WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST HURDLES YOUR BUSINESS HAS HAD TO FACE, AND HOW DID YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS OVERCOME THEM?
Consumer Education: Our other big challenge that I realized we had while selling at the markets was the overall depth to the concept behind our product as the Atlas Project so much more than just a map, a bottle, or a random international coin. This has led to some significant challenges in regard to consumer education. So, we perfected our pitch over the course 8 months at markets, constantly experimenting and evolving over the thousands of times we told it until we could tell our full story in 30 seconds or less.
But, I knew that our first product- the Atlas Kit- would never stand a chance in a retail setting because no one would ever be able to know what the heck it was if it just sat there on a shelf, no matter how great the packaging. That’s why I designed our second product to hold the Atlas Project to be a Travel Journal. Again, I come from a teaching background, so where in the business world, they may call it consumer education. In my world, we just call it education, which is all about building bridges from existing knowledge to new knowledge. So, with a Travel Journal, it provided that foundational knowledge for people in stores to access and understand the basic value our product had to offer from a stand point of functionality (i.e., a great travel journal). But, as they picked it up and started to explore, they would experience little acts of discovery as they would come across each feature of our Atlas Project. These discoveries will be guided and informed by a summary of the Atlas Project on backside of our cover that I designed with a close friend, which offers concise and clear instructions as to what the Atlas Project was.
In addition, in order to have our Atlas Travel Journals really stand out on the retail shelf and increase the likelihood of people picking it up to explore and learn about its various features, we chose to put a different quote on each Journal cover, which would encourage people to sift through all of Atlas Travel Journals in the stores and find the quote that resonated with them the most.
Since launching our Atlas Travel Journals, we have noticed customers being initially drawn to us at markets because of our Atlas Travel Journals, taking the time to learn about the entire Atlas Project in regards to both our Kits and Journals either directly from our pitch or by reading the summary on the back, and many times electing to buy our package deal we call the Atlas Explorer, which comes with both the Travel Journal and Pouch. We may not know all that much about Consumer Education, but as a teacher, when it comes to educating our customers about the Atlas Project, it is a subject we love teaching!
Many Thanks and Happy Travels,
Matt and Gretchen