Market Prep Part II - a bit of branding and more on markets

Market Prep Part II - a bit of branding and more on markets

I think its really important to build your brand, there is more to it, than having a large social media following, or getting a ton of likes. If you are selling at markets, or in a store, your physical branding is what potential customers see.

They can touch and feel it, remember it and hopefully come back and buy it.

Sometimes, it takes 2 or 3 interactions, before you get a commitment to purchase, if you aren't "visible", how are people going to find you, when they are ready to buy. Not everyone purchases at the market, or on impulse, sales often follow a market day. Make sure they know your brand.

I use a few different things, business cards that can double as swing tags, people don't like to ask for prices. Sew in labels for a more casual make, laser cut acrylic labels, that I rivet to my bags. (pearl clutching moment)

I get asked a lot, why I don't use metal labels and I own a hardware store, its very simple really. The options and colours available in laser cut acrylic, suit my style. They are cost effective, stand out and are readily available. Anybody with a laser cutter, can make them for you. If you are just starting out, or haven't quite established your brand, these are an excellent option.

I get my woven labels from Bags and Tags.

Little Dream Collection, makes my acrylics.

For more visual branding, I had signs made at our local printers.

They look like a giant business card, stand in a hunk of wood, that has a slot cut in it, and are pretty visible especially at outdoor or big events.

They cost me $40.00 each, are super light weight and easy to fit in the car, its just printed corflute. Like real estate agents use.

I also had sugar cookies made, for this particular event, which was a bit of fun.

Note the hashtag, young people with disposable income, love hashtags.

Just for good measure, I also have a market mug. No one needs to know if it contains wine...........

And I just had some custom vinyl printed, which I made tote bags out of. These are specifically to take gear to markets or a hardware pop up. Possibly shopping as your brand.

I used Use your imagination Designs for the vinyl printing.

The printed vinyl was about $45.00 and I got 3 bags out of it. 

Calico bags are really cheap, most people at a market, have their own shopping bag anyway, so I used to pack their purchase in a calico bag. They were also great for posting bags and worked out cheaper than packaging materials.

If you have a cutting machine, I just used HTV and the heat press, did them in batches (great job for the mother in law to do) and always had plenty ready to go.

Your customer gets a dust bag, or they can use it for all sorts of things, and you keep your brand, in their face. 

While you are at your markets, its a great opportunity to network with other stall holders, you probably shop yourself and so do they. Some of my biggest sales, have been to other stall holders. It also helps for toilet breaks and coffee runs, if you can help each other out.

Don't be afraid to collab and join forces, it can be really successful. Pick a complimentary maker or even another bag maker. Don't be afraid of the competition, the chances of you making bags in the same style are pretty remote. I don't mean the same bag patterns, I mean the style and your little bit of flair, no one can copy that.

We also used to share each other on our socials, which also builds brand awareness, to a customer base that you possibly haven't reached yet.

Earring makers are really handy, put the right things together and often a customer will buy both, people who buy earrings, buy bags too.

Or an entire ensemble...............

If you are on a budget, Vista print has some great marketing items. Some things get a bit pricey, but think outside the box.

if you are using paper bags, adding a branded sticker to it is good exposure as people wander around the market. 

Custom stickers cost around $1.00 each from Vista Print.

Product labels, which are sticky, are cheaper and you get more. Go figure.

Don't forget your business cards are double sided, that blank real estate on the back, is useful space. Add a care guide for your makes, price marking area or even just a note of some sort. You buy 250 of them, make them work for you.

Cutting machines are super popular, there is bound to be someone at your market, using one. See what they can do for you, HTV branding for your table cloths, some shirts with your logo. Even some simple EFTPOS options done on a picture frame as a sign. The sky really is the limit, for making sure people know, who you are.

On a side note, but an equally important one. Markets can be hard work, as a maker you are working twice as hard. You have to make your own stock, on top of all the other stuff a small business requires. 

Markets can also be really really disheartening, all that effort and you barely make the fee back. It happens.

If you consider the humble slice of carrot cake,

$1.20 at the local bakery

$5.50 for a 4 pack, at the local supermarket

$6.00 a slice at the coffee shop 

Same carrot cake, all came out of Sara lee's freezer, the only difference is where its being sold. 

If the market/s you are doing, are not giving you the return you deserve, find your "coffee shop". 

















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