Apart from buying all kinds of stuff and eating awesome food, one of Kingston’s oldest markets shares a lot more on a sunny Saturday- amazing experience with friends.
I remember this day clearly and the excitement I had in the morning. Considering the fact that I am not usually a morning person, I jumped straight out of bed and ran down the stairs to have breakfast. It was the day we were going to sell “EQUALYTIE” bow ties outside of university for the first time!
We were preparing for this day with weeks. We changed our product, according to our feedback from customers and judges. We changed our stand- we decided to go with the maxima “less is better”. Black cloth and just the product and branding.
Learning the importance of planning and managing our tasks, we divided ourselves into two groups: group 1 will inform people about our stand and give away flyers, promoting our business. Group 2 would be responsible about the good looking stand and the actual “important” part of making an actual sale. We would often swap roles so that nobody is exhausted of doing the same thing.
Thank God the weather was sunny, although it was a bit cold, so we took the best of it and I was part of group 1 I would often encourage my team mate to go around and to walk near people, to put some posters around the market and meet new interesting people that may be our potential customers.
During my school years, in order to earn some extra money I would often do this kind of part time jobs when I will give away flyers and tell people about a new marketing campaign or a new event. As you already know, this involves communication and no matter that the job seems easy it is not. Knowing exactly how to talk to each person is difficult, but I should say I have “mastered” it now as I have my BA diploma in Public Relations.
When stopping people on the street in the morning, I came across an interesting person. He was with his wife and was walking around the market, obviously without a certain purpose. I took the chance and approach him. The reason I did start talking to him, however, was different- I notice that he was wearing a brooch. Considering the fact that our product is a wooden bow tie that has to be worn as a brooch to show that you are a supporter of gender equality, I momentarily knew that he CAN be a potential customer! He came to be really fascinated by our idea and his wife was already a potential supporter so we took our shot and we told them all about our company. Later that day it turned out that the man I was speaking to was one of the most famous TV figures from BBC here in London…
Apart from the branded flyers and the product itself, we did something different for this trade fair. We decided to create a social media campaign where people will took a photo with our bowtie and will post it on social media, using the hashtag #equalytie. This was good both for spreading further our business and brand, but our customers enjoyed it as well as our target group is really social media active!
Just after Christmas we had another Kingston Trade Fair, but that one was in the university building. It was kind of a “training” for this one. We did learned a lot from it like always make sure your stand is tidy and clean; do not put too many things; talk to customers in a more friendly way, rather than just telling them about what we do; engage!
Our product was sold for £4,99. We also had some flash sale, making a collaboration with “Unity”, the brand I told you in my previous blog post that we made a collaboration with. We decided to make a special offer to sell our bowties from the previous collection with their hats from their previous collection, making it possible for people to buy both for £8. We learned that people do not always look for the cheap, but for the new, so we did not sell any of our £8 sets, but we did promote both of the brands and both companies gained new customers when we spoke and promote each other.
However, we did sell a lot of bowties. When you buy an “EQUALYTIE” bowtie, it comes with a little “thank you” wooden note as part of our packaging. People loved this king of idea as they said they feel us “closer”. Emotional bond– check!
The lessons we learned from this trade fair were that dividing our tasks was one the best decision, as it really made us a lot more organised and we did not get exhausted too easy. Also a lot of people said many good things about our stand, as it stood out with not being too crowded like a typical market stand would be. The flyers were not enough, though! Many people to talk to… So we end up giving our business cards away instead!
We made a lot of significant contacts that day. A lot of people wanted to participate in the cause and we even got invited by a very passionate supporter of the cause to speak about our product in front of her students- she turned out to be a professor from Greenwich University in London!
Veni, vidi, vici! Mission accomplished. We did what we came for- we made sales and we did a good promoting campaign of our business. But one of the most important things we learned was that you can make good sales, even when you are out with friends, having fun! Especially then!