Written by Alli Price
I was recently lucky enough to attend a Bloggers Brunch put together by the fabulous folk at Kids Business. A bloggers brunch is a chance to get together with big name brands and develop relationships for potential sponsorship opportunities.
I got to meet some fab peeps and do the usual networking and swapping of cards, but I also took away some great business lessons that I wanted to share with you:
1. Branding is half the battle
They say when you eat a meal, you eat with your eyes first, and the same goes for products. If the packaging isn’t well done or fails to represent the intended brand – customers simply won’t buy it.
I was reminded of the importance of branding at the Bloggers Brunch when chatting with the folks at Higher Living (LHS of pic) and Brauer (RHS of pic). I don’t even drink tea and simply from the packaging alone I want to indulge in Higher Living. it looks beautiful, you could leave it out on your countertop and it would look lovely in your kitchen and it must stand out on supermarket shelves.
Brauer have just updated their packaging and it’s really appealing also. It looks very up-to-date now and the addition of the rubber duckie in the packaging would see me reaching for their bath products over any other on the shelves every time.
2. Give away something of real value
I know it’s tricky with us being small biz mums of limited funds and all, but if you can, give away something of real value. And give strategically.
10% off your products or services isn’t going to get anyone excited and certainly isn’t going to get people talking – but something fabulous will.
I got a soup maker from Kambrook (makes soup in 22 mins!) and have since used it and told every one of my friends to buy one for themselves. It would have cost them a decent amount (cost price) to give to me but has been worth the word of mouth. If Kambrook had offered something like 10% off or a pen they wouldn’t be getting this much blog space!
3. Differentiate yourself
Launching a product or service? Take a good look at your competition and differentiate.
I was really interested to meet Hallmark at Bloggers Brunch who are doing an amazing job of setting themselves apart by including tiny gifts in the card. So clever given that there is just so much competitition with cards these days.
Now, these guys sell items like wheat packs (LHS in pic) and wooden logos (RHS in pic) with their cards which is fantastical for people wanting to send a little thank you. My new fave thank you gifts.
4. Don’t sell your product, sell something people want to be a part of!
Why do Apple do so well? Not because they always have the best products, but because they do such a fabulous job of creating something people want to be a part of.
The Carman’s crew were at the Bloggers Brunch and they do an equally fabulous job of creating something I want to be a part of. Take a look at the bag they sent home full of Carman’s goodies (below). It was the only bag I kept because it isn’t blatantly branded with their business name – it’s all about the feeling they’re selling. The irony is that all the overtly branded bags were binned – and will no longer receive the exposure they were probably hoping to get.
5. Use your business for good, not evil
The final fab tip I picked up was from the organiser of the Bloggers Bruch herself, Christie Nicholas.
Instead of keeping the event limited to solely the networking between bloggers and brands, she also had guest speakers (St Kilda Mums, Carman’s founder – Carolyn Cresswell, Lisa Hayden – breast cancer survivor) sharing their tips on how the bloggers in attendance could enrich their lives. The mums left the event with so much more than a few business connections – they left inspired, motivated and educated.
It would be easy for Christie to focus solely on the business side of things as that’s all attendees would be expecting. However, by going above and beyond she’s helping people and in the end, probably garners a lot more good-will and blog post inches than she ever would without this addition to her events. It’s a win/win.
I’d love to hear what fab business tips you’ve learned from big business, please share in the comments.
Cheers! Alli x