London Design Festival took place between 24th – 27th of September 2015, in the heart of London, Hanbury street, Tent London.
Three Plantuians – Janne Loiske (Brand and Design Director), Timo Ketonen (Chairman of the Board), and myself (Asia, UK and France sales driver) – left the cold Finland and flew into the sunny London (Yes, sunny, to our great surprise) to introduce the Britons to the joy of growing your own, fresh herbs.
London Design Festival, just like any exhibition, was exhausting, but very much in a good way. In four days we talked to hundreds and hundreds of people who were stopped on their hunt for design inspiration by the cosy light of Plantui Smart Gardens. You could see on their faces that they were wondering what is that futuristic, UFO looking like design element with plants. The interest was huge when we explained what it does and the giggles came every time when we told that “the plants go to bed every day, for 8h automatically to have their beauty sleep”. Tech geeks were surprised by the fact that it is touch sensitive and children loved the idea that you need to “caress” your Plantui to put it to sleep or wake it up.
To our surprise, many were familiar with the Moomins, especially children were gathering up around the little Moomin Garden to admire the characters painted on it. Parents loved the idea that it comes with a book which tells a story every night and teaches the little ones how to be responsible and grow your plants (No need to get a puppy right away). Best part: it still guarantees the results, so there are no crying children because their plants died – you could literally hear a relieved sigh from the parents. These are the reasons why we created the Moomin Smart Garden: to offer an amazing, little device which can be used as an educational tool which teaches children the joy of growing and eating your own, self-grown greens.
We were happy to receive feedback from the media who came to see us and especially one comment I remember very well: “when I was invited to see your product, I was sceptical but not I am amazed!”
The purpose of participating at London Design Festival was to raise awareness of the brand, as a first step in our go2market strategy. Next step would be to find a suitable partner who takes care of the brand and distributes the products to all those people who are impatient to find us in the stores.
I think our first goal was achieved through the high number of visitors at our stand, the retail contacts and the media’s interest. Now the Plantui team is busy accomplishing the second one. UK has a huge market potential with 60+ million people and and we aim at 10% of the households in big cities interested. W e believe that everyone deserve a garden!
It was a very good experience and a big motivator for our team to see all the surprised and amazed faces and be reminded, that we are part of a company we are proud of, offering a product which brings so much joy to both adults and children.
I wish to thank all the people who made this possible: Saija Mahon and her hard-working, 24/7 available team; our Plantui team who supported us with whatever we needed in London and last, but not least, Timo and Janne who made this experience not just a strictly work-related one, but a very fun experience too.
Thank you London! See you again soon!