Does guerilla marketing paying off?

In its first full year of business in 2010, Denver-based Perky Jerky generated just under $1 million in revenue and the company is close to breaking even. Levin attributes much of the early success to winning over customers as well as big retail outlets like Home Depot and Sports Authority, which are now selling the product in stores. Levin has high aspirations for the company’s marketing efforts, and projects the company could take in as much as $10 million in sales in 2011.

Brian Levin loves being called a jerk. Especially when he’s roaming the grounds at a NASCAR race while wearing the “jerk suit,” a get-up outfitted with up to 900 pull-off bags of jerky. Yes, jerky.

Two years ago, Levin founded Perky Jerky, a new meat snack infused with a caffeine kick. Levin says wearing the jerk suit is one part of a larger strategy to give the fledgling brand exposure, and to “get meat in as many mouths as possible.”

Building national recognition and distribution has been a tough slog over the past year-and-a-half, Levin says, but he’s hopeful that the brand might someday expand globally. “It’s all about perseverance,” he says. “You have to be the biggest believer that the product or service you have is the best thing out there. You get told ‘no’ a lot. You need to go after every possible opportunity.


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