I was in a group with Zoe, Lucy and Nic. We went through a lot of different ideas, initially deciding on a craft style stall where people could make their own gift wrap/tags/cards using block stamps which we made.
The feedback we received was that our idea was not imaginative enough or socially engaged. We were told to simplify the idea.
We decided to focus on ‘protest postcards’ (avoids the expense of envelopes). People can make their own postcard to send in support of a cause of their choice, we would also provide a range of issues/problems for people to choose from.
The idea was that they decorate one side of a pre-cut postcard, using our supply of craft materials. Then they can write a message about an issue of their choice (or pick from our suggestions). We will then send it for them, if picked from our suggestions (because we have the addresses).
Initial analysis of the idea and the event
- Target Audience
There will be a lot of Vis Com students at the fete, and so the stall is aimed at people who want to make the world a better place.
- Strengths – Encourages people to use imagination, helps make the world a better place, personal, feel good factor.
- Weaknesses – messy, time consuming, has to be quite expensive to cover stamp cost, people may find it hard to think of what to write.
- Opportunities – potential to help a social cause, people can pick own cause, ‘craftivism’ can be very persuasive because of its personal factor.
- Threats – people may not want to support the suggested causes, so many issues may detract from each other, lack of interest, not enough room on table for multiple customers, not fun or exciting enough.
- Political – addressing political issues, people may have conflicting opinions.
- Economical – stamps are expensive so will have to cover this cost in price, may be too expensive for customers.
- Social – addressing social issues, hard to communicate issues fully (time consuming) to solve this we will have an info board where people can read details of each suggested issue.
- Technological – All handmade, using no technology.
- Product – hand made protest postcards communicating an issue of their choice, created by customers.
- Price – 80p (including us posting)
- Place – 3 tables,
- Promotion – social media, posters, and an information board with facts & pictures, highlighting suggested issues.
Implementation and costing
- Market Research
The only cost we had, was to buy the card – we supplied our own craft materials. We bought two A1 sheets of card at 45p each from the library (90p). This made 64 A4 postcards.
card: 90p = 64 postcards = 1.4p each.
need to buy second class stamps at 50p each: 50p x 64 = £32
If we sold all 64 cards we would make £51.20, profit = £18.30
We only expect to sell about 35 cards which would make £28, profit = £9.60
Initially wanted to charge 80p, people were interested but didn’t want to spend that much so we dropped the price to 60p.
Our actual profit turned out to be exactly £10, after we took away the money for postage of the cards.
- Value Statement
Offered them the opportunity help an issue of their choice, through making their own postcard. We provided some suggested issues and the materials, but they could be creative with the content.
We attracted customers by encouraging them to look at our board of issues (made up of lots of different campaign posters). We kept their interest by discussing some of the issues.
- Photographs and Diagrams
Above: Diagram of set up
Below: Images of stall operating
Lucy and I took charge during the presentation of the idea. In preparation we all researches issues and made posters for them. I choice ‘Save the Arctic’ and ‘Stop the Trolleybus’. We all supplied different craft materials, based on what we owned. We took it in turns one at a time running the stall.
When it was quiet, I would try to encourage interest from passers by. When it was busy I would step back to allow people space to work in.
Experience and evaluation
I think our stall didn’t have a ‘fun’ factor to draw people in, and looked a bit dull in comparison to some of the games and activities. People seemed interested but didn’t want to part with their money, so we had to drop the price. People were hesitant to pick an issue, seemed to struggle with choice despite suggestions. Not many people picked their own issue.
I think it would have worked better if it was in support of one specific local issue, which everyone is likely to want to support e.g. the trolleybus (because it effects LCA students). Emphasising one issue would mean people didn’t have to worry about choice, and we could have focussed on advertising the issue in more detail. More postcards going to one cause would have a greater impact, than if they were all going to different places. Choosing one local issue would mean that we could have delivered the cards by hand to one place, rather than having to buy stamps – this would mean no cost to us, and so greater profit.
The skills I have learnt from the stall are that campaigning does not work if it is half-hearted; we should have focussed our efforts on one issue rather than many which was distracting and took emphasis away from each other. I also the importance of entertainment/fun in attracting customers; campaigning does not necesserily have to be serious.