Archive for The Costume Shop

A Quick Tour Of What It Is Zatori Does

RTE visited our Zatori Offices recently to find out about selling online and I gave them a quick tour of my Fancy Dress business –

Halloween Costumes – A Branding Opportunity

In the Halloween Costumes industry there has been a recent fascinating development that should make all marketeers stop dead in the tracks. It’s become a real game changer this year. Companies who have developed characters, cartoon or otherwise, to use in the TV and marketing campaigns are starting to awaken to the new social economy. By Licensing their costumes to be manufactured and sold to loyal customers who love their marketing / brand so much that they are willing to pay to dress up and represent their brand for the night, they have living social endorsement. This is the kind of marketing that we as the business community spend hundreds of thousands trying to achieve and mean while there is a queue of people, willing and ready with cash in hand to pay for the pleasure in promoting your brand.

Now the arguments are vast why many brands will turn down the opportunity of this new form of customer engagement, what if The Burger King was to be photographed eating in McDonalds or The Honey Monster was to make a wholly show of himself on the dance floor doing a funky chicken impersonation. To me this is yesteryear thinking and trying to control the conversation. People are smart enough to know it’s the guy in the suit who can’t dance and either way, the brands just given them a bit of a laugh and will be at the forefront of their mind for the next few days.

The Juxtaposition of customers adopting brands that represent them in their Halloween Costumes isn’t suitable to every brand, but if you have a brand with a character it could be massive untapped potential. Certainly for a new brand wanting to make a splash and that has a decent TV and Billboard budget, it’s worth considering should you create a character with this as part of your strategy. At the moment my industry is actually paying the brands to license their characters, however I expect come next year the tables may turn and they will infact be aggressively encouraging it.

The Costume – Best Irish Online Trader 2011 Nomination

IIA Net Visionary Awards

The Irish Internet Association have shortlisted one of my businesses, The Costume, and myself for the award of best online trader 2011. The annual competition is part of their net visionaries, which celebrates leaders in the online and digital market place. It’s a public vote to decide the winner so if you have a spare 5 seconds, a click and a vote on the below would be most appreciated.

Another halloween comes and goes around

Its been one hell of a crazy month. Halloween means Halloween Costumes and that means goes into full swing. This year I was really chuffed to have crossed into the Top 200 websites in Ireland on Alexa and place 194th at our peak in the Irish listings. And more surprisingly high in the UK listings – and we’re really not optimized to be featured there at all.

The Costume Shop Alexa Rank

The Costume Shop Alexa Rank on 30/10/10

During this month we created 64 new jobs in the Portlaoise Area, something that i’m really proud of in the current climate and I have to say the Irish work force has some incredible people being under utilized. We also had a lot of fun along the way – Did anyone see Deric reading the weather on TV3 dressed as a mad hatter?? Classic.

One of the great forums of marketing that I finally got around to learning was Facebook pages, I have to be honest and say i really hadn’t been keen on the idea of formalizing a role for someone to look after social media as part of their duties, but I was completely proved wrong. Michelle and Stephen did such an incredible job of The Costume Shop facebook page and by the months end, we had gone from 100 likes (fans) to 6250 likes in just a month with decent conversion rates. At least for Ireland that has to be some sort of social media record.

Quick word on facebook marketing, we didn’t spend any money on facebook ads to get fans. Buying ads to get likes on facebook is simply retarded, you wouldn’t buy friends for your personal profile so don’t do it for your business. When running FB ads, always land on your own domain and at an optimized page. Also there is a huge difference between an active facebook page and a stupid facebook campaign. While the I like tatyo crisps on bread campaign was considered by a few a success (currently with 17,700 likes) – I’m not sure how many (if any) conversions / packets of crisps sold, they made as a result of the campaign. And having acquired all those likes, which is really more of a statement about the person than an interest in the business, what else can they say other than “I still like…”. I digress. Facebook marketing only works when you engage and share things of interest with people who already are interested in your products. There’s no point in shoving your product down peoples throats. Find your tribe and stick with them as Seth Godin would say.

So I’d love to say the next few weeks should be a chance to calm down and catch up on the non existent sleep we’ve been getting, but the plan is to get two new businesses concepts investigated and hopefully get off the ground before 2010 is out. As they say create a tight timeline and a mammoth task to focus on to let peoples true potential out.

The Costume Shop – New offices

The Costume Shop has moved home. This coming Thursday is our official launch party for our giant new warehouse and office head quarters. It’s an exciting move as we quadruple the total of our combined warehouses for The Costume Shop under one roof.


I’d like to invite all of my blog readers to come to the launch party if any of you are in the area and would like to join us for what is a landmark occasion for The Costume Shop and the rest of the Zatori Brands. If you’d like to come along drop me an email, twitter DM or leave a comment below.

A huge personal thank you to all the team in charge of the move and the contractors that did such an excellent of building and designing work to get the business to where it is now. Love you guys!