from pencil sketch to a playable guitar, as another layer of content to be sent out with each guitar.
The process started with a hand-sketch of the guitar which was then digitized. We went through 4 different iterations before we were satisfied with the build quality. In each revision, we made updates to the details that drastically improved the overall fit and finish. The 3D model was then programmed into our CNC, which cut the body out of MDF or a veneer core plywood.
Once sizing was locked in and all components passed test fit, the guitar bodies were milled in bulk. The MDF bodies were coated with candy-colored catalyzed paint in 5 different color combinations, and veneer core bodies with catalyzed clear coat. The electronics were installed, along with custom strap hooks, machined tuning pegs, Ernie Ball Super Slinkys, and a few more embellishments to make up a fully functional 22 fret limited edition Kaiyacaster guitar.
We view the Kaiyacaster as a functional piece of art. Whether you decide to play it, or just hang on the wall, our hope was it would at least leave our audience inspired and excited.
75% of the guitars sent out resulted in direct contact with the recipient. Some were returned due to gifting policies, and only a handful disappeared never to be heard from again. The result of this program was over 150 new contacts, generating over $3M in new opportunity within two quarters.
Opening doors and removing barriers through generosity and fun.
The reason this program (and others like it) work so well is that they are unexpected, and when done from a place of honesty and sincerity, completely remove the barriers that typically exist with the unknown.
We sent these mailers out with the hope that we would earn the right to a conversation. Nothing more. There were no expectations that we would even be given time with our prospects. The gift was theirs regardless. This worked out well as the surprise and delight brought joy and a positive open-minded attitude to having a conversation, while our low pressure approach ensured our prospects didn’t feel like they had to do anything.