Brooks Lambert and Crew Stumble Upon Success in the Popular Beerbelly

Brooks Lambert didn’t come up with a great idea for a website by putting together a focus group or scouring through Google keyword searches. He didn’t pour through marketing documents for nights on end or pay to go to retail conference after conference. When Brooks came up with the concept for www.thebeerbelly.com, he and his buddy Ted were hanging in his backyard reminiscing about sneaking beer into ballgames and movies. “Both of us have been in the product development industry for years and one thing lead to another…just like one beer leads to another, and before we knew it, we had cut up one of my $300+ wetsuits used for surfing and stuffed a CamelBAK bladder in the front and were cracking up at how funny it was, and called it ‘The Beerbelly’, of course.”

Developing a great product is one thing. Putting it on the web and marketing it is something else entirely. “Being a wanna be geek and knowing enough to be dangerous… I thought, how hard can it be? We designed a website, thinking it would be ‘easy’ to add the e-commerce/shopping cart capabilities… that was our first big lesson. It’s NOT easy… especially if you choose the wrong tools. After stumbling around a bit, we finally found Volusion… and things fell into place.”

Although Brooks and the Beerbelly gang do what they can to make the website as usable and search engine friendly as possible, they have gotten exposure in very serendipitous ways, including some press in Sports Illustrated. “This has been the most amazing ride for us as far as the press goes. We have done very little proactive press activity. We have sent a few press releases out… but mainly from the web, we have been “discovered” by a few key news sources which have led to others etc. The Sports Illustrated story was one of the few that we actually had a ‘hand in.’ My wife, Lisa is aHUGE Rick Reilly fan… I read that he was going to be speaking at our local bookshop about one of his new books and told her she should go… She said she didn’t feel like it, but I told her she should go and give Rick a Beerbelly… I guess that made it OK to leave me at home… She waited to get an autographed copy of his book and told him that she had a gift for him. He said that was a first… She gave him The Beerbelly and he said he had been wanting to get one. She told him she was the wife of the inventor and he told her to get my ‘a**’ on the phone and get me down there because he had to meet the guy that came up with such a crazy, great idea. Of course I jumped in the car, had a great time hanging out with the legendary Rick Reilly.We all know what happened after that…”

What are Brooks’s plans for his Beerbelly and his new product, the Wine Rack, for the future? “Great question… I ask myself that question almost daily. To be honest we are actually considering selling the product lines at this point. We have had multiple expressions of interest in the last couple of weeks that we are currently consulting with our attorneys as to the best way to explore this option… If there are any interested parties… please feel free to contact me directly.”

Happy Selling!
Volusion

 

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