Puro, a large provider of electronics accessories and gadgets in the Greek marketplace, originally contacted the Sales Department here at Swan Brand in 2019 to discuss a collaboration. At the time, there was minimal interest in Swan as a brand, although the directors of Puro were still quite interested in the products.
Unfortunately, due to cost-effective reasons such as transport, pricing, cost of goods, and their market, this wasn’t a profitable exercise for Puro to explore at the time. And, with Swan being a new brand in their country, they would have to work hard to push the marketing and promote the brand themselves. We would usually look for a distributor in those regions to give the best pricing to the customer- they would then use that extra margin to promote the Swan brand for their benefit. Due to these hesitancies, the communication fizzled out for a good while.
Approximately 12 months later, Puro got back in touch to re-explore the collaboration with Swan. With Swan being brand new to the Greek marketplace, Puro were interested in testing how the Swan items would do. We sent over some Retro and Nordic lines (our best-selling products here in the UK). The Retro range, at the time, was quite appealing to the Greek company as the items were a brand-new concept to their market.
Initially, Puro wanted to take the stock directly from the factories in China- but because they required small amounts of different products in different colours to see what was going to work for them, it wouldn’t have been beneficial. So, they took some stock from our floor and promoted it via some Greek shopping channels, to begin. This idea had by Puro was to gauge immediate audience feedback to estimate what unrecognised stock would sell well and hit the spot with audiences.
From this publicity came promising contact from Greece's most popular television show. Soon after, specific items were selected to be featured on the television show for nine weeks (daily) from the 23rd of November 2020. The Retro and Nordic lines performed well from the off. The presenter focused on the Retro items and their unique style and characteristics, promoting the Swan items twice during the show. She refers to the 'mega set', a bundle of free Swan stock given to two winners every day.
How is Swan now available in Cyprus, Greece?
Although Puro had purchased different items of stock initially to see how it settled with the public, we provided them with a small amount of stock to use as giveaway items free of charge as they were performing so well on the show. The Retro lines resonated the most with the viewers due to their iconic style and colours. These characteristics were enormously popular due to their stand-out potential against the plainer colours that Greek audiences had become so accustomed to.
The Instagram profile of the show received 8k comments within 1.5 hours of going live. And, the TV channel said the impact was huge compared to an already known brand featured in another field (cosmetics, clothing, etc.). Swan continued to be the star of the show right the way through until the 8th of January 2021. The colour and style of the Retro range items struck a chord with the Greek viewers, and audience feedback was clear within a few episodes of the show.
This success resulted in Swan Brand's introduction to Puro's biggest retailer in Cyprus, Public. And just like that, our Swan Retro, Nordic, and Gatsby items were put on the shelves for sale in 6 stores across Cyprus. Public worked with another company called Media Market, who were also interested in having our Swan items in their 2 Cyprus stores in July 2021. After seeing the results from the television show and the amount of interest received, in January this year, Public wanted to expand the stock lines they had with us to see what else could potentially do well. They placed another order of Swan items just one week before the successful television promotion ended.
Soon after, Puro asked to expand the cooperation with Swan Brand, which included renewing the existing contract with plans to build on brand advertising even further with a dedicated wooden stand featuring an entire Swan collection publicised on a daily basis. To support the further marketing efforts, we provided the stock that Puro needed free of charge.
The project developed issues because of the changes happening with Brexit, as it soon became difficult for us to get stock out of the country. This matter caused a few delays in getting the stock to Puro for advertisement use. In February 2021, we discussed the products, sales, and Puro’s investigation into independent stores and how we could get Swan items into a retail market rather than television shopping shows.
We received confirmation earlier this year that Public and Media Market opened 2 new stores in September 2021, taking the number of Cyprus stores selling Swan items up to 8 in total.
In November 2021, Public Chain confirmed that they would sell more Swan lines. They have also rented a dedicated gondola (which they have noted is a privilege, as this is usually only given to established Cyprus brands like Kenwood, Philips, and Bosch). The store is very spacious and maximises the Swan stock while showing it aesthetically. The branding will be finalised soon and aims to enhance the brand image. Public Chain is pushing to add more variety of the Swan items into the store to test for even broader product feedback, and so they have a bigger diversity product-wise.
At present, the stock is sitting on dedicated gondolas across 8 Cyprus stores, and we are expecting positive feedback from the second wave of Swan lines ordered. We are also currently waiting to see if the independent stores can take any Swan stock into their stores. Keep your eyes peeled!