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Brainstorming for New Promotion Ideas

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 17 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Brainstorming Brainstorm Promotion

There comes a time for any business when you’re tried and tested promotional methods need a new lease of life. But coming up with new ways to promote craft products or services isn’t always easy. Here are some ideas and tips to help you on your brainstorming mission to come up with new promotion ideas.

Talk To Your Customers

Your existing customers are a valuable source of information and it would be mad not to consult them on their views and opinions. You don’t necessarily have to give away the fact that you’re trying to develop new ideas, but instead you could focus on asking their opinions on issues such as:

  • Current favourite crafts they enjoy.
  • What products they think are best.
  • What products they’d like to see more of.
  • What special offers would encourage them to buy a certain product (e.g. money off, free gift, discount voucher etc).
  • What their favourite craft range is.
  • If they watch craft TV channels and which are their favourites.
  • Their favourite and inspirational craft designers.
  • Personal details, such as their age and how long they’ve been crafting for.

These types of questions should help you build up a better picture of your customers and get into their mindset – what crafts they enjoy, why they buy and the types of offers that would interest them. You can use this data as a basis for developing ideas to use for your craft promotions.

If you want to do your research on a more formal basis, then setting up a focus group, perhaps with the help of a specialist company organising it, can be a good way of developing ideas.

Focus On Trends

If you feel a bit stuck in a rut with your current ideas – even if the methods you’ve used have created good sales in the past – then a good way of applying your brainstorming is to focus on new product trends and use those as a springboard for promoting your craft range.

Some trends that have already become established are often easy to spot and be aware of, but when they’re in their infancy and still finding their feet, trends can be easier to miss. Good ways of sussing out new craft trends include:

  • Attending consumer craft events, as well as fashion or lifestyle events.
  • Attending trade craft events, both in the UK and internationally.
  • Reading magazines and newspapers, looking for hints of new trends.
  • Reading websites and bloggers.
  • Looking for examples of crafts that are being created in your field – lots of young, or new designers, have websites with examples of their work.
  • Looking at what other craft retailers are doing.

Once you’ve found some product trends to focus on, you can begin to work out ways of how you could promote them within your business.

For example, one trend in craft is for steampunk (Steampunk is genre of science fiction and fantasy that includes social or technological aspects of the 19th century) design crafts. You could use steampunk as a theme to promote the relevant craft products you have available in store. Or you could have a special steampunk focused weekend, where you have demonstrations in store of how to create steampunk themed crafts, or get special guest designers in to show of their steampunk creations. You could also have special discounts or introductory offers on craft materials and supplies for creating steampunk designs.

Tips For Successful Brainstorming

As the steampunk idea illustrates, one of the best ways of getting the most out of brainstorming is to be creative and let your ideas flow. It can hard getting started, but once you’ve found a starting point to focus on, hopefully the ideas will begin to come.

Brainstorming for promotion ideas is a lot easier if it’s not just one person doing it. Ideally, get your staff involved, or if you’re a sole trader, talk to other people – family and friends may be a good source of ideas, or other business colleagues. If you take part in any relevant online forums, you could ask for ideas there, or ask your Twitter followers or fans on your Facegroup page.

The key to getting ideas right, that are well targeted and appropriate, is to tune in to what people really want – so communicating with them is crucial.

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