The product fair was a dream!
We managed to sell 15% of our stock meaning we only have to sell 60 more units to break even! Simplex sold the most amount of units out of all of the teams during the product fair. We also received some fantastic feedback on our product and our customers gave us really good ideas on where to sell the product. Two great ideas that emerged were selling to hospitals or care homes and to brand our product for corporate use.
Despite our fantastic sales we failed to secure the best sales pitch prize. We didn’t receive any feedback on how well our sales pitch went or why the winners won the prize. This makes it very difficult to understand how to improve our sales pitch. That being said we sold a large amount of units so our sales couldn’t of been that bad?
I did learn a lot about our stall set up! We managed to get sponsored by Sign Art UK, they provided us with two banners that were designed by us. The banners were fantastic and they made us stand out from the crowed. However, the front of our stall was a bit of a mess. The idea was to create a story board of people using our product and highlight the different types of situations our product can be used. The idea was fantastic however we failed to execute. The front of the stand was made 30 minuets before the fair using resources we found at university. This was poor management and in reflection we should bitten the bullet and scrapped the images and settled with a plane white front.
Effective Product Stall layouts
For our next product fair I want the team to really stand out and look awesome so I have done some little research.
CRAFT FAIR SECRETS – HOW TO MAKE A GREAT CRAFT FAIR DISPLAY
Craft fair secrets highlights 14 points on how to create a great fair display. For our next fair I will be following two key points; make a mock up at home and pick the right props. If we had made a mock up at home we wouldn’t of had have the problem with the front of the stall. We would of recognized it wasn’t as effective as we initially though and changed it. By creating a mock it would also reduce our set up time and maximized our window for sales. Creating a mock would have also given us the opportunity to play around with our props and help maximize how we make our stall stand out.
Below I have added photos of stalls I believe work very well.
The product has finally arrived from the far lands called China! and they look the part! We made the order on the 15/12/2015 for 200 can coolers with a frosted background and logo. We provided the manufacture with the images and they sent us a picture of a sample after paying $30 for a screen printing set up cost. After accepting the sample the shipment arrived on the 8/01/2016, not too bad at all.
The neoprene can cooler is awesome, the quality is fantastic and its everything we imagined it to be. Short delivery time, efficient contact with the manufacture via email and consistent quality.
The second part of our product the important bit, didn’t work as well as we hoped. Our initial order was for 10 sample units to check the quality and make sure they worked. The samples took 1 week from order to arriving at SIMPLEX HQ (Flat 15 Kingsnympton Park). On the products arrival we tested them out on beer cans. The test was semi successful, the product didn’t keep in 100% of the contents of the can. A few droplets of beer escaped the cap, however due to the approaching deadline of the Kingston product fair we agreed to order more units.
We asked the manufacture to add a rubber seal on the cap slider and around the bottom of the cap. This would prevent leakage and ensure quality for our customers. We ordered 200 green caps as the manufacture told us we had to order 5000 units to have any other colours manufactured. We was told that we had to manufacture 5000 units per colour and that if we was to order 200 units we had to have green. FINE!
That was until I opened the box a week later…… We revived the following colours in the following quantity’s:
The manufacture royal screwed us over. Not only was 55% of our stock made of pink caps that we never asked for the manufactures never fitted the seals. So we have a half baked product that we need to shift. I emailed the supplier and expressed my discontent and his reply was apologetic, he also offered to refund us if we shipped the product back to China. This wasn’t an option due to our low purchase cost and high shipping cost back to China. Also the product fair is in 4 days.
What I have learnt
- Never accept a sample your not 100% happy with. Regardless how cool they look.
- Don’t order from a Chinese manufacture that you have not built a trusting relationship with if your deadline is within 2 – 3 weeks.
- Establish exactly what the manufacture is offering and their requirements as a manufactures.
- As a team we should have put the samples under rigorous testing before we ordered in bulk. We should have developed a set of criteria for the sample to meet in order for us to agree on its suitability.
- DEVELOP A CONTINGENCY PLAN IN CASE OF FAILURE