Grassroots Marketing Resources
September 22, 2009 5:47 AM   Subscribe

I'm about to open a bar, and I need some guidance on how to market it during the pre-opening stage. Anyone recommend any books/blogs/websites/resources?

Help me brainstorm + study the right resources.

So we just signed the lease, and we're in the building. I've got my construction guys working on the renovations and the designs. I've got my GM and AM working on the permits and the legal stuff. I'm in charge of the marketing.

The bar is targeted towards the 25+ crowd, with a specific emphasis on the hipster crowd. We're aiming not to get pigeon-holed though, so a broad marketing plan is essential.

Can anyone recommend any tried-and-true books (or other resources) about buzz building, grassroots marketing, and the like? I want to make sure that we are the talk of the town on opening night.
posted by JakeTimberlake to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I can recommend this book. I just found the accompanying website while searching the name of the book to get the amazon link. Lots of good ideas in the book. The website blew my mind though. It looks terrible and is really annoying. Still, I think the book is very helpful.
posted by battlecj at 7:35 AM on September 22, 2009

Have a preview night for media people, scenesters, etc in your city. Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates/specials. Are there any businesses close to you? Include them in your previews and updates. See if you can do trade with alternative newsweeklies: they get a tab and you get x amount of ad space.
posted by Atom12 at 8:32 AM on September 22, 2009

Seconding a Facebook page, Twitter account, and advertising barter with your city's alternative newpaper.

As a related aside, you--and/or your lawyer(s)--should make sure that the name you intend to use is free and clear of conflicts with existing local bars and restaurants. Unexpected name conflicts can create huge and unnecessary financial and public relations setbacks for new bars—and it’s something I’ve seen happen time and time again. At minimum, do a trademark search for existing registrants of “YOUR NAME” at, and scour Google to make sure that you are not unwittingly walking into a trademark infringement lawsuit. This is not legal advice, and IANYTL.
posted by applemeat at 8:52 AM on September 22, 2009

What city you are in will greatly affect how to market your bar. The "hipster crowd" in LA is very different from the "hipster crowd" in Williamsburg is very different from the "hipster crowd" in Portland is very different from the "hipster crowd" in Omaha is very different from the... &c.

This will (and should) make a huge difference in your approach.
posted by dersins at 9:03 AM on September 22, 2009

Mostly unrelated (this is more of a strategy to use when you're open), but PUB QUIZ. It works best when you affiliate with a known entity who knows what they're doing, like Team Trivia or some team that runs contests in your area. Brings in loads of people who might not otherwise come to the bar (or any bar), and if you set it up ahead of time I bet people would get excited about having a new location to look for.

I am not a hipster, but some of my best friends are hipsters. And DAMN, do we love trivia night.
posted by Madamina at 11:16 AM on September 22, 2009

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