Exciting times ahead...
The model railway industry is a tricky place to be a retailer and be successful, but as we approach 2 years of trading it's great to still be here - but we have a long way to go to be successful.
The support we have had from customers has been amazing, but the tricky part is attracting new customers in the first place - marketing is crazy expensive and always so difficult to see where the potential wins are.
One of the things that has helped has been YouTube and our Podcast. I'm lucky that I have a broadcast background that means I can do these things with little stress or expenditure, but creating content takes time - yet another dilemma.
The next great solution is travelling to shows, and personally it is part of the job that I absolutely love. With a background in retail I always get a buzz from creating a shoppable space, talking to people and seeing instant results - but it involves time away from home, especially difficult with a baby at home.
But the above items make up our core marketing plan:
So what else do we have planned for hitting the 2-year anniversary?
First up we pick up our new trailer this week which will allow us to 1) carry more stock to shows, and 2) carry some branding on the roads! Yes the trailer will feature RAILstuff branding as another form of free advertising.
On the subject of branding, we are going to have a small update to our logo and branding, subtle but still a change. The logo will incorporate three slanted blocks inspired by the old Network SouthEast logo, but in our colours.
NSE branding is really important to me, it's my generation of railway stock and reminds me of when I first discovered model railways.
And then there's how we attract new customers... we will always be RAILstuff, but it's time to incorporate words like 'diorama' and 'gaming' in our marketing as so many of our potential customers are diorama modellers and war gamers.
So in a world dominated by big players like Hatton's and Rail of Sheffield, a world that sees traditional retailers like Eileen's Emporium close, a world with a cost of living crisis and war in Europe, a world challenging for most... we are proud to still be here and still fighting.
Thank you for your support now, and going forwards.