Are you fashionable? Want to know # 1 for finding the right answer, growing sales, and finding your product in more stores?! Hold the Trunk Show, and many of them! It is part of My Secret to Successful Marketing Secrets, which you can learn more about here.
What is a trunk show?
Here is the shield. Trunk show is a 1–2-day event usually held at a grocery store where you, as a designer, make your own look and bring your new line-up coming. (The queue used to be carried by the real title hence the name.) You then meet and work with customers to sell your queue. If you work with retailers, they can do trunk shows for you, but in my opinion, you’ll want to be there in person. Your personality and your love for your line will help to close the sale. Another attraction of the trunk show is to meet and greet the designer.
Usually, the idea is to show your latest collection and take orders (which will be shipped in 4-8 weeks). But you can also sell start-ups or sell your own line before (which is great if you’re a newbie and trying to add to your production cutting tickets). Just make sure you let your customers know when they can expect shipping.
Ideally this boutique / fish shop would already have your queue. However, this is not always the case, and it is not necessary. A successful show can find your line in the store when the owner / buyer is able to see the response and sales of the line.
Where can I host a graduation show?
While trunk shows usually help in the store or store, they don’t have to be that way. Depending on the type of line / product you have you can catch a trunk show almost anywhere! Be creative with this. Think outside the box. The key is to align your product image and think about your target customer. Where do they come from? What do they like to do? What would benefit them? Below are some examples for the wheels to turn.
• Yoga / Dance Studio / Gym => This is great for active clothing products
• Salon / Spa => Do you have a hair accessory or maternity line?
• Art Gallery => Perfect if there is something art about your line, maybe things are hand-painted?
• Country Club => Do you design polo and golf courses?
• Music venue => Suitable for streetwear products
• Bakers> Consider kitchen refrigerators and oven meters
• And there are other areas of Trunk show such as;
• Office building
• Rope market
The reasons why these places do not work are because.
1. No target audience, either
2. There is no reason for the owner of these facilities to encourage and attract customers. The idea is to take advantage of a customer base already targeted at your market.
What are the benefits of doing a trunk show?
More traffic and hope for traffic on their doors (this will come from you)
An easy way to test new lines before committing to a large order.
Free streaming and buzz of the store
Opportunity to meet designer (people think you are famous)
Opportunity to buy new items that are not yet on the market.
One special price for one season only (see more about this below)
Opportunity to showcase your queue to completely new customers (which you did not need to get alone)
Honest feedback from customers is very important for new fashion startups. Whatever customers want is what you need to give them. For example, if everyone loves the color blue and no one goes to that kind of green, remove it and do more things in blue!
Opportunity to create a great photo in a new store that might carry your line (this is your real goal at the end of the day)
An opportunity to build relationships with customers to help promote product loyalty. People buy from people they know, love, and trust. And if they buy once, they may buy again. In this age of social media, you want more people by your side.
Quick reliability of your product. Some stores and shoppers will notice you when you are placed in a competitive store.
What should I do before the show?
As I always say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The key to a successful trunk show is in the program!
Schedule event time. You do not want to miss your event anytime near the sales season such as January (sending holiday sales). Choose the start of the sales season if possible and consider when submitting. For example, if you are selling your Spring line and it will not be shipped until February, you may want to host the event in August / Sept which is the beginning of the Fall Season. I know what you’re thinking, why did I sell my Spring line to Fall? The reason this season works is because August is still hot in many places so customers will still be in the mood to buy Spring / Summer. And you want your customers to find and wear things in the right season. If they get the line in February, it is the right time for next spring season (it is also ready ahead of time when your line will hit all stores). Of course, if you have time in mind, you will need to talk to the store to confirm.
Sit down with the store and discuss the details. I recommend getting everything in writing as you don’t want to take any chances.