Marketer Tom Monday has always been inspired by independent enterprises — businesses or individuals that are fueled by an unflappable passion for what they do and who they can reach, not just a desire to get rich.
For more than a decade, Monday labored in the music industry in a variety of roles to help bring exposure to smaller (but no less important) performers.
Then, in 2011, he moved onto a more corporatized position in the field, a decision he would later regret.
“It was soul-crushing,” Monday tells Mashable. “I had a moment when I said, ‘I have to go back and work with people who are making things that are interesting and that I care about.'”
“Telling their story”
In 2012, Monday decamped from his job and turned his complete attention to a new passion that he and his professional and social circles were buzzing about: Helping small-batch food and drink producers establish a foothold in American kitchens.
“There are a lot of similarities between independent music and independent food and drink, and a lot of my friends started talking about food and drink the way they used to talk about music,” he says. “They started wanting to not so much turn me onto a band, but turn me onto a small batch bourbon they just encountered, or a food truck or a pop-up shop.”
The problem for many independent brands, however, is marketing. While they can go from their kitchen to a farmers market, they often have trouble navigating grocery chains and implementing customer acquisition strategies. Monday, who spent more than a dozen years in marketing, could help.
The first step, he told them, was to tell their story, which would justify charging a premium for their product. Without a story about the maker, and where the product comes from, most small-batch producers struggle to attract the attention of customers who might be tempted to purchase a cheaper, mass-produced alternative.
“People won’t pay premium for something if they don’t know a lot about it and haven’t been able to experience it,” Monday says. “It’s hard for people to tell their own story, so one of the most exciting things we can do is have a good product from someone who has a good story but hasn’t been able to tell it yet.”
Since 2013, under the name Small Batch America, Monday has helped dozens of small brands, like Mast Brothers Chocolate, Grady’s Cold Brew and Sour Puss Pickles, tell their stories.
He’s done so using many of the connections he made in the music industry. Backstage at concerts and festivals across the country, Monday has brought small-batch products to musicians who pride themselves on supporting small producers. He’s even been able to find a home for some of the products he represents in the green room of the The Daily Show.
“One of my goals is to get venues and festivals to care more about what they’re serving their guests,” he says. “It seems silly to me that you’d be serving interesting and creative people uninteresting and uncreative food.”
Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/09/09/small-batch-america-video/