Sandra Lira is a sculptor who for many years used silicone in the process of creating bronze and resin sculpture.
She also loves to bake. When the first silicone bakeware came out for consumers, Sandra saw that most of the designs were copies of metal pans and didn’t utilize silicone’s fantastic design capabilities. She saw a niche that she thought she could capitalize on and, at the same time, have fun with. Bringing her concept to reality, she developed a distinctive decorative bakeware and sought to market it under the name of Zanda Panda.
After reading SCORE counselor Peg Corwin’s Web 2.0 Marketing for Small Business, Sandra posted several comments. Peg responded and offered to help. She advised Sandra in crafting press releases that appeal to journalists who would highlight her molds and in finding ways to promote her product, including the use of her own blog. One of the most successful promotions was to be featured on the QVC cable network. SCORE counselor Phil Hartung gave Sandra advice on presenting to and negotiating with QVC buyers. Sandra also received ideas on product pricing and international sales from SCORE counselor Al Grossman.
Hartung said of her: “Sandy was thorough and persistent in her research into the needs and operations of her potential customer. She knew that the more she could learn about a customer the better her opportunity to be successful.”
As a result of her marketing efforts, especially the QVC promotion, Zanda Panda’s sales jumped. As Sandra said of SCORE’s contribution to her growing success: “It’s very reassuring to have a mentor that has been there already and knows the ropes. Peg has been very helpful and is always there when I have a question. If it’s a question outside of her areas of expertise, she’s always been able to recommend another SCORE member who can help.”
Be sure to check out the website at www.zandapanda.com .