We take in a ton of information in a day, some of it consciously and some subconsciously. I have a hard enough time remembering the important tasks to keep my life and business on track, let alone trying to remember another business’ details. Feel the same? What are the chances craft show shoppers remember your handmade business after they leave the venue?
Go back to the last craft fair you sold at.
Do you remember your neighbor’s name, business name, website, email and social media handles?
No? I don’t blame you.
Maybe they gave you a business card; do you know where you placed it? And how long would you take searching for it?
The fact of the matter is, unless you made a real connection with them had a purpose to go looking for that business card, you probably won’t.
You’ve just tried to remember your craft show neighbor who you probably spent 6+ hours next to and had several conversations with.
Now imagine a craft show shopper who is taking in multiple products, handmade businesses and vendors, only spending a few minutes on each. How likely do you think they are to remember your handmade business?
With such a noisy world, you need to find a way to stand out and being louder isn’t the solution. You can’t shout your way to the top and use aggressive, in-your-face tactics (I doubt you want to anyways).
We remember the businesses, products and people we feel a connection with. And we make connections when we feel as though we have something in common.
Having similar taste, style, sense of humor, personalities, needs, wants or problems that need solving can connect you with your craft show shoppers and not only make them remember your handmade business but also purchase from you.
Which brands do you remember?
Think of a commercial you can remember the brand that’s behind it. You remember it because there was something you loved about it (or sometimes because of hate, but that’s not what we’re going for here;). The song they played, the scenes they shot, the celebrity they hired, the humor they used…something caught your attention and connected with you.
Nobody likes commercials. Big companies know this and spend tons of money researching all the likes and dislikes of their target demographic so they know exactly who they’re speaking to and how to get their attention.
This is what you need to do with your business.
You absolutely cannot appeal to everyone. Instead, you need to be obvious with who your products are for, which will attract your ideal customer and help them feel connected to you and your business.
Hiring the latest Hollywood starlet for a shampoo commercial might not catch the attention of everyone, but the brand knows younger generations will stop what they’re doing to watch their idol for 60 seconds. They’ll also be more likely to remember the shampoo brand because their favorite celebrity uses it.
So. How can you achieve the same at craft shows?
By creating an authentic experience for your shoppers.
And to do that, you need to build an authentic brand.
Think of your brand as anything that contributes to your shoppers’ experience with your business. The visuals they take in, the messages they receive through signage, conversations or customer service, and the purpose behind your business and its products.
You always need to start with a good base, which are your products. Even if you’re selling something similar to other vendors, your products have something that’s unique, different and authentic to you. You may need to pull that out, but it’s there.
If need guidance on tweaking your existing product line to help them stand out and connect with customers, download my free chapter: MAKING PRODUCTS THAT PROFIT. The rest of my e-book will tell you how to carry that authentic brand through to every other aspect of selling at a craft fair.
Once you have a product that targets a niche market, then you need to layer on the other elements that strengthen your message. Your packaging, tablecloth, props, signage, the clothes you wear, the way you speak, how you wrap their purchase…..it all contributes to your shoppers’ experience and their perception of your brand.
Which candle vendor would you be more drawn to, more likely to purchase from and remember long after you leave the craft fair?
Candle Vendor #1
They sell soy candles in mason jars and offer them in a wide variety of scents. Their tablecloth is one they had at home, it neither strengthens nor detracts from the candles. They’ve lined up their candles on the table and put a handwritten note in a picture frame to let people know the price. The vendor sits behind the table, gives you a smile and let’s you shop.
Candle Vendor #2
They also sell soy candles in mason jars but the purpose of their business isn’t just to sell candles. It’s to sell candles that can be used as room accents and be displayed on counter tops, mantles and side tables.
They’ve used a frosted spray paint to add a pattern detail to their jars and they tint their wax to match the latest trends in paint colors. They’ve displayed their candles on a lace tablecloth and used complimenting props to show how one could display the candles in their home.
The vendor loves interior design so they give you tips on how to create the perfect vignette on your fireplace mantle and you bond over your favorite home decorating show.
If you simply want a candle, you may head to Candle Vendor #1. But chances are there won’t be any brand loyalty after you purchase because you can buy a candle anywhere and will likely go for what’s most convenient in the future.
If you have an interest in interior design, you’ll immediately be attracted to Candle Vendor #2 and head over. The knowledge the vendor shares, the connection you made and their candles named after rooms in the home, all help you remember their brand. They’re who you’ll contact when you need a house warming gift or a new candle for your home.
You can see how just a few tweaks and little details can change your perception of a business and your likelihood of remembering them.
Getting shoppers to remember your products after they leave a craft show obviously starts with creating memorable products. You don’t have to change what you sell, all it takes is a little thought to kick things up a notch. Things like creating product collections or redesigning product labels or packaging can make a huge impact.
Download the free sample chapter from my ebook to learn how to take your products to the next level. It’s not a chapter full of fluff you’ve already heard, it’s got some powerful info that every handmade business owner should read.
Once you have your products perfected, it’s all about your display. A good display can take a basic product (NOT to say your product is basic!;) and make it interesting and memorable.
Building a great display starts with knowing the message you want to send and the message shoppers want to hear. You’ve got to ask yourself why shoppers should care about your products. What’s in it for them?
Then it combines a cohesive style, a great story and eye-catching elements to draw shoppers in and sell!
I’ll walk you through each step in my free 5 day challenge. It includes worksheets and a simple to follow guide to get you thinking about elements of your display you may be neglecting. Join the 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY CHALLENGE and get started on your memorable display today.
You are a part of your brand. The way you dress, how you talk and act, all contribute to your shoppers’ experience. Is your brand sophisticated or quirky? How does your outfit at the craft show relate? Which topics do you discuss with your shoppers to make a connection? The candle maker may ask a shopper if they watch Fixer Upper, since one of their candle jar designs is inspired by the show’s decor style. Think about the keywords you can use to make your shoppers’ ears perk up.
Every element within your craft show space should strengthen your brand, which should be speaking to your ideal customer.