Love It, Hate It

So, since we have last directly discussed our venture, some important decisions have been made.  We have settled on an art market with the wares made by student artists around the Phoenix valley, on a weekend afternoon.  This past week, we have been practicing and testing our pitch, an approximately 1 minute message targeted at each customer segment about the event, and one version for student artists to get them interested in selling their work.  We have also begun thinking about and testing names of our art market, aside from what we have been calling it: the Student Art Market.

I’ve been getting pretty universally positive feedback about our pitches, with some helpful tweaks and points that need more emphasis.  The name is a totally different story.  We have a list of about 15 names, I have been testing my favorite 7 out after the pitch.  And I’ve been getting some pretty strong reactions.

One the surface, these two men fit into pretty similar demographics: they are both in their early to mid twenties, they are both graduate students and self identify as artists (though not the kind that will be selling at our event).  They are both into graphic novels, have relocated from colder climates, and totally want to support other student artists.  They both had similar feedback about the pitch: emphasize the local.  And they had strong, contradictory opinions about any variation of Parking Lot Market (such as Student Parking Lot Market, Parking Lot Art Market, Tempe Parking Lot Market).

The first picked the Parking Lot Market out of our list of potential names as his favorite.  He thought it implied something unique, special and different.  He thought it made it feel space specific and local.  He thought it stood out from the other names, and that it would stand out from the rest of the arts and crafts fairs happening in the area.

The second loved 9th & Ash Art Market, but HATED anything with Parking Lot in it.  He said that parking lot ruins the warm, local feeling you get from the pitch, and the idea in general.  He thought that parking lot made it seem like everything else everywhere else, and sort of corporate.  He did like the work market, though, because it links our event to other local things (like farmers markets, supporting something we learned in our first few rounds of getting out of the building).

So.  What do you do when there are two strong, opposite feelings about your product?  Luckily we have a whole list of other name possibilities and a whole bunch of other people we have talked to to help guide us.  One thing is clear, though: I am getting used to being wrong.  Like my other hypotheses throughout this process, neither of these men liked my favorite name at all.


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