The VPM Blog

#SwiftPitch | Havana Dreamin'

Posted by Piper.vpm on Jun 20, 2013 5:18:21 AM

It’s not Auburn, it’s Havana. A place where you can come to unwind after a long day of work with a high end cigar in a unique atmosphere.

And boy is it relaxing. Havana Dreamin’ welcomed the Verge Pipe Media team with a Hemingway themed lounge and comfy leather chairs which everyone immediately melted into. Fighting the urge to enjoy a cigar and play a game of poker, #SwiftPitch at Havana Dreaming began.

Rick Payne, the owner and knowledgable cigar lover, sat down with us to talk about Havana Dreamin’ and describe his biggest marketing challenges.

Lack of awareness. Because people aren’t used to a cigar lounge in Auburn, it’s hard to initially get people in the door. After their first visit, though, people can’t resist the inviting atmosphere and the wide selection of cigars, quickly turning them into returning customers. They tell friends, who come and then tell their friends, who tell... well, you get the picture. From different themed rooms to dominoes and cookouts, there’s a lot to love about Havana Dreamin’.

Take the regulars, for instance. Once they discovered the Havana experience, they couldn’t stay away. Rick even had to tell one of them to stop showing up at 7am everyday because the lounge doesn’t open until 11am. That’s dedication.

After meeting with Rick, the Verge Pipe Media team discussed the challenges and brainstormed possible ideas. Luckily for us, Havana Dreamin’ is a great place with a lot to offer, so we had a lot to work with.

After much discussion (and luckily without Don or Audra hurting each other) we decided to emphasize the experience Havana offers. It’s not Auburn, it’s Havana.

We immediately dove into research, trying to gather everything from cigar education classes to the lounge’s social media presence and even ideas from the wine industry.

In addition to our research, Audra and I were lucky enough to chat with a few regulars who were lounging in the green room slowly puffing on cigars. They were enthusiastic about Havana Dreamin’, describing the atmosphere as “calm, quiet, relaxing” and a great place to “play dominoes and just enjoy life.”

The “experience of hanging out” is what makes the lounge so appealing according to the regulars. They come on low key days to check emails and relax, or on exciting nights to play poker or cookout, all while “smoking something worthwhile.”

With this input from loyal customers combined with our research, it was crunch time. Not going to lie, the last thirty minutes of preparing for the pitch was a little hectic. We were all scrambling to create images, produce copy, and put it all on the same computer. Not as easy as it sounds.

But, after a lot of work and even a little sweating, we were ready for the pitch, and hopefully Rick was ready for what we had to say.

I won’t disclose exactly what we proposed, you’ll have to come out to Havana Dreamin’ and see for yourself. But I will say that Verge Pipe Media cranked out a pretty impressive pitch in just under five hours, not to brag or anything.

Thank you to Rick and Havana Dreamin’ for letting us set up camp for the day to work and have a great time.

Stay tuned: video coming soon.

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Author: Piper Donnelly is our Summer Editor, Word-Smith and Communications Connoisseur here at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.

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