The very first company Michee and I put up was Love is Love. As a newbie, we were bound to make many mistakes and yes we made tons of them.
We created Love is Love to promote equality, love, and acceptance in our country. We thought that by putting products out there that promote these things, we’ll eventually see a change. So we were eager to get out there and show our product to our audience. Our first product was this t-shirt. (Michee doubles as our model)
A few months in, we were asked if we wanted to be a merchant in an LGBTQ event. And we immediately thought that it would be a great idea since that event will have our audience. We were so psyched.
At the end of the night, we watched people pass by our booth and straight inside the doors where the party was raving. Michee’s heart sank. Her excitement no longer there. So I told her that I’m not going to let the night end without us having sold at least one shirt. Pulling from my experience of watching people and how they behave (Yes, I’m a creep), I scanned the crowd and easily spotted one who was showing indications that she wanted to buy something from this event. As she was nearing our booth, I flashed a smile, chatted her up and told her the story of how Love is Love started and what we were trying to accomplish. I didn’t have to point to our shirt or even mention it to her. She went to where our shirts were and picked one of her size. I was ecstatic even though it was the only sale we had that night.
So what went wrong? Every single one of those people who just walked past our booth was a perfect match (demographics wise) for the message that we were spreading. Why is it that they did not have time to listen to the message? Then it dawned on me, that the people who went to the event came to party, have a good laugh with friends or meet new ones, maybe ignite a spark with someone. They were not there to shop. And so that’s why 99% of them was resolute and firm in their refusal to pay attention to our message.
That’s what we overlooked. We were so focused in getting the demographics right that we never even considered if the person we wanted to reach was actually ready to lend their ears.
So beyond nailing the demographics and media planning, ask yourself this:
Is your audience ready to listen to what you have to say?