PlumBabyChildrenFashionPLUM Baby & Children’s Fashion

Plum Baby & Children’s Fashion has been a family business for 3 generations.  Eugenie Pepper and her husband took over the running of  it in 2011.  With a Bachelor of Design, Diploma Textiles Design and Master of Art Admin as well as experience in running her own design and art business behind her, Eugenie was qualified to take on this new challenge.

Here is what she shared about her business:

Q.  Describe your business and products/services you offer

Plum produces an extensive range of high quality Australian designed, children & baby fashion, swimwear, sleepwear, sleep bags and accessories.

Q. What did you do before you started this business?

I had my own design and Art business – Astro. I was involved in interior design and art curating and organised exhibition in Australia, NYC and Asia.

Q. How long have you been running your business?

The business has been running for 3 generations – starting in the 1960’s

Q. How many hours a week do you work in your business?

It varies

Q. What kind of online and offline marketing do you do and which is working for you?

We have embarked on a major marketing campaign, by using new technology to promote the business and by enlisting new agents interstate and overseas.

We have found way to market and promote the business without spending money.

The introduction on new technology to market the business has had a huge impact on the presence of Plum in the market place, our exposure and how easily we can do simple market research and improved our sales.

Our promotional strategies include

• Social media: facebook, twitter, linkedin, instagram, pinerest and a blog. Use social media for free market research.

• Publicity & editorial through magazines, newspapers, Source bottle and Media Bag. We are in regular contact with relevant magazines and writers and work on building strong relationship with the media. We are now on all relevant call lists.

• Competitions

• Events we have worked with SIDS and Kids on several promotion and media events.

• Website We have developed our website to be more inviting and exciting and be more effective, and in turn be more financially beneficial.

• Cross promotions: working with other businesses with similar markets.

• Direct marketing promotions such as discount offers through our newsletter.

• Model castings and photo shoots to gain exposure.

Q.  Do you use social media as part of your marketing?

Taking advantage of social media to promote our business has been a great solution – it is free and you can get benefits from getting to know your customer, building relationship and increase your following.

Because don’t have much money to spend on advertising we rely heavily on social media to promote our brand PLUM.

We use social media to promote our new ranges, new products, get market research directly from the end buyer. We love getting feedback and Facebook has increased our profile.

Cross promotion with other businesses such as give-aways and bloggers doing reviews of our products and using social media to promote these on Facebook have been most successful. Social media has really worked for the business and our sales have doubled in the last 2 years with promotion mainly being through social media.

I am always on the lookout for great content. I have 5 year old and a 4 year old so I get what is going to resonate with our market. I am our target market so I know what our market is going to find interested and respond to. No matter where in the world parents are we have our children in common and I understand what is going to work and what parents are going to respond to. My voice is natural and authentic and what ever I do is really coming from the heart. I get what is going to work and what parents are going to respond to.

My voice is natural and it is personal rather than a sales pitch. Keeping it personal it is what makes social media compelling and different from regular advertising. I see it as conversation directly with your customers.

I keep it light and entertaining. You need to create discussion but I am very cautious of being controversial. You do not want to generate negative comments or anything that encourages negativity, anger or abuse. For me my brand voice is neutral when putting something that could be controversial to avoid alienating our followers.

Some of the things we did was to rewards our liker through the app fangager by giving a prize to our most active fan. We have also done casting for our photo shoots and cakes competitions etc.

It is a great way to stay in touch with our customers and promote our brand. In 2 years we have gone from a not so well know brand in 2 years ago brand to very well know and this year we are finalists in the following:

I believe social media pages need of offer: entertainment, education, advice, news and to some of our consumers, our page is offers companionship and friends. For a certain amount of our fans they consider our page a friend, confidant, some one that they can go to when they have a parenting question or want to brag about their kids or chat with others in the same boat as themselves. Our page is a friend and can substitute for their own mother’s group available 24 hours a day and they are very loyal to our brand.

Q. What mistakes have you made in running your business and what lessons have you learnt from those?

To not put all your eggs in one basket. we have a number of manufactures. Keep moving with the times, stay innovative and stay up today do your market research and have close ties with you customers.

Q. How has your website helped you run your business?

Our website is a way of attracting a new audience and market.

Not only as a retail store but it helps us to direct people to our stockists. We are also able to provide information to our customers and collect their contact details.

Q. What obstacles or challenges are you facing at the moment?

We are growing rapidly and we need to manage the growth

Q. Any other comments / points you would like to share about running your business?

Plum is one of Australian’s most loved and trusted brands for children and babies.

Plum produces an extensive range of high quality Australian designed, children & baby fashion, swimwear, sleepwear, sleep bags and accessories.

Plum believes in giving back to the community and are partners with SIDS and Kids. SIDS and Kids is dedicated to saving the lives of babies and children during pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood and supporting bereaved families. A percentage of Plum sales supports SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping educational campaign.

Awards

Runner-Up 2013 Peekaboo Design Awards – Best Australian Children’s Fashion Label
Finalist Mother and Baby Awards – Australian Kid’s Fashion Brand 2013 – Readers Choice
Finalist Kids Fashion Review Australiasian Baby Brand 2012 & 2013
Finalist 2013 My Child Excellence Awards – Favourite Sleep Bag
Winner 2013 NSW Business Chamber – Small Business Excellence

For more information, visit:

Website: www.plumcollections.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/plumbabywear
Twitter:  twitter.com/plumbabywear
YouTube:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=1czmiBc4kOE

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