At the end of May, we started distributing our men’s collection, first on the occasion of public fairs, and shortly thereafter via our online shop.
While certain jeans models were still in production, we prepared the marketing. This requires some lead time, because the registration for fairs must take place early. In addition, the online shop had to be prepared so far that the products could be presented on time.
We chose the Biorama Fair Fair from May 25 to 27, 2018 to start selling the men’s collection. In addition to our jeans we presented some first T-shirt designs and our upcycled jeans bag made of old jeans. We were pleased to receive a lot of positive feedback on our trade show presence. Also the jeans arrived very well, especially the models with smart pockets.
The Biorama Fair Fair was followed by the two fairs Feschmarkt in Vienna and Feldkirch, which took place in June and early July 2018. We have already been able to sell numerous products through our trade fair appearances and collect valuable feedback directly from end customers.
Pop-up store in Switzerland
Since I have a large network in Switzerland, I also wanted to offer my Swiss friends and acquaintances the opportunity to get to know the TORLAND products. A friend gave me the tip that a shop is empty in a shopping street in a prime location in Baden. So I searched the owner of this property and asked him if I could set up a pop-up store there for a few days. We agreed on a rent and I reserved the store for a week. Like this we opened our first store at Badstrasse 27 in Baden from 7 to 9 June 2018 and celebrated a kick-off event for our crowdfunding campaign on one of these evenings.
Challenges with the online shop
Of course, a business also means that the products can be ordered through their own website. However, programming the online store was more difficult than expected because we wanted everything to work in two languages and with two currencies, EUR and CHF. The complexity was compounded by the fact that we had to define two delivery regions with different VAT rates, as we also wanted to supply the Swiss customers correctly. The sales within the EU are to be handled by the Viennese company, and the sales in Switzerland by the Swiss company.
This set-up is necessary so that we can charge our Swiss customers the cheaper VAT rate, and so that we can save them from additional customs clearance costs. If packages are delivered from the EU to Switzerland, then a customs clearance must be made. Normally, these costs are imposed on the recipient, unless the carrier takes over the customs clearance on behalf of the consignor, which incurs high costs per parcel. We therefore decided on a separate delivery region, for which we operate a small warehouse in Switzerland.
After all technical hurdles were solved, we were able to put our online shop on 5 June 2018 into operation.
Pictures and print material as a prerequisite for marketing
In order to be able to do marketing at all, you need professional photos and texts. Both online sales and physical distribution do not work without images and text. On the one hand product images and descriptions are needed. On the other hand, it requires images and texts that serve the brand image, that is to convey to the potential customer what the brand TORLAND is all about. In addition flyers and brochures need to be printed, as well as to stock the website with appropriate pictures and texts.
In order to have matching footage, we conducted a photo shoot on March 16, 2018, for which we requested selected people who served us as a model. With Robert Marcus Klump we found a professional photographer who skilfully staged the models. We carried out further photo shoots for the products ourselves, after acquiring the necessary infrastructure, such as a background screen.