Most of my life I have generally been regarded as bad luck to travel with; luggage will go missing, flights will be cancelled, my parents car will blow up – you know, all the standard types of misfortunes. However, my most recent voyage to Sydney with the fantastic team at Brown Sugar may have altered the perception I have in regards to this ominous cloud I imagined hovering above my head.
On arrival to the Brown Sugar offices last Thursday morning there appeared to be a problem with the electric doors, the problem being they wouldn’t open. Luckily an office worker was exiting the building and could assist me with entry. At this point I thought I was home free and found myself walking into an elevator, too bad the elevator was also out of order-the wheels in my brain were spinning, has misfortune struck again? Was this a sign of the events to come? I made sure all the ladies at Brown Sugar were aware of my bad luck before arrival to the airport; this was mainly to avoid disappointment down the track on everyone’s behalf.
Besides my pessimistic start, the ladies were extremely welcoming and friendly and with trepidation we made our way to the airport with many bags in tow. On arrival we joined the end of what appeared to be a never ending line, though surprisingly we managed to pass through in what seemed to be a short amount of time. With us we dragged two small mountains of luggage, almost certain we were going to be paying an exorbitant amount of money for excess baggage-so this is where the bad luck continues right? Not so apparently, we had caught an attendant on the end of her shift and allowed us the excess free of charge due to a half booked flight-maybe my luck had changed.
We boarded the flight with a total shift in attitude, we couldn’t believe our luck, and our focus was now on the reason for this trip, The Blogger Brunch held by Kids Business communication; but first we had to arrive at our accommodation-ok so this must be when the bad luck strikes? Wrong again. On arrival to the Bondi Meriton we were greeted warmly by staff who were also in a generous frame of mind, without hesitation we were offered an upgrade to the Penthouse. By this point I had dismissed all previous perceptions of bad luck and had accepted the fact that maybe, just maybe the ominous cloud had shifted. Once the excitement of the penthouse had worn off and we were sure we had uncovered everything the palatial room had to offer we got to business-while enjoying a good feed of burritos and nachos of course. Once we had nourished ourselves and could eat and talk no longer we made our way to our respective bedroom’s to prepare for the long day we had before us.
The bloggers brunch was intended as an information session of sorts- a way for brands to speak with their target market in a personal manner in the hope to create greater brand or product awareness. Other brands that attended this event included Dyson, Philadelphia cheese, Bevilles, Spotlight and Nads. There were key note speakers and a multitude of influential bloggers.
As this type of event was a first for the Ladies at Brown Sugar, everyone was unsure of what to expect. How will the bloggers respond to the brand? Will they embrace us warmly or will we be left feeling deflated by the whole experience? Most of these early nervous thoughts stemmed from the fact that the only Brown Sugar store in NSW is located in Albury, so most of these ladies living in metropolitan areas were unaware of this well-known Melbourne Ladies clothing brand. As the bloggers entered the nerves started to rise, everyone remained positive as all were very confident in what we had to offer the bloggers.
Within fifteen minutes of the event commencing all nerves had vanished as the response we received from the bloggers outreached all expectations. In fact we didn’t have to do much selling at all, the product sold itself. We were immediately inundated with women enquiring about the brand and trying the clothing on for themselves, usually leaving with a few products in hand.
We also had another mission in mind that day-to select an appropriate brand ambassador that would be the face of Brown Sugar’s social media campaigns. We had many ladies volunteer to be in the running to be selected as ambassador which will make it a tough job narrowing it down to the ideal candidate. The individual/s chosen to represent Brown Sugar will have to be in line with the companies core values in order to expand on their strong relationship with their consumer base.
It can’t be denied that social media is growing as an integral part of the retail industry. People are disillusioned by advertising and are becoming growingly proactive in researching a product before investing. It’s important to open the lines of communication between an organisation and a brand and blogger ambassadors are a fantastic way of doing this. Blogger’s are individuals who write about subjects that interest them, they are everyday individuals who have chosen to share their thoughts and opinions with the online community. People tend to follow particular blogs that are in line with their own interests and over time can be highly influenced by the opinion of these bloggers. This is why it’s a great idea for brands to create relationships with bloggers as they are a great tool when trying to communicate with your particular target public and this is a route that Brown Sugar has chosen to pursue.
Overall the event was a great success, many relationships were formed and the response to the brand was far beyond anyone’s initial expectations. Brown Sugar is taking the necessary steps to stay connected to its target public by strategically moving into this next phase of retail where the barriers between the online and in-store experience and increasingly becoming blurred. The Bloggers Brunch and events of similar nature are most definitely a great idea for any brand struggling to engage its online community.
Not only was the event a great success for Brown Sugar but the trip may have also signified the end of my travelling streak of bad luck!