Designing new merchandise for Nottingham Industrial Museum is a scary prospect.
Of course, we have to include items in our range that will appeal to a broad audience but also we wish to convey to visitors the idea of Nottingham craftsmanship that is an inherent part of the ethos of our museum.
We started by developing a huge list of ideas with a local artist and the marketing volunteers. Then we asked visitors and fellow volunteers which items they liked and if they might purchase them. We used a two-pronged attack to understand the appeal of our products with both a face-to-face paper questionnaire (we are not ashamed to confess that we used Easter chocolate & reduced entry ticket as bribes) and an online survey.
Over 100 people helped with positive and useful feedback; many also gave us some great ideas and suggestions. As we plan to design and manufacture as much of the merchandise ourselves as possible, we also asked for a name that reflects the provenance of our products. We proposed several suggestions on our survey and the clear favourite was “Handcrafted in Nottingham”, which we will take forward and use.
Now the design and manufacture of merchandise begins…