As part of our Glug Profiles–series we’ve got the awesome Jhon Cosgrove from Awesome Merchandise to share his story, tell us what he’s up to at AM, what processes are behind their epic social channels and what’s the next thing in merchandise…
- Hi Jhon, how’s tricks!? Let’s get this rolling, yeah? First question… Who is Jhon Cosgrove – where is he from, what does he like, what’s his fave colour, what does he eat?
Hi Glug, I am very well - thanks! I am a man from Petersfield, Hampshire and I like cricket, punk rock, the internet, dogs, and then a bit more internet on top. I also like other things, like running and did I mention the internet? Colour wise, I like the whole rainbow and eating wise, I’m one of those v***** (you can tell, as I’ve mentioned it in the first sentence) and I like anything that fits into that culinary remit.
- I know you’re a busy man with a lot of side hustles – ranging from a punk band, Marmalade Pope, coaching cricket in Rwanda to constantly popping up on TV. First of all – where do you find all this time, mate? Share some! Second of all – ‘Marmalade Pope’ – the self-stated lifestyle guru, rap prince, god of orange jam and cricket bono. Where did he emerge from, what does he do and why Marmalade?!
I like to keep busy! You’re only alive once, and I have lots of varying interests in life and wanna try everything at least once. Although, I will never jump put of a plane. I still haven’t found the thing I am good at yet but I am trying hard! I find the time by being obsessively organised and having a very relaxed girlfriend. The Marmalade Pope is my alter ego; made up during one hungover breakfast after putting a marmalade tea cosy on my head. I decided he’d be an interesting vehicle for doing charity stuff - so I used him to promote my cricket trip to Rwanda.
- Where is the safest to follow you if we want to know about aaaaaall your adventures and what you’re up to next?
- Ok, so over to a bit more serious (or shall I say awesome) stuff.. Let’s talk about Awesome Merchandise! The name says it all if you ask us, but, can you quickly describe to our Gluggers what AM does?
Awesome Merch is one of the world’s leading suppliers of promotional print and merchandise! We’re based in Leeds and make awesome things all day long. We make everything from badges and stickers to T-shirts to temporary tattoos and tea towels. You name it and we can usually print it. We also have two sister-companies - Mercht & Awesome Distro.
- Your role within AM is being their Social Media Guru, yes? What does that entail and what is it like to run and maintain social channels for a merchandise company? Have you got typical day-to-day tasks?
I am the self-styled social guru for all three companies and it’s a lot of work! We’re always trying to push ourselves to be the best we can, as well as providing an excellent service to our masses of customers. I reply to everything on social all day long as well as creating content for all our channels - the classic community manager’s role, but I also work on a lot of collaborations (like with Glug!) and I really love doing any live content. Showing off is my forte!
- You guys have a fun, trendy and active presence across all social channels and are never slow to respond to activity. In relation to this – how much time would you dare to predict that you put into actively being responsive vs. working on content in relation to your content calendar?
Thanks for the kind words - we do pride ourselves on on our social presence and tbh a lot of it is just very natural. We plan of course, but in terms of the way we interact with our customers, we’re just a bunch of humans that want to make cool things and showcase the other cool things that people have made - in a fun way! In terms of your question, I’d say it’s 50-50! We get a lot of comments and DMs and we love it. We especially get a lot of GIFs from our mates at Glug ;)
- For aspiring social media managers it’s always interesting to hear how other plays the game of staying ahead on social so what tools and processes have you put in place to manage the different channels? And if you had to pick one – what tool would you label as your go-to tool that you couldn’t live without?
Other than WIFI, for me personally, I’d say Evernote. When Luke (AM founder) introduced me to it, it was the best day of my life. Even better than when I got a dog, hit my first six, or managed to play a gig to 10,000 people in China (showing off now) - Evernote manages to keep everything I need super-organised so I can then plan my content out much easier. Obviously it’s great to use schedulers for stuff but Evernote is my best friend and the one thing I’d save if my computer was on fire.
- On the above question – what are your thoughts, hopes, fears, dreams about social media in the future? Are there any trends you’re waiting for, or fearing the existence of?
After just delving into the latest series of Black Mirror, I’m genuinely terrified! I’ll never go to an old house to play computer games - that’s for sure! Social is going to keep changing super quickly - just look how different Instagram is from only six months ago. I’m sure that virtual reality is going to go bananas at some point which might be a tad scary… but who knows? If someone had said 18 months ago that people would be loving Facebook Live, then I reckon a lot of people would’ve been surprised. Are they building a new Google Glass or did they sack that off? I reckon (like Black Mirror) that we’ll definitely be able to access social from glasses / micro chips etc. Will it be any good? Watch this space….
- Whilst we’re on the future path… What is the future for Awesome Merchandise’s social channels? Without disclosing any secret sauce details, what can we expect of AM’s social channels in 2017?
More live stuff / more videos etc! We’re always working hard on new products and then it’s all about coming up with creative ways to promote them on the internet. So, you’ll see a lot of that. And pics of Dolly (our French Bulldog). She makes up a high percentage of our social plan ;)
- If we look wider than just social channels at AM – what are the next big thing in merchandise? Any special products coming out soon that you can let us know of already?
YES! Custom printed Google Glasses. Of course, I jest. We’ve just launched enamel mugs and they’re going down a storm. I can’t reveal what’s next as it’s nice to keep people checking back and excited. I can confirm, the products will be plentiful and all kinds of exciting.
- Or actually, one more. With your merchandise expertise we have to ask you – what one piece of merchandise do you think would up the interactive aspect of our Glug events? We always want people to share, interact and get to know each other – have you got anything cool stuff for this?
It’s got to be our temporary tattoos. It’s definitely an ice breaker when you’ve got a bunch of random people walking round with temp tattoos on their faces at events. They’re perfect for all kinds of parties, networking shindigs and weddings. They’re super-popular at weddings! People love sharing pics of them on social, too - if you’re a brand, get on it. This isn’t a sales pitch, it’s just a fun way of promoting what you do.
Check out Awesome Merchandise at awesomemerchandise.com and follow them on twitter and instagram @awesomemerch to stay up to date with with the latest custom merch print news.
Also do not miss Dolly the French Bulldog's pinterest board at uk.pinterest.com/awesomemerch/dolly-friends/ for your healthy dose of awww!