So, that first demo went amazingly well. We were totally unprepared, our setup was generic at best, and we sucked at the one sentence summary. There is a lot we will improve on, but we still sold out all the boxes on the shelf, all the boxes Whole Foods had bought in preparation for our demo, and all of the extra boxes we had in our car. Better than that, though, was the feedback from customers.
We were both silent with nerves while walking in and setting up. We are outgoing, but neither of us had done anything like this before. It took a little time for us to loosen up and figure things out. After a few hours we had learned a ton.
First off, I think I forgot that these people have no idea who we are. They have never heard of Quinn Popcorn, and most assumed that we were hired help for some huge company. I don’t think there is an easy way to fix this one. In the end we just tried to have more conversations.
The large majority of people, however, just want to grab a sample and run. I know I have done that a lot so I can’t really blame them. This did, however, bring about an awesome pattern. A passerby would quickly grab a sample without stopping. They would make it another 5 or 10 steps before stopping, finishing their cup, and turning back to investigate. Many ended up snagging a box. That was some pretty solid good flavor validation.
Placement is really important. Wedged between the meat counter and the frozen fish sticks, our spot was less than ideal. Next time we will scope it out and see if we can make a suggestion before they pick the spot.
This was just one little demo, but it was a big moment for us. It was the first time we had direct contact with customers. We have been jamming popcorn down our friends and families throats for a year, but this is different. This was honest, unbiased feedback on the flavor, the brand, the concept, everything. In the end we couldn’t have hoped for a better reception. We always enjoy filling up on positive Quinn Popcorn vibes. It’s a good thing we had fun doing it because going forward our weekends will be demo filled.
Now, if anyone has an idea of how we can quickly fill hundreds of little paper cups with popcorn, I’m all ears. Also, thoughts on what would make a cool setup? I’m thinking wood table and grey linen around the sides. Also, we need some signage!