Bos: Grant Rushmere

Bos: Grant Rushmere

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Without spending hundreds of thousands on a national advertising campaign, BOS ice tea has managed to capture the attention of South Africa, be invited to cater for prestigious events like the Discovery Invest leadership Summit and has signed a deal to supply Woolworths stores across the country.

“We didn’t have a huge marketing budget, and for a smaller company we knew that our biggest challenge would be our distribution network. We wouldn’t immediately be in all stores across the country, so we needed to find a different way to gain exposure and get people talking about us,” says Grant Rushmere, the founder of BOS.

As Grant puts it, the company’s name gave the team a reason to ‘go bos’ and have fun, and that’s exactly what it’s done. “We needed to get cans in hands, and people intrigued,” he says. Campaigns have included people in giraffe suits cycling around Cape Town and handing out cans of ice tea and swimmers with huge shark fins strapped to their backs emerging from Cape Town’s coastline to offer beach goers an ice tea.

“We aren’t just a pretty label or a great tasting product. We’ve cultivated a feel-good label that creates an experience, which is becoming the basis of our brand.” And the marketing strategy is working. Event organisers wanting to create experiences for their attendees are approaching BOS instead of the other way around — and the brand is only growing in stature.

Nadine Todd
Nadine Todd is the Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Magazine, the How-To guide for growing businesses. Find her on Google+.