Retailer Sundown One Fights the Big Guys with Pizza and Beer

When you compete against “big box” retailers such as Best Buy and Walmart, you need a clever way to win.

Especially if you’re a one-store, “little guy” electronics retailer.

Sundown One, located in Central Illinois, has found the formula.

The company has put together a nice marketing mix to carve out a distinctive brand image and personality, featuring:

  • Information-based advertising, themed with modest humor and featuring the owner/operators; plus
  • Comfortable, in-store special event product demonstrations.

(Disclosure – I’m a satisfied former customer who’s on his own with this marketing commentary.)

Here’s the postcard for their June 2013 event:

Sundown One - Card FrontSundown One - Card Back

Consistent with their brand, the postcard invite ends with this call to action:

“We plan to have a good time.  You will, too.”

Check out their local television advertising, which is distinctive, and I believe effective.  Sundown One ends each commercial with a unique tag line.

My favorite commercial has this closing line:

Saving beer and pizza jobs in Springfield

Here’s another spot that epitomizes the Sundown One brand, with the tag line:

Keeping you happy because we have no choice

You can watch more television ads on the company’s YouTube page, including:

  • Seriously! (their “corporate” ad)
  • A Family Business
  • Oddly Familiar!
  • Goodnight. Sleep Tight.


Central Illinois electronics retailer Sundown One demonstrates how to succeed versus the big national chains.  Their two-part formula:  Create a relevant brand personality and image based on what’s important to local customers.  Reinforce the positioning with dynamic, creative advertising and a series of special in-store demonstration events.

Harvey Chimoff is a hands-on marketing leader and business-wide collaborator who builds marketing capabilities in B2B/B2C organizations that drive customer success.

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