Photo credit: JoAnna Peck Siminerio, Manalapan Business Development Counsel
As our business gets bigger, we’re finding more and more doors are opening. Thanks to the article in the Asbury Park Press, we were invited to participate in Made in Monmouth, a showcase of local businesses. Last weekend was the mini-Made in Monmouth event, a smaller, holiday version of the larger show that takes over the athletic facility of Monmouth University every April.
This event was very important to us – it was the first time we were going to sell The Strap Saver directly to the public. We had several things that we wanted to accomplish beyond sales. We’re still working on perfecting our message. The Strap Saver can be a little complicated to explain and we haven’t nailed down our elevator pitch. We’ve also had our first request for wholesale and we need to design a display. We wanted to learn everything that we could in this 5 hour window.
Beth did a wonderful job (as always) setting up the table. (and I brought a steamer for the tablecloths, I got a little teasing from those around us for being a little particular but presentation is everything!) In general, we received positive responses to the display of The Strap Saver in action, directly on a tank top or a bra, although many people thought that we were replacing the strap. We found that once we displayed the product sans strap, it was more clear. We think that a smaller version of the hanger will become part of our in-store display, but we still need to be clear on what the product does, in as few words as possible.
Our raffle was a success. (Thank you Marc! It was a great idea!) Although the painting was adorable, we’re happy to report that the prospect of winning a gift certificate seemed to be more enticing. We even had a small survey with our raffle and 77% women said that this was a problem and they just “lived with it” – well, no more!
We realized that The Strap Saver is less of an impulse purchase than we thought. A few of the women wanted to go home and measure the straps on their troublesome bras or dresses (we’ve already had some follow-up sales). It will do better in lingerie stores vs. a craft show – where most will go with a purpose. We did raise awareness and add a few addresses to our mailing list.
As for our elevator pitch, it’s definitely improved. We found that in order to capture their interest, leading with the question of “do you have strap problems” was a great hook. Although, overall, I’m not exactly sure what question to ask – is it about slipping straps? Stretched straps? Long straps? Which one is universal? I’ll have to play around with the language and see which one resonates.
When it comes to describing the product, we learned that talking about our product in stages was the best way to go through the features and benefits without rushing to say howawesomeisourproductandofyou’llabsolutelyloveitanditssoworth$15. We settled on “It’s a no-sew solution for shortening straps while still leaving them adjustable” and then “It works on bras, bathing suits, tank tops and all of your other strappy clothes” and then “It comes in 3 colors and 4 sizes. It’s made of ceramic-coated stainless steel, so it’s made to hold up against chlorine, saltwater and will out-live many, many bras.” and finally “It’s $15 for the first pair, $10 for each additional pair, shipping is free.” That’s not the final draft and I have a few other phrases that I copied down that I want to try – like “It’s a little metal device for shortening straps while still leaving them adjustable” – do we need to say no-sew? Does metal make it sound uncomfortable? But it does lend itself to durability. Hey, we’re a work in progress.
We already have some plans for the next show – like offering a discount for purchasing at the fair and listing our price directly on the table. We’re hoping to find something equally awesome to raffle – since it seemed to really attract customers. (who doesn’t love WIN?) So if you miss this one, we look forward to seeing you at the Made in Monmouth show on April 9, 2016 at Monmouth University.
And, if you had to sum it up in 10-15 words, how would you describe The Strap Saver?