In 2019 the Business Team at HSBC in Nottingham invited us to have a Pop Up store in a branch. The Grace and Dotty brand was displayed into the Nottingham Clumber Street Branch. This was a part of an initiative to raise small business awareness to the HSBC wider customer.
As an emerging brand we felt that this was a great honour (Only 10 businesses were offered this opportunity). The opportunity offered us a great way to get to understand our customer and consumer more. We knew it would give us some great access to the people at the heart of the brand, the consumer.
As a brand it is sometimes really difficult to get genuine and real time feedback from our end user. We see and meet some of our customers at the events and shows we attend. But time is usually against us and we never really are able to have in depth conversations with them. Genuine customer feedback is a real asset, and we rarely get to actually talk to the people who wear or use the products we make. This opportunity gave us the chance to engage closely with our potential and actual users.
The day was a complete success, we spent most of the day engaging with people. Many of the bank visitors were surprised to see a Countrywear brand promoting itself in a HSBC branch. We were alongside a Barbershop (Deckchair Barbering), who were giving away free haircuts on the day. We receive some amazing feedback from the HSBC clients who spoke to us. There were some challenges as to why we only use Certified Faux Fur and not real fur. But all in all there some great comments around how fantastic it is to see products in the clothing sector being made in England again, making Britain Great again.
The HSBC Pop Up weeks are all about sharing opportunities for small business clients of HSBC. An opportunity to showcase what they are about in the unusual environment of a bank branch. The financial crash of 2008 had a massive effect on small businesses it was great to see a bank not just looking to sell businesses more products. The fact of giving something back and supporting them to showcase their products and services with the might of the bank behind them, a very refreshing outlook and view.
We also were fortunate enough to have a short video made about our experience which you can view here.