2 for 1 Margaritas to People Biking at Taco Boy!
There's a marketing tactic that businesses sometimes use, wherein you reach out to and identify with some segment of the population around you that is defined by a characteristic that has nothing to do with your product. The Kyser brand guitar capo I've had since the mid-90's has a small Christian cross next to the company logo on the side of it. Religion arguably doesn't have much to do with needing to easily play guitar in different keys - and my heathen lifestyle has never caused it to burn my hands like a vampire - but it's something the company wants consumers to know about them, and I respect that. It's like a teeny tiny little bio on them... "This is something we care about." I care about well-made capos that work, so it all works out perfectly.
In Charleston, South Carolina, there is a very good taco joint called Taco Boy. They've got one of the more engaging, beautiful dining spaces I've ever seen, with a sprawling beer-garden style outdoor seating area that has trees overhead and ivy covered trellis walls around it, and a breezy, open interior space if you prefer to dine indoors. The tacos are fantastic, the drinks are delicious, the staff is responsive and happy. They don't need an angle of any kind to do well - they're doing everything right.
But Taco Boy does have an additional angle - they're very bike-friendly. Bikes park right in front in two gigantic bike racks. Aaaaaand bikers get a coupon for a free second margarita, which is good, because they're delicious - you're going to want a second.
Now in Portland, or Vancouver BC, or Amsterdam, or Copenhagen, where there are already exploding bike cultures, putting out the "dog whistle" with bike-themed marketing wouldn't necessarily make you stand out in 2015 - so many people are already on board that odds are good that it won't differentiate you. It's cool, but you won't be unique. But in Charleston, bikes are still a small subculture, albeit a pervasive one, given how easy it is to get around town by bike there.
In the American south, daily transportation biking (as opposed to spandex-and-carbon-fiber workouts) is still often seen as the last option for those too poor to afford a car. Cycle culture down south needs all the legitimizing help it can get, and when a joint this undeniably hip says "we love cyclists," it moves the needle. It throws some love at people who need it. They already had me with the food --that kimchi beef taco still haunts my dreams -- but the decision to fly the Bike Flag high gets Taco Boy a much-deserved blog post. Other businesses in similar towns, take note: This is how you do it. Much love from Boston, friends. We WILL meet again.