Buy Local Project Reels in Customers

Published On: April 3, 2017Categories: BC Buy Local, Success StoriesTags: ,

Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery has a story to tell behind every fillet. And thanks to their Buy Local funded campaign, “Get to know your fisherman,” the BC company has hooked an avid audience.

Skipper Otto connects wild, local, sustainable, fair-trade BC seafood directly to consumers through an annual subscription service, offering customers complete transparency about which BC fisherman caught their seafood and where. But as the adage goes, the medium is the message, and Skipper Otto decided the medium needed a little work. With the help of the BC Government’s Buy Local Program, Skipper Otto launched an ambitious marketing campaign for their 2016 season, creating a strong, recognizable brand that clearly distinguishes their products from out-of-province competition in the crowded seafood market.

According to Director of Operations Chris Kantowicz, his team’s enhanced ability to tell their stories lies at the heart of their project’s success. “With the right tools and training, we’ve become experts at telling the stories around our BC seafood products and the fishermen who catch them,” says Kantowicz, adding that even product labels are now devoted to identifying fishermen and BC locations, with each fisherman’s face and story on all products sold.

And it’s clear from the numbers that they’ve caught the public’s attention—by the end of the 2016 sales season their new customer base in BC had risen by more than 60 percent from the previous season, while their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram followers continue to multiply.

Kantowicz believes that telling the story of one BC fisherman on every label and sharing these stories with an online community has captivated the public and allowed Skipper Otto to reach new groups of consumers eager for this type of information. “People want to support their local BC fishermen,” he emphasizes. “That’s evident from our continuously growing membership and the level of online engagement we enjoy—but they need to know how, and that’s where Buy Local benefits us all.”

Funding: $19,986 through the BC Government’s Buy Local Program. (BL169)

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