Recently the Texas Beekeepers Association invited Tara Chapman of Two Hives Honey and me to a discussion about marketing bees, honey, and more. Aside from thoroughly enjoying the time with Tara as we commuted to San Antonio from Austin, I welcomed the opportunity to focus on my business from a new vantage point.
Over the last 2 decades the beekeeping industry has grown. The number of sideliner and full-time bee-centric businesses have increased to the point where even a company in the business since 1888 needs to carefully consider how to differentiate itself. About 15 years ago I read a comment on Bee Source that said the difference between R Weaver and BeeWeaver is BeeWeaver has fancier ads. Our message was not getting across. Our breed – a chemical free, virus resistant, varroa tolerant population developed by Dan and Binford Weaver produced by us in Navasota, TX is what sets us apart from R Weaver (among other things). We pivoted and have worked hard to communicate with our audience who we are and what we offer as clearly as possible. Of course, with the explosion of social media as a marketing tool we have had relearn how to reach our audience (thank you ACC for that online Social Media Marketing course!). Without a doubt marketing can be a moving target, but the basics of design and messaging hold true.
Our own company has grown and changed as well. In the last year we partnered up to form 2 new companies. We opened Texas Honey Bee Farm in Austin, TX with Chuck Reburn and Tanya Phillips of Bee Friendly Austin. Texas Honey Bee Farm offers all we have at our Navasota headquarters (and more!) to the Central Texas beekeepers and honey lovers.
WildFlyer Mead Co also began operations in 2019, opening day was during BuzzFest. WildFlyer Mead Co’s tasting room and production space is based on our honey farm in Navasota. Our partners Jeff & Chelsea Murray make a variety of delicious meads from BeeWeaver Honey. Literally – we are straight form the Bees to Barrell to Bottle. With 3 sister companies all working together closely but unique in their own ways we had to carefully consider our branding. Without a doubt the expertise and leadership (and patience!) of Lewis Carnegie helped us land on word marks, icons, colors, that can all live and work together.
Nothing is more fun than coming up with your unique name, look and message for your new business. Once you are through the work of doing so it is time to celebrate your uniqueness with some good merch. Just in the last month or so Sticker Mule has been running some super specials – and we are super impressed. We just signed up for their email notifications and once every few days a sale will land in your inbox. Before you know it, your merch will be in your mailbox! Your customers sharing your icon and messaging is one of the best forms of advertising.
Have fun making your bee & honey dreams come to life!
~ Laura Weaver
BeeWeaver (the Weaver with the treatment free bee breed!)