I was in Manhattan with my kids over the weekend. The heat was hitting highs for the summer, so we would take occasional breaks by visiting a store or two. You may remember the store FAO Swartz (the iconic toy store which went out of business a few years back). This was the store featured in the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks. In the movie, they had a giant functioning electric piano (the keyboard was laid out on the floor and you made it work by stepping on the huge keys).
I wasn’t aware that FAO Swartz had re-opened and was now up and running on 5th avenue, near Central park. We had to stop in and visit! Man was that a great call- with one exception, the thing I loved was also the thing the kids loved (and the things they loved they wanted Dad to buy for them)- they had about 30 different toys on display that the kids were encouraged to not only try, but to play with. I loved it because it was a great way for the kids to have some fun. The kids loved it because they got to play with some really cool toys (and of course, they were taught the right way to use these toys, so it was incredibly easy and fun- therefore they wanted to take home everything they saw).
What was exceptional about this concept is that the kids were shown how cool, easy and fun the toys were without having to buy them and figure them out on their own- which would then cause them to lose some of their luster. Also, some of the toys they figure out they didn’t care for so much, so the shiny wrapping, or the glitzy signs were not so over appealing that they would be fooled by great wrapping.
My thoughts about this concept were simple- it is better to show what you are and do rather than simply try to wrap yourself in a well designed image and tell them what you are or do. Many times, businesses try the tell concept as opposed to the show concept and it fails miserably for this reason: the business knows well and thorough what they do, the untrained, unknowing consumer does not.
For this purpose, I highly recommend that you participate with 2 different mediums: 1) showcases 2) Video.
Showcases are fantastic when you are able to work together with other vendors and bring in potential customers to share with them a vision of how you will provide your product or service to them for their specific event. Keep in mind that in the Wedding world, 85% of brides are first timers and have not bought what you sell prior to this. When you help create the vision, you help them see you providing your stuff in that vision.
Video is also a great way as it is live, it is dynamic and it is real. Imagine a photograph of what you do/provide side by side of a video of what you do/provide. The photo is great and not to take away from the photo, video can provide more impact and more information that a photo simply cannot. Your videos do not need to be professional quality to give a glimpse of you – in fact if you wait to opt for professional quality, you will miss business in the mean time. Get something up and running. Of course professional quality is always better, but something is always better than nothing.
Show your prospective customers what you do and provide and they will do the telling for you to other people after they have hired you and are thrilled with you!
Until Next Week- Here’s to your Success!

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