Who is Lauryn England, anyway?
To be honest, my first time hearing of Lauryn England was about a couple of months ago. The only reality television I watch is cooking shows… if you can even call them that. From what I’ve learned about her though, I can’t really knock her hustle.
Here’s a little background about her, for the people like me, who don’t properly keep us with pop culture:
Lauryn England, born Jaylon Aaron, is from Birmingham and started off doing hair in her parents’ basement at 15.
She created a three-part method of sew-ins while in cosmetology school and ran with it. She started a salon in Alabama (Birmingham or Bessemer, not quite sure) and was pretty successful: she has worked with quite a few celebrity clients and even wrote a book: Evolving Your Hair Business to 7 Figures with the 7 Figure Hair Boss!
After the book, England became a regular on a Youtube reality show, called Chasing Atlanta, and began pursuing music. She got a music deal in China but, unfortunately, things fell apart during Covid so she decided to move back to Birmingham and work on her transition.
during the process, she started another reality show, Just Lauryn- an offshoot of Chasing Atlanta, which surrounds her experience moving back to Birmingham during her transition.
Since then, she has smashed through barriers, becoming the first black transgendered person to open a restaurant, Lady E Chick’n Cafe, in Alabama.
She’s only 27/ 28 years old!
24k gold wings?
I’m impressed. I mean, even a cis, white, straight, southern Baptist man can’t knock that type of hustle.
Lauryn’s restaurant, located right in the middle of downtown, created quite a stir when she debuted her 24k gold wings earlier this month. She officially opened the restaurant on April 6th and she already has over 6.5k likes on Instagram and nearly 9k on Facebook.
I think that coming out with these gold wings was a brilliant marketing strategy for a few reasons.
First, it gave the city something to talk about. It is always a good idea for a business to write press releases to be shared with local media outlets. Press releases are particularly beneficial and easy to do for new businesses because all you have to do is write a story about the fact that you are starting a business and describe your offer. Doing this is a win win for both the business (free publicity) and the news outlet (low effort story).
1. Brilliant P/R
I don’t know if Lauryn had a press release created but if she did, it was smart because her story has so many intriguing elements. She’s the first black transgendered person to start a restaurant in Alabama and she’s kicking it off by selling 99-dollar gold wings. If nothing else, that’s interesting.
Another reason selling 24k wings is so shrewd is due to the controversy it created. There are a lot of reasons to try these wings:
You’ve never had gold wings and you want to see what that be like
You want to stunt on all the broke haters around you
You’re drawn to beautiful things (I don’t even eat chicken but I must admit, the wings are gorgeous).
On the other hand, there are a few reasons not to try the wings:
They’re too damn expensive
You don’t like queer people.
… that’s all I got.
Either way, the conversation sparks curiosity, which leads me to my third point: $99 wings are not the only thing on the menu.
The cool thing is that the marketing strategies she used can be effective for anyone. Keep reading to find out which one you can use for your small business.
2. The notoriety of these wings makes it a definite flagship product material. A flagship product is a product that a company is known for. This is a branding tool that helps keep a business in the forefront of the mind of the consumer. From now on, when people think of Lady E’s Chik’n Cafe, they will associate it with 99-dollar wings, which is better than associating it with nothing- even if they would never consider buying them.
3. Additionally, these wings kind of act like a loss leader. I mean, not exactly, but hear me out. A loss leader is a product that people sell at a huge discount (a lot of times at a loss) to get you to come in their store and buy other things. Now, these $99 wings probably have a pretty large profit margin but I’m sure people may come in to get their $19.99 single wing just to try it. Once those people are in there, it’s likely they aren’t going to be satisfied with eating one wing. They will probably try some other items on the menu. If they like it, they will come back and bring their friends.
4. If you are looking for a similar effect when selling a product or service online, a lead magnet would do the trick. Lead magnets are free products/ services that businesses give away in exchange for contact information. With that information, you can connect with the audience through newsletters or digital ads.
It’s excellent marketing all around and she doesn’t even have a full website up yet. This is exactly the type of creativity and innovation that I’m excited to see in Birmingham. I’m looking forward to more to come.