Operating independently out of Victoria, BC for over 23 years, Resume Hut is a small company with big ideas, and a unique service offering: “We help people choose careers and direction. We help them to succeed and make the most of their talents. From preparing the resume that gets you the interview, to the coaching that wins you the job, we can advise and guide you every step of the way.”
In early 2009, Resume Hut took its first step towards becoming a household name in the North American market, with plans to establish locations right across the continent. Resume Hut contacted Hot Tomali to help launch its flagship franchise store in Vancouver. Drawn to the unique service offering, which was essentially branding people, Hot Tomali saw Resume Hut as both a challenge and an opportunity.
The real challenge, however, came when faced with a tiny media budget. Launching a new brand, with a new service, in a new city with a tiny media budget called for some very creative thinking.
With a constricting media budget looming overhead, and a creative budget not much larger, we had no other option but to disregard a traditional media buy. We needed to attract lots of attention and create a buzz around the brand, so that word of mouth could carry the campaign where the media budget couldn’t. Before even considering conceptual ideas, we needed to focus the spectrum of thought. It was during this process we discovered that rather than attempting to create a new category, perhaps the most efficient solution would be to revisit existing “hard-working” forms of communication and attempt to alter the typical usage of said forms. It was shortly after this point that Job Candidate 2.0 was born.
Not only could we achieve domination via sheer physical scale—essentially creating walking double-sided transit posters—but also we landed on a concept that managed to simplify a somewhat complicated service offering. To supplement to the G.I. Joe-esque walking street team characters, we had support people equipped with starburst “Just like you, Only better” handouts that offered a free consultation and listed specific service offerings. Response to the street teams was overwhelming, and in busy times people were often seen queuing for a handout in front of a Job Candidate 2.0 team member—even having photos taken with the cardboard-backed pseudo-celebrities. Vancouver down; next stop is LA.
On the first day alone, the street team was mentioned on Vancouver’s top-rated radio station during peak hour, the #1 local daily newspaper requested exclusive coverage of the street team, calls to the store increased by 800%, and Internet traffic increased by a staggering 2,400%.
A six-person street team (three members with boards and three support members) could generate up to an astounding 40,000 (memorable) impressions in just six hours in Vancouver’s downtown core, more than eight times that of a downtown billboard.
Six weeks after opening its doors, Resume Hut was turning a profit, which marked an unbelievable achievement in the small business world.