type of soap

Discussion in 'Craft Fairs & Shows' started by Marilyn Norgart, May 29, 2019.

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  1. Jun 17, 2019 #21

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

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    I agree that presentation is important -- the overall display and the soap packaging doesn't need to be elaborate or costly, but it does need to attract the eye from a distance so people are encouraged to come closer. As a customer, I want to get a sense that the seller has put a reasonable amount of time and effort into producing a good product and takes pride in her or his product.

    I once went to a farmer's market and walked by a bare table piled with naked soap bars encrusted with soap crumbs obvious from 10 feet away. There were no price, no name, no ingredients list, and not even a table cloth. The seller looked rumpled and not friendly, like she had just rolled out of the wrong side of the bed. Utterly unappealing.

    Once at a seller's booth, it's been my experience that most customers buy mainly on smell and then on appearance of the soap. Sometimes unusual ingredients will attract a customer -- egg, beer, lanolin, pine tar, etc. -- although that interest doesn't necessarily result in a sale, unless the scent is also appealing. I think markets with more of a "crunchy" focus are likely to have a larger percentage of buyers with more interest in unscented or vegetarian soaps. In my area, that would be the farmer's markets in our nearby college town. In the outlying smaller towns, the crowd is much more conventional.

    Nowadays, I sell only at one gift shop in a nearby river town that has a strong tourist trade. I package my soap using a farm country and river town theme with the goal of attracting customers looking for an inexpensive memento of their trip. I want my soaps to be nicely packaged, have interesting designs, and be distinctively scented so a bar can make a pretty little gift. There is another soap maker who sells in the same shop. Her soaps are smaller but also less expensive, sold naked with no ingredients label, have soft natural colors, and are lightly scented with EOs. Her products appeal to a different set of customers than my soap does, and we both do okay.
     
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  2. Jun 17, 2019 #22

    MGM

    MGM

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    I was just thinking this today....I just *threw out* some soap yesterday because it is so crumbly, so unappealing, and the fragrance is bleh. I kept the unappealing, crumbly soap with almost no fragrance because it wasn't off-putting and seemed to work fine. One of my favourites is the slightly less unappealing, crumbly soap with a great fragrance. So whereas an eye-catching display and nicely coloured soaps will get me to your table, fragrance is make or break for me, apparently....
     
  3. Jun 18, 2019 #23

    Kathymzr

    Kathymzr

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    If customers are leery of a new soap ingredient, that’s a good talking point. Or an oil, say Babassu, that’s a good talking point. If they think it’s crazy idea soap, give little samples.

    Keep a good supply of “bread and butter” soap. Change up the colors sometimes, or fragrance. These are best sellers, that often are the backbone of your sales. You can talk about a new fragrance. If someone suggests one, reassure them you’ll have it next time. Engage the customer for ideas and feedback. Keep a notebook. Just a thought.
     
  4. Jun 18, 2019 #24

    Kathymzr

    Kathymzr

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    Presentation matters a lot, next to knowing your market. Almost everyone has a birthday coming up. So an “affordable luxury” gift, attractively ready for giving might be something to have available. And change up displays for regular markets. Keep track of which ones seem to work best. Keep your car “display” kits ready to go. Even plain soap can be fun on a tie dye tablecloth!
     
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  5. Jun 18, 2019 #25

    Lin19687

    Lin19687

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    Knowing Your Market is #1
    Knowing what YOU want YOUR soaps to look like is #2
    Then you can figure out your display.

    When you first start you learn these things as they go along and how the Market changes.
     
  6. Jun 18, 2019 #26

    Kathymzr

    Kathymzr

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    Branding your soap is definitely what makes your product you. Especially where there is competition. Bramble Berry USA great example: they have a new collection. From picking up replacement soap from Joe’s to shopping Katydid Naturals collections, your brand should fit your market and the image you want to portray.
     
  7. Jun 18, 2019 #27

    jcandleattic

    jcandleattic

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    So much this!!

    I do not have a "staple" scent that I always keep in stock - 99% of my scents are blends I make up on the fly. I rarely ever duplicate the same look to a soap more than once (I think I've actually only done it 2-3 times) - my market craves variety - but that's just it - I KNOW my market. My customer base is drawn in by scent, yes, however, my plain 1-color soaps are always the very last to sell. My multi colored, bright, swirled soaps always sell first. By the end of my selling season I can almost guarantee every year which soaps I'll have leftovers of A - unscented, uncolored soaps I always have the most leftover, B- anything lavender this scent just does not sell for me, which is good because I HATE it, and C- single colored soaps. EVERY year...
    But that's my market. Others markets are different which is why I agree that knowing your market and customer base is the absolute most important thing in this business. Without that, there would be no sales...
     

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