A few years ago ProStores web store Funky Toys opened a sister store Brick Republic, which exclusively sells BrickArms and other custom-made Lego accessories. Brick Republic has since become a highly profitable spinoff, which only came about because Funky Toys staff were always keeping their eyes open for new trends.
"We sold Legos, and someone came in and asked us if we had heard of BrickArms," recalls owner Sarados Matzouranis. "I had never heard of them, but soon more and more kids were coming in and asking for them. One told me that a guy in the US made and distributed them, so I contacted BrickArms and became their official reseller in Canada." Sarados then opened Brick Republic; BrickArms linked its web site to his new store; and the accessories got so popular internationally that sales on Brick Republic soared.
Soon the Lego accessories grew such a fervent following that afficianados started making YouTube videos of products they had purchased from Brick Republic, offering the new web store some free and easy publicity:
To attain even more free marketing, the Brick Republic staff also started sending products to professional reviewers to get blog and YouTube coverage, like this video:
The videos not only brought more visitors to the web store, but also helped Brick Republic rise in Google search rankings.
It just goes to show you that if you stay on top of your industry and hit a product that's growing in popularity, you can cash in on the phenomenon and get some free publicity to boot.