BUSINESS LESSONS WE LEARNED BY PARTICIPATING IN OUR COLLEGE'S TRADE FEST
Updated: Mar 1, 2020
We recently put up a stall in our college's fest and we must say, it was a momentous experience. We learned a ton of business lessons and marketing tactics. The sole purpose of writing this blog is to share those lessons out of our experience.
This blog post is going to be more of a story, unlike all the other blogs we have published previously.
So it was our lunch break and we were just roaming around our campus, exploring various stalls in the fest. Some of them were selling handmade bookmarks, chocolates, there was chat stall as well, and one which was doing something related to blind dating.
We didn’t even know that it was happening, let alone getting registered to participate. There were 5 of us at the beginning, Deepak, Vibhu, Gurjeet, Tanmay and me. We were just meandering around when all of a sudden Vibhu asked us to set up a stall now as there was plenty of space still remaining.
But we had no clue what to sell. After some time I asked them, “let’s sell Instagram shoutouts” and suddenly everyone just wanted to do it immediately.
Lesson 1: Use the power of social media
So now, we had a team and we were ready to step into the game. We borrowed some stools and two pieces of A3 sheets from used files of previous batches. You see, that’s how you start a zero investment startup, just kidding. The rules were Rs10 for a shoutout from an account with 1500 followers, Rs20 from an account with 3000 followers and Rs30 from an account with 9000 followers.
Tanmay is a professionally equipped artist. So we got him to make our poster. It was looking stunning, on the top, it was written in beautiful typography, “Instagram Shoutouts” below which there was a 3D Instagram logo. It was the most classy poster among all the stalls in our institute.
Gurjeet knows incredible origami. So in the meantime, while we were getting the stall ready, he was making paper planes that were soaring around in the sky. This worked wonders for getting the crowd attraction. People started coming even before our stall was ready.
Deepak came up with a more interesting idea. He showed up with pitthus in his hands which we use to play with regularly. We thought it’d be good for the crowd engagement, but it turned out to be a distraction. Everyone was more interested in playing pitthu than visiting our stall, which was good for us but at the same time, it was not letting us sell shoutouts.
Do you know why everyone wanted to play pitthu so much? Because it was a part of their childhood memories, and they wanted to relive those memories and we were giving them an opportunity to experience them all over again.
Lesson 2: You can use your consumer’s emotions and sell nostalgia.
So yes we decided to introduce new and better rules which will include pitthu in the business.
So the newly introduced rule was: For Rs10 you will get 5 chances to throw a ball, and if the pitthus fall, you’ll get a shoutout for free. That simple.
And it worked wonders for us, we were continuously getting customers, our stall was never empty for more than a minute. People recommending others to play at our stall (mouth marketing). Tanmay was managing the incoming cash at that time. Vibhu was roaming around to get more people to our stall, basically, he was our salesman.
Meanwhile, I was yelling loudly, “10 rupe me pitthu khelo, pitthu khelo, pitthu khelo”.
Lesson 3: Adapt to Customer Feedback superquick
At times when we had less crowd, we asked our classmates to play for free and to make some noise while playing. This way we managed to look like the busiest stall in the ground, even when we weren’t. Reason? Crowd attraction and public image, we got more people every time we did it. Welcome to the world of business.
Lesson 4: Jo dikhta hai wo bikta hai
Time to innovate.
We at Pitthu Stall believe in constant innovation because we understand that people want change, they always want something new, something better and we also believe that they deserve it.
I learned to write like this after watching Silicon Valley, lol.
So yes, our very own customer gave us a wonderful idea, a more sophisticated version of our idea. The new rules we as followed:
If you throw the ball so accurately that only the pitthu on the top fall, you get Rs20 back. Basically your money gets doubled.
If you throw the ball in such a way that only the two pitthus on the top fall, you get your back.
If more than 2 pitthus fall, you get a free shoutout.
If no pitthus fall, you get nothing.
Lesson 5: Define separate versions of your product.
Now you may think that it is very difficult to get only one pitthu fall, but you know what? More than 5 people did that, and when they did, they were screaming in joy. That was the part of our stall, we knew how to keep everyone happy. To be honest, we were the most enjoyable stall over there, the most engaging. We even made our faculty members to try our game, even our director played with us.
Lesson 6: Make your customers feel like a King. There happiness and comfort is your major concern.
After sometime the crowd started to disappear, it was the time for award ceremony. There were more than 2 3 award segments and we won all of them, no fuck, just kidding. We won none of them because we were not officially registered.
A big thanks to all the students of Mechanical 3rd Year who helped us, one way or the other. There were so many of you that it will take an eternity for me mention all the names.
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