Today’s Royal Wedding has sparked a stampede of entrepreneurial activity, with a leading retail expert warning start-ups to remain loyal to their brands with any activity or risk a consumer backlash.
Brian Walker, managing director of The Retail Doctor, says certain offerings surrounding the Royal Wedding are not deemed to be in good taste or are too loosely tied to the event.
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For example, one British manufacturer is offering souvenir boxes of condoms, packaged in a box featuring of the royal couple.
Royal memorabilia, such as coffee mugs and tea towels, have long been associated with the British royal family.
However, outlandish items aligned to the latest royal wedding include cocktails, tea bags, nail polish and even a Kate Middleton Franklin Mint doll.
There have also been reports of wedding “tours” for dedicated fans, while London tourism operators and retailers prepare for an influx of customers.
Numerous businesspeople – from fashion designers to bridal shop managers – have also emerged to discuss everything from bridal dresses, wedding cars, wedding cakes and even cutlery.
On a local front, ice cream franchise Baskin Robbins is one example of businesses looking to cash in on the royal wedding hype, designing a celebratory ice cream cake inspired by English gardens.
Meanwhile, a group of Australian wool growers have contributed handfuls of wools, which have been made into materials for suits and given to Prince William as a wedding present.
Walker says while an event such as the royal wedding may lend itself to creative ideas, business owners must be careful not to get carried away with their offerings.
“As a business, you have to be true to your brand and what you’re about, and true to your motivation for doing those things,” he says.
“In addition to those things, weigh up the sensibilities and capacity of your audience. If you’re consistent with all those things, and the audience knows you for it, then [that’s] okay.”
Walker says one-off high profile events can make it hard for businesses to cater for the increase in foot traffic, particularly if they are located in the same vicinity as the event.
“When events are regular, they’re reasonably straightforward to predict. When you have an event like [the royal wedding] and your business can benefit from that event, you need to take an estimate as best you can,” he says.
“There’s no great science to it… Look at what historical events have impacted your business in the past and what level of activity you had then.”