Why brand awareness is key for this surfing staple

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Sleepy conversations on the dawn run to the beach sparked the idea for Staple Season, an online one-stop shop for all your surf-related needs.

Founded by buddies Will Bruce and Andrew Mackie, Staple Season operates on an ethos of “respect the environment, embrace life and work hard”. The duo’s passion for surfing has resulted in a business that eschews the gimmicks to deliver a no-frills offering that caters to a surfer’s desires.

“Surfing should be simple,” explains Mackie, whose own childhood memories revolve around the typical surf, skate, music mantra of most Aussies who grew up within coo-ee of the beach.

“Ocean, board, hardware, get out there,” says Mackie simply. “For too long we have been told we need this and that to surf better faster stronger. Staple Season was born out of a necessity to keep things simple, to stay in the water longer and to work with brands who only release a quality product. If you need it, we stock it. If you don’t, we don’t.”

Respect the environment, embrace life and work hard

Since launching Staple Season Mackie tells Kochie’s Business Builders (KBB) the world of retail and consumer products has also changed considerably.

“The market is so aggressive and there are so many good quality competitively priced offerings. If your product isn’t necessary and competitively priced, you’re not going to sell,” he says.

With this in mind, Mackie and Bruce have assembled a killer Staple Season Box that delivers all the surfing essentials from the spare leash and fin keys to wax and comb that any surfer would love to have on hand. Mackie says the box was inspired from his own time spent at the beach.

“We found that every time we went surfing we were missing something. Be it wax, sunscreen, snack or a spare leg rope. Often, you’re surfing remotely and at odd hours of the day where shops aren’t available. We saw an opportunity to provide this product slash service to surfers so they could spend their time focused on surfing, not products.”

All the products on offer at Staple Season are tried and tested, with only those which have been given Mackie and Bruce’s seal of approval making it onto the shelves.

“We range the best products from wax to wetsuits. We are constantly reviewing and testing products that we think surfers should try or know about. We have the latest surf movies streaming to keep you in the loop. We also offer ‘The Ultimate Gift’ for surfers. Curated gift boxes of surf goods that take the hassle out of choosing a Birthday, Christmas, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Anniversary, Easter, whatever the occasion. We are also continually expanding the content available on our site,” he says.

“Whether you want to read about surfing culture, check the forecast, chat about surfing or purchase products, we want you to think of Staple Season first.”

Staple Season’s brand collateral follows replicates its keep it simple philosophy

As a relatively young operation, Mackie says the challenge for Staple Season is still brand awareness.

As a relatively young operation, Mackie says the challenge for Staple Season is still brand awareness.

“It takes a lot of time, money and effort to get our message out to our multiple marketplaces. We are very aware of this and work hard at marketing ourselves to the correct audience. Another huge challenge is the competitive nature of the market. Every day a new business/brand/concept is opening. We have to work hard to stay front of mind and remain relevant.”

To this end, Staple Season have turned to Snap to produce all their collateral to deliver sleek simple packaging that reflects their principles.

“Snap has been amazing in producing stickers, portable signs, pamphlets, perforated edge pullouts for magazines, content ideas and most importantly communication. They have always communicated clearly with costs, lead times and instructions on our fairly vague ideas. Leave the printing to Snap and the surfing to stapleseason.com” he laughs.

Surfing is everything to Will and I

As for the surfing, despite having a young family, Mackie says he and Bruce still never miss a day in the water.

“Surfing is everything to Will and I. We base our lives around weather patterns, maps and swell forecasts. We will miss social commitments, time in the office and house chores (not complaining) when a swell and wind direction line up in our favour. All travel is booked around the ocean and my 2-year-old daughter is just starting to really enjoy these trips as well,” he smiles.

Fortunately for Mackie, he has fashioned his day job around what he loves and he suggests anyone else who is thinking about starting a business follow their passion but don’t forget to ask for advice if you need it.

“Some advice for anyone thinking about starting their own online business would be to be prepared to do it yourself but also ask for help when needed. There is great satisfaction in working hard on a project and seeing the rewards from sales or audience growth. But if your skill set is not based on graphic design for example, just ask for help. Your time is better spent on the things you know rather than trying to learn a brand new skill set from scratch.

“Another word of advice is getting your head around the “street fighter” stage of business. A well-known entrepreneur coined this phrase and in layman terms, it refers to the fact that in the early days of a new business you’ll constantly get knocked down and you’ve got to be prepared to get up again and again. It’s hard work, but so worth it.”

If you’re looking for a great graphic designer to help develop a new branding identity, eye-catching signage, packaging, or even stickers, contact your local Snap Centre to make it happen.



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“Our Snap franchise has been here for 31 years”

Cec is a media professional with over fifteen years experience as an editor on titles as diverse as SX, Better Pictures, Total Rock, fasterlouder, mynikonlife and Fantastic Living. She has spent the past four years working as a news journalist covering all the issues that matter in the political, health and LGBTIQ arena. She is the Senior Writer at Pinstripe Media and a recent convert to the world of small business.

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