Yesterday, I went on an impromptu outing with my uncle. It was to an exhibition for Made In Nigeria products where one of their friends would be selling her products. Being the creative that I am (tending to disregard schedules most times and embrace spontaneity), I happily agreed. Five minutes later, we arrived at the venue.
After spotting about two Ankara fabric stands, I immediately knew it had been a good decision to come, mostly because I and Ankara craft have entered into a blood covenant (it’s that serious).
As we glided through the different stands, I was again confronted with the usual ‘expensive handmade products’ brouhaha. Being a handmade crafter, myself, I began to wonder- what is it we can we do to reduce the costs so our artsy products can enter the hands of our eager customers?
I know what it means to spend painstaking time gluing, bending, wiring and creating these products and then being questioned by customers why the monetary value of the handmade product is so high. I also know how it feels to fall in love with a handmade product, only to be told that it is 9,000 naira. Simpu Ankara jacket.
As I returned back to my uncle’s friend whose exhibitions stand touted organic cosmetics. When I saw ‘Coffee Scrub’ amongst the products, I got confused o. Will this one go in a mug or on the face??
I was struck with her unique marketing strategy; which was quite simple and effective – Caring About Customers. The way she drew the customers in was like honey drawing bees. A free sample here, a discount there, some free cosmetic advice…
Sell, she was trying to do. But not at the expense of her customers’ needs, wills and feelings. In this ‘money-crazy’ times, that’s something to think about.