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?
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 and had a purpose to go looking for that business card, you probably won’t.
You’ve just tried to remember your craft fair neighbor who you probably spent 6+ hours next to and had several conversations with. Now imagine a shopper who is taking in multiple products, businesses and vendors, only spending a few minutes on each. How likely do you think they are to remember your 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 to. 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 customers and not only make them remember your business but also purchase from you.
Think of a commercial you can remember the brand 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.
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 customer’s 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 you’re looking for some guidance on tweaking your existing product line to help them stand out and connect with customers, download our free chapter: MAKING PRODUCTS THAT PROFIT. The rest of our 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 customer’s 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?
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 or 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.
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 countertops, 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 your 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.
For steps to walk you through how to take your handmade business from Candle Vendor #1 to Candle Vendor #2, check out our new e-book: MAKING MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS. The FREE Chapter: MAKING PRODUCTS THAT PROFIT will teach you how to refine your existing products into ones people connect with, regardless of whether you sell online or at craft fairs.
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