This isn’t going to be another deconstruction of the awful PR and social media job done by Boners BBQ in Atlanta recently. There are hundreds of those out there (though Unmarketing’s take is among the best).
This is going to be a “How to ensure your business never gets off the ground” kind of post.
The first step? Have a terrible looking website that advertises a secondary slogan so juvenile and childish that it is difficult to find it offensive.
There are plenty of examples of entities with edgier themes out there. Hooters, every single professional sports team that employees cheerleaders, you name it. Sex sells in our culture.
“A little South in your Mouth” with a girl riding a rocketship? Not big on subtlety, are we? And that’s fine, even if more than a little tacky.
It’s the BACK of the shirt that baffles me (the image on the right). Not I, nor anyone I know, would wear a shirt like that for any amount of time in public.
And that’s the whole reason why you MAKE shirts for your business in the first place, right? Cheap and easy word of mouth marketing?
The problem here is not someone unsavvy in PR or social media. The problem here is a business that has been started that never had the intention of succeeding. Boners BBQ was built to fail.
When your entire “atmosphere” is based on hating people, you’ll never win over enough customers to keep yourself profitable. There’s something to be said for being yourself, and you absolutely should.
However. If “yourself” is someone that publicly ridicules people for valid opinions you happen to disagree with, and using slogans about prostitution on your t-shirts, it may be time to re-evaluate “yourself.”
You succeed in business by getting people to spend money with you. If no one is coming to eat at your restaurant, or seeking out your services, you are going to fail.
You can indeed target a niche audience, and smart start-ups DO, but when that niche is one of hate, insults, stupidity and laziness, I have a hard time forecasting success.