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Turun Flunkein Valtaaja has quickly become a hit among us
Evesoc Group is a student cooperative, at Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS). Evesoc Group offers services in social media marketing and sales promotion as well as event production. Event production was the main source of income of Evesoc Group before Covid-19 pandemic and it forced the student team to think and do something totally different.
What is Turun Flunkein Valtaaja?
Students from the Evesoc Group Cooperative came up with the idea of creating their own product as part of their learning activities. Other Cooperatives, now and then, have oriented their business towards services to local companies. Evesoc Group wanted to have something of its own. That’s why the student team produced a board game, aiming for consumer markets.
The purpose of the game is to go around the map of Turku while rolling the dice and visit as many attractions as possible.
The purpose of the game is to go around the map of Turku while rolling the dice and visit as many attractions as possible. There are black dots in the map, which are called Simmottis-dots. In these Simmottis-dots, the player draws a card which can for example take him further, gets him to lose points or to do push-ups. In the attractions the player has to answer a Turku themed question. There are two types of questions. “Uusturkulainen”, which are easier and are meant for youth and outsiders and “Paljasjalkainen turkulainen”, which are harder questions for people who have lived in Turku for many years or just want to make it a bit harder and challenge themselves. The first player that has six points gathered is the winner!
The production and the sales
Evesoc Group ordered the game boxes, dices and pawns from Germany, as they are cheaper there. And everything else: cards, board, instructions and a sticker for the lid from a local printing company Printteri Oy. As this was their first board game that the students produced, Printteri supported them with consulting service and shared their premises for their use. Evesoc Group spent a week and a half assembling the board games and making them ready for their customers.
As we had only a few hundred euros for the project, we needed to get more money for the production. We had an idea of collaborating with local businesses by offering them ad slots in our Simmottis-cards. It was a brilliant way for both us and the businesses to collaborate and at the same time benefit from it. More is told about it in the upcoming paragraph.
Turun Flunkein Valtaaja board game was launched to the markets on 29th of November in 2020 with 522 pieces of board games. They were sold out in 18 days.
Turun Flunkein Valtaaja board game was launched to the markets on 29th of November in 2020 with 522 pieces of board games. They were sold out in 18 days. The goal was to produce 300 games for Christmas markets, and neither did the student team reach their goals, but even went above and beyond them. There was a positive “problem” before the Christmas: there were no games left to sell. The team decided to go for a second production batch.
How was it possible to sell 522 games in 18 days?
The team made several plans and had a dozen of meetings discussing about the sales and marketing during the making stage of the board game. The most critical and in-depth part of the project plan was made during the first months of the project. The plan was to sell the products in local grocery stores and malls with a pop-up store. However, that didn’t work out , because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The team was forced to think of something else and that’s when it was decided to go ahead with an online store.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic the team was forced to think of something else and that’s when it was decided to go ahead with an online store
The sales started with contacting local companies which were offered to buy the game so that they could give as Christmas present to their employees and/or their business partners . That was a huge success as 279 pieces were sold.
A member of the team came up with an idea of contacting a radio station to tell a story about the project. The team contacted local newspapers and television channels. At the moment Evesoc Group has been displayed in four newspapers, on radio and on television with the most notable ones being Turun Sanomat, Iltalehti and Yle Lounais-Suomi. The articles have created a lot of buzz for the Turun Flunkein Valtaaja board game and thus increasing the sales. For example, after the news on television, Evesoc Group got 22 new orders in a few hours.
Digitalization has crucially changed the way we have lived in the past 20 years. Not everyone is used to the digital world, as elderly people still like to shop in the physical stores. That’s why the team realised that a store that could sell the product was needed. With connections, the flower shop Vivahde, in Turku centre, took the games to their shelves and it has been a success. During the first batch Vivahde sold around 75 items.
Cooperation between Evesoc Group and local companies
As there was close to zero initial available capital for this project, there was a need for funding. It was decided to collaborate with local companies on Turun Flunkein Valtaaja’s Turku themed board game. The way of cooperating was to offer companies an ad slot on the playing cards with a logo and text that is related to their business. In exchange of this we received initial payments that secured the investment capital for producing the games.
At first it was assumed that anyone would want to collaborate with Evesoc Group, and get some visibility against a small financial contribution. However, many companies turned Evesoc Group down because of the struggles caused by the pandemic, with shortage of marketing budgets. The initial-two-weeks sales sprint eventually lasted for five weeks, but in the end the team reached its goal of 20 slots with 23. The added-value that the companies get from this way of marketing is visibility in a distinctive way. It is more effective as people are not used with getting across this type of advertisement. And what is even better is, that the people who are reached with the ad are local possible customers.