You’ve got your shiny new brand. You’ve translated it into gorgeous packaging that reflects you perfectly, and now you’ve got to sell it. If, like many of Handmade’s designers, your main sales activity takes place at a market, how do you translate your brand so that your selling space also sums you up?
Markets are great places to meet your customers and show them what you do. They’re also a great place to share your ideas with other small businesses. These people may be your friends, but they’re also your competition. Customers only have a certain amount of money to spend at these events, and you need to be sure they’ll spend most of their budget with you, not your neighbour (I’m sure they’ll understand!)
So you really need to think about how your space is set up, its functionality, its display capacity and its wow factor. For markets, planning is a big part of your presentation. Drawing up a map of your area and placing the relevant display tools in the right places on the plan helps you to set up quickly and easily on the day. A practice run will be invaluable as you can really see how everything will look. Have you got enough display tools in the right dimensions and are they all complementary to each other? How will you display the various sizes of your products?
And of course, you need to consider your branding. Can it be seen from a distance? You need your brand to reach out and draw customers in. I’m sure they won’t mind me mentioning it, but at the last Handmade Market I had a request to go and talk to a company about branding. I walked around the event for a few minutes and retraced my steps several times before having to go to the information desk to ask for directions. I couldn’t find them because there was no signage at all. The product was beautiful, but without any branding, they didn’t stand out. As a result of our conversation, I’m happy to say that this business now has new branding and I can’t wait to see it at the next market.
There are many ways to make yourself stand out, and it need not cost a lot to achieve this. For example, a coat of paint in your brand colours can make even the most disparate of shelves, boxes and tables look coherent. Perhaps you could print up vertical banners to mark out the limits of your pitch, stitch your logo onto bunting or frame it. To give you some inspiration, I have collected together some images from previous Handmade Markets to show how some of our own designers are trailblazing and making every inch count.
Finally, put a large smile on your face and prepare to accept all the compliments about your beautiful brand and products. And then you can count up the profits!