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Newsletter #1057: The “Lessons from Thomas Foolery” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Thomas Foolery is a bar and restaurant that’s basically one big, fun drinking game. Aside from serving “food for little kids” and “drinks for big kids,” they also designed an interactive atmosphere that people love to talk about.

Here are some clever marketing lessons from a bar that sells cookies, Pop Rocks, and beer floats:

1. Put fun into everything
2. Make it more fun for groups
3. Make people feel important
4. Check it out: Font Flame

1. Put fun into everything

It’s hard to list all of the fun stuff going on at Thomas Foolery, but here are a few gems: If you order in an angry voice during “Angry Hour,” they’ll take a dollar off your order. They put stop watches in the restrooms. If you perform 30 seconds of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” they’ll give you a Ring Pop. You can also make your own cocktail with a kit that includes mini-bottles, specialty soda, and candy.

The lesson: Each one of these is a photo op, a word of mouth opportunity, and a reason to tell someone about Thomas Foolery — and none of them are that expensive or difficult to pull off.

Learn more: Washington City Paper

2. Make it more fun for groups

Thomas Foolery wants you to bring your friends. So they put board games on the shelves, they have a booth to play Mario Kart, and if your whole crew comes dressed as an entire 90’s boy band, you get a discount on drinks.

The lesson: The more fun you make it to bring friends, the more people your customers will invite to come with them.

Learn more: Thomas Foolery FUN!

3. Make people feel important

Each beer on Thomas Foolery’s bottled beer menu is listed next to the local who selected it for the bar (even down to the Coors and Miller Light) and that person’s “claim to fame.” They also have framed photos of each of the 49 investors who crowdsourced the bar’s opening in a corner labeled “The ‘Fools’ of Thomas Foolery.” In another corner, they labeled a booth “The Throne.” If you sit in this seat, you can wear a crown and call the bar from a walkie talkie to order drinks instead of getting in line.

The lesson: There are lots of little ways to make people feel special — the less conventional, the more remarkable.

4. Check it out: Font Flame

Need help coming up with a good font pairing? This site does a simple, Tinder-style “love” or “hate” presentation of a bunch of different font pairings. Then, it keeps the ones you like to compare later.

Check it out: Font Flame

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