As part of our second quarter social media campaign, three affiliates—Arkansas SourceLink, KCSourceLink and SourceLink Dallas—joined together this March and April to wage the Battle of the Brands, a friendly bracket-style competition between their region’s iconic brands, beloved small businesses and feisty upstarts.
Over the course of six weeks, 64 local companies rallied their fans and wrangled votes, all to claim sole bragging rights (and a social media exposure) as that region’s Aristo of Entrepreneurship.
The goal of the campaign: shine the spotlight on local companies and build awareness and visibility for entrepreneurship and its impact on local economies.
Here are the winners—and a small snippet of their stories. Click on the links under each affiliate to read more about that region’s battle and the company that earned the crown.
Arkansas SourceLink: Twisted Purl
The first ever “emperor of entrepreneurship” for Arkansas SourceLink is the Twisted Purl, a handmade yarn company based in Conway, Ark.. Cyndi Minister, owner of The Twisted Purl, saw an increase in business and gained Twitter followers and Facebook likes at an impressive rate during the competition.
“The Battle of the Brands was an amazing opportunity and experience,” says Minister. “When it first started, I was just thrilled to see the Twisted Purl chosen as one of the Top 64 Brands in the state. A huge honor for my small business. Each new victorious round was a shock!”
Minister and Twisted Purl were serious contenders, despite the big Arkansas brands they faced during the battles. They even went so far as to “yarn-bomb” a BB gun when they faced battle competitor Daisy Outdoor Products.
Read more about Twisted Purl tied knots around the competition in Arkansas SourceLink’s Battle of the Brands.
KCSourceLink: Morgan Miller Plumbing
Morgan Miller Plumbing looked like they were doomed from the beginning of KCSourceLink’s Battle of the Brands.
Even with an impressive fan population on their Facebook page (in the thousands), they were stacked against serious KC competition with national footprints and tens of thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook fans. They even faced off against the runner up of last year’s Battle of the Brands, Boulevard Brewing Company.
But Morgan Miller Plumbing didn't shy from the challenge. They took it as an opportunity to engage their competitors as collaborators—often bragging about their competitors’ products in the midst of the fray. Their strategy worked and Morgan Miller Plumbing proved that it doesn't matter how many fans you have, but how engaged they are. And their fans are fierce.
Learn how Morgan Miller Plumbing flushed the competition and rallied their fans to earn the crown.
SourceLink Dallas: Deep Ellum Brewing Company
Deep Ellum Brewing Co. (DEBC) mashed up its competition and like a beautiful head on a balanced brew, rose to the top to be SourceLinkDallas’ first ever Battle of the Brands winner.
“It’s all because of our fans, we have some pretty fanatical fans,” said John Reardon, found and chief evangelist and Tait Lifto, sales and brand ninja. Check out the tattoo of DEBC’s tap handle, inked on a fan’s arm.
Like their counterparts in Kansas City and Arkansas, DEBC faced some serious competition. But a quick word, tweet, and post to their fans secured them a spot as Dallas’s first Aristo of Entrepreneurship. But it’s not just about the social push, noted Jermaine Hunt of SourceLink Dallas: “Taking home the title of Dallas’ favorite brand and winning SourceLink Dallas’s Battle of the Brands is . . . developing a community around your business.”
Read more about how Deep Ellum Brewing Company brews passion and loyalty.