A Little Known Way to Quickly Build your Brand

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 6.58.59 AMWhen I had my handbag line I dreamed of being in stores like Henri Bendel’s, Sak’s 5th Ave, Bloomingdales, Fred Segal and many other “Superstar” stores.

But while I was still making a name for myself they seemed totally out of reach until a friend suggested that I try to do trunk shows to prove that their customers would like my bags.

So I sent letters to the various buyers suggesting that I do a trunk show in their store……the wonderful thing about trunk shows is that they don’t cost the store a dime… bring your products with you, and stand there and sell it.  They get the retail mark up on it, and you get your normal wholesale price so everyone wins.  Usually they’ll do some email marketing and let their mailing list subscribers know you will be there….

Remember:  Buyers are always looking for the next “hot thing” {a.k.a the next bread slicer} and if they are on the fence about buying your product, a trunk show can be the best way to prove that their customers will buy your stuff.

They all eventually said YES, and I was off and running…… I loved selling directly to customers as it gave me a chance to see their response to my line, talk to them, get feedback and because I was good at it, I could usually get them to buy one or two bags.

Don’t slack off: The most important thing about doing trunk shows is to market the heck out of it.  NEVER rely on the store to do that for you.  Yes, like I mentioned, they will usually email their subscribers about it.  Some may even have a postcard out by the register for a couple weeks……. but if you are going to be in a major city like New York, it’s up to you to let the world know.

I did massive email marketing to my list about it…….sometimes 2-3 times a week to remind them that I was going to be there. I encouraged them to come visit me even if it was just to say hello…. because I knew I could get them to buy something if they made the effort to come meet me. Once a young woman sent her parents to meet me and buy her a bag as they were on vacation in NYC when I did my second trunk show at Henri Bendel’s……They called her so I could say “hello”, and suggest which bag she should get…….. not kidding!

The important thing to remember here is that most of the subscribers on your list will be impressed that you are doing the trunk show at a prestigious store and won’t mind all the reminders…….. It will elevate you in their minds and they’ll wish they could go.

Last tip:  I usually offered a coupon code to those who couldn’t make it…… I’d say something like this: ” If you couldn’t make it to my trunk show at XYZ store yesterday, which was a huge success, I want to offer you 25% off any of the items below”. {Add images of the items you want to offer for a discount}. This is really just another way to offer a sale that is related to something other than a holiday…..and you can make some quick cash!

Go ahead and send a letter to your dream store and let me know what happens!

Learn more of my secrets here……its free!


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    Written by Sarah Shaw

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