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In the age of TV and digital reaching consumers has become very easy and measurable… but the real question is, are they listening?  After 20 years of business we’ve seen all the trends come and go.  And what has always resonated with consumers is the face to face interaction or “experience” with your brand.  To help our clients better understand the powerof experiential we decided to put data behind it.  We sent crews to the streets of California and discovered some pretty powerful data* we wanted to shareMakai Statistic

*data by AHAA 2011 and Makai 2014

How to Make the Perfect Pitch


We all know that pitching an idea is hard, not only because you want to convince your potential investors but also because of time pressure. How are you supposed to put all that content, which could fill an entire hour, in a 5-minute pitch? We looked at the most important rules when creating and presenting a pitch and what investors are looking at when deciding whether or not to invest in an idea.

Know your audience

Research your potential investors and tailor your pitch according to what they are interested in. Finding an alignment between your business idea and their positive triggers will make it easier for you to get their attention.

Introduce your team

Your potential investors want to know who they might be investing in and if you have a team that is able to back you up. Therefore it is crucial to introduce your team, their background as well as their professional experience to the audience. The timing is up to you – either introduce them in the beginning or at the end of your pitch.

Tell a story

Try to minimize the number of slides you use. If you can, don’t use any slides but focus on telling a story and engaging your audience, with the important numbers in mind of course. You will be surprised how much more attention you get when not reading from slides. Keeping it brief also counts for the structure of your pitch. There are several rules you can apply for structuring your pitch. The most popular one seems to be the 5 seconds, 30 seconds and 5 minutes multilevel rule. 5 seconds refers to a short explanation on your idea whereas in the 30 second version you describe how you plan to achieve your idea. Once you are able to explain your idea in 35 seconds, you can broaden it to 5 minutes.

State your competitive advantage

This step is has to be included in every pitch. Tell your potential investors why your idea is better than what your competition does, why it will be more successful or at least how it is different. You should also know of any potential new competitors that might form an obstacle for your idea.

What is your next step

You have to know your next steps in case you get a positive response from your audience. Also make sure you’re able to tell your potential investors what you need from them if they choose to hop on board with you.

Show passion – don’t beg

It is definitely important to be passionate about your idea. Just don’t take that passion to an extreme and appear desperate. Be confident about your idea and engage your audience with the steps provided above.



Intern Spotlight

Philip Brosamer—German Intern Program


Originally from Germany, Philip Brosamer appreciated the ability to learn "experiential marketing and all its facets" and collect work experience in the United States during his internship at Makai. During his time at Makai, Philip literally experienced the concept of experiential marketing firsthand with work in the field that included driving a real food truck. Philip had the opportunity to work in various departments to get a sampling of what Makai does for its clients on multiple levels. Whether from within the United States or around the world, each intern is welcomed into a supportive environment where real world experiences are presented on a regular basis.

Interns like Philip are exposed to a wide range of duties during the time spent at Makai. When it comes to experiential marketing, the idea is to help consumers experience a particular brand by engaging as many of the interactive senses as possible. While some duties of an internship at Makai do include working behind the scenes with social media and similar platforms to generate interest and spark a discussion, Philip was involved with the direct consumer interaction part of the process, as was the case with the food truck. Unlike traditional marketing efforts through TV, radio, newspaper, and online platforms only, experiential marketing creates a more memorial impression on consumers by encouraging a direct interaction with the product.

When it comes to his personal interactions during this internship, Philip says he was impressed with the friendliness of the people he met both at Makai and while out and about mingling with the various Californians he met. It's these real-world interactions that Philip believes made the internship such a learning experience for him. "Step out of your comfort zone and experience as much as you can," Philip says when asked what words of advice Philip he would offer to future Makai interns based on his time with the company.

Since Makai means "towards the sea" in Hawaiian, each intern is asked to choose their favorite Hawaiian word. Philip's choice is kahuna. As with most Hawaiian words, it has multiple meanings, but the meaning Philip prefers is "expert in any profession," which is certainly a goal for many interns. When asked what he'll miss the most, Philip mentions the great Southern California weather and "the variety of delicious food."




To learn more about our Intern program, feel free to contact us.  Our team is always more than happy to answer any questions you may have!



Makai, Inc. Preps Annie’s Booth for Expo West 2014

Here at Makai, we’re getting ready to plan another year of Annie’s attendance at Expo West 2014, an annual springtime trade show. Last year, we created engaging booth designs that left a lasting impression on Expo West attendees. This year, we’re working hard to ensure Annie’s booth is successful once again!

Expo West 2014

Expo West 2014 is geared towards companies offering products in the natural, organic and healthy-lifestyle industries. New products and brands are showcased as well as other companies that may be interested in distributing their products. Expo West also hosts a series of related events designed to engage the public including guest speakers and networking parties. The event is also meant to be a means for brands to connect with organic retailers and stores that sell natural and organic products. Benefits of participating in Expo West include:

  • Meet in-person with buyers of natural, organic and healthy lifestyle products
  • Highlight new products and/or build brand awareness
  • Network with the natural products community
  • Keep up-to-date on new trends and innovative ideas
  • Interact with trade and consumer press
  • Boost your presence in the industry
  • Strengthen relationships with existing buyers, brokers, and distributors
  • Build new business connections

As a top experiential marketing agency, Makai always goes above and beyond to ensure a successful campaign. Our understanding of events, tradeshows, and national tours gives us the insight on the best approach to reach a brand’s consumers.  At Expo West we continue to help brands with their overall presence including:

  • Creative Booth Design, Asset Development, Timeline Management and Logistical Management
  • Source and Produce Uniforms and Premiums
  • Onsite Management at Expo
  • Hire, Train and Manage Booth Staff
  • Source and Schedule Company Dinners
  • Assist With Hotel Accommodations and Badge Registration

We provide a wide range of services from preparation of trade show materials and setup to turnkey management and staffing. If you are a brand looking to participate in Expo West 2014, feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation so we can discuss your individual needs and goals.

-  Robbie Thain, President/CEO of Makai Inc.

Guerilla Marketing

Introduced in the '80s by Jay Conrad Levinson, guerilla marketing is an unconventional tactic designed to "ambush" consumers in a way that creates an instant and memorable association with a product or brand. Common methods include flash mobs, graffiti, sticker bombing and activations such as handing out samples in an outrageous costume. Benefits of guerilla marketing include:

• Direct interactions with customers
• Cost-effective way to reach consumers
• Immediate customer feedback

Recent activations for Little Debbie's "Smile California" campaign in Southern California and Drake's Cakes on the East Coast involved handing out free samples in high foot traffic areas. The goal of guerilla marketing isn't just to attract new customers, but to remind existing customers about the attributes of the product. In this case, that was accomplished with the free samples. With consumers accustomed to being bombarded with messages daily, guerilla marketing is a low-cost method likely to leave a lasting impression.

If you have any questions about guerilla marketing, please contact me for a complimentary consultation.  We are always happy to help!

-  Robbie Thain, President/CEO of Makai Inc.

Little Debbie Smile California Campaign

Here at Makai, we are getting ready to re-launch the Little Debbie Smile California campaign! The campaign will run this fall, September 9th through November 3rd.  Our street teams will be doing demos and guerilla activations throughout Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.  The teams will be distributing full size samples of some favorite Little Debbie snacks.  Who doesn’t love a Little Debbie Cloud Cake, Cupcake, Zebra Cake or Oatmeal Crème Pie?  Keep an eye out for the Little Debbie Smile California Food Truck that will be delivering snacks and smiles to as many Southern Californians as possible.


In the meantime, make sure to check out this video from our 2009 Share-a-Thon Tour:

-          Robbie Thain – President/CEO of Makai Inc.

How Can Experiential Marketing Help Your Business?


At Makai Inc., we understand the changes that have taken place in how people react to marketing. These changes make experiential marketing a perfect fit for today's consumer, exposed to as many as 5,000 branded impressions daily. Making just one impression stick is definitely a challenge. Online, customers make up their mind about a product in a matter of seconds. With a live event, customers tend to stay interested and engaged for about 15 minutes. The result is a better ROI and more time to leave an impression.

Experiential marketing is a way of presenting your product or service in a way that allows a customer to see, hear, touch, taste, smell, and feel what you have to offer in a way that cannot be experienced through traditional or social marketing. More than 70 percent of consumers say that participating in a live marketing experience, whether it be a product giveaway or an interactive demonstration, makes them more receptive to advertising from that particular brand. Why consider experiential marketing?

• It's interactive and engaging
• It's cost-effective when considering the results
• It makes a bigger brand impression
• It provides the perfect opportunity for data capture and content capture that can be incorporated into your digital strategy

While it may seem like more of an investment to put together an experiential marketing experience, the payoff can be much more significant compared to what you would get with traditional marketing avenues. As we see traditional mediums become more diluted it has become increasingly difficult to cut through the clutter and engage with your customer. What Makai Inc. does is create unique opportunities to engage with customers in a meaningful way and capture those moments which allow customers to share their experience with others. Our campaigns spark the conversation and create brand trial. Each campaign is custom fit for the brand and the audience they are trying to reach.

It's one thing to use carefully crafted content to try to convince someone why they absolutely need your products or services and another to show them firsthand. That's the beauty of XM – simply put, you can’t tell what the inside of a car smells like or what a beverage tastes like from a commercial. You need to let consumers experience it. Your brand needs to be presented in a way that allows consumers to try what you have to offer without the requirement of a commitment. It's entirely up to the consumer. Even if you don't make a conversion, a solid impression is just as effective.

When your products or services are presented in a way that allows people to explore and experience it for themselves, they tend to share those moments with others or spread the word. An XM campaign can involve a simple demonstration, an in-store demo, a live event or a mobile campaign with clear brand identification. In addition to XM, Makai Inc. is your source for direct marketing, social media marketing, campaign management, and other marketing strategies.

If you have any questions about how Makai Inc. can help grow your business, contact me today for a complimentary consultation.
- Robbie Thain, President/CEO of Makai Inc.

Little Debbie

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Name: Makai US Headquarters
Phone: 310.546.9585
Fax: 310.321.7933
Address: 211 Nevada Street El Segundo, CA 90245