Owning the Green

It’s funny how things evolve. 

The Gift of Adventure

When we started SplashMaps, green was an obvious colour.  It’s about the outdoors; grass and leaves and all that makes the outdoors outdoorsey.

When we found that our maps were bought as gifts, green began to mean something more.  Environment, ethics and desirability.  Perhaps “Green” could even be a reference to “newness” as gift buyers are often encouraging folk to do things they are not used to.  Taking a longer stride into the outdoors, appreciating nature, using the restorative power you find when you walk and ride in the country.

Our new head of Toob wearing

Whatever the reason, after carting fragile artwork from show to shows for the past 4 years, this time our designer, Paul, told me “David, for the gift market you have to start ‘owning the green!’.  So we did.  And our concept of “The Gift of Adventure” was born.

The results?

It’s only a few days since the show and already we’re designing 5 new products for 5 new retailers, our leaflets and catalogues are vastly depleted (and being mailed daily) and my list of potential customers grown by over 120.  In a show that was clearly effected by tube strikes we seemd to be bringing them in!

SplashTex is the most ethical material a map has ever been printed on.

But why did they come to us?

Clearly we had a strong differentiator.  We really were the gift of adventure.  There were gifts for men (often associated for some reason with maps) and there were even people putting decorative map deisgns on silk.  But among the acres of stationry and scented candles, something about us stood out.

Promoting before?

Getting in early:  We really wanted to meet new people.  We’d been stung by poor positioning in trade guides in the past.  I was not minded to advertise there this time around and instead placed a half page ad in the Gift Review guide.  Not only did this get mailed to buyers ahead of the main autumn shows, piquing the interest of those that may not see us on the stand and raising awareness of those going to Top Drawer.  Added to this, the Gift Review people are lovely and have always given me excellent value for money 😉

Promoting during?

Getting them on the day: Inevitably the call came within 5 days of show opening.  There was space in the gift guide and they’d picked up on our media release about SplashTex. A really good deal was struck and we were in 2 relevant sections of the guide that everyone receives when they enter the hall.  The media release and the new options perhaps made up for.

Painting the town Green

Owning the green:  Instead of plastering the walls in map images and wowing with our videos on 70 inch screens, we booked a long narrow stand (4m x 1.5m) and painted the long wall green.  Boy did this stand-out! Positioned near the stairs on the ground floor we were an oasis of green in the muted white of the gift stands all around us.

The team celebrating SplashTex’s launch in bubbles

Our competition, the SplashTex launch (celebtrated in bubbles of course!) and the great media release and our engaging friends and family on the stand took care of the rest.  Great conversations were started, oportunities opened, lessons learnt and maps sold.




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